OMGPOP launched in late 2006 as a casual, online multi-player game made entirely in Flash. Based in New York City, their homepage says – “Omgpop is a place to hang out, play free online multiplayer games and make friends.” Now thanks to Zynga who recently bought the company, they have made even more friends with the success of one of their games, Draw Something. Around 50 million in fact.
Omgpop had been doing reasonable business in the past few years since it’s conception, their website was listed in TIME Magazine’s top 50 Websites, no mean feat. However, it was a new smartphone game that began to really put them on the business map, the quick sketch game Draw Something.
The idea is simple and is something that everyone can understand. Players sketch a picture and challenge friends to guess what it is. The game is a modern twist on Pictionary, the classic board game that most people will have played during a family gathering or dinner party, but as well as having to draw things like cats or obscure countries, Draw Something also includes many modern pop culture references, like asking players to draw the pop singer Lady Ga Ga or the basketball star Jeremy Lin.
It could be that bringing a game that was invented way back in 1985 into the modern, celebrity friendly world has been the key to Draw Something’s incredible popularity.
Social Network Gaming
Draw Something is one of the thousands of mobile app games out there that uses social networking to get their users involved. They are some of the most popular games played in the world, with tens of millions of players worldwide. Unlike traditional gaming, social games are distributed through social networks and existing relationships with other users through invite systems, news feed postings, user-to-user notifications or paid acquisition.
Draw Something was already becoming a popular game when it caught the attention of Zynga’s chief mobile officer David Ko. “This game was obviously rising in the charts very quickly. I’ve got a lot of apps but there was this moment where we realised how powerful Draw Something was. They have been around for a couple of years and we both want to differentiate ourselves by creating high-quality social experiences. These guys are literally focused on the same values. It was a meeting of the minds.”
Some interesting Draw Something stats:
- Since launching, more than 6 billion drawings have been created.
- It hit 50 million downloads in 50 days
- Draw Something had three drawings per second the day the game launched.
- At its peak, Draw Something typically generates 3,000 drawings per second
The Attainable Goal
Draw Something transformed Omgpop from a little-known, nearly broke start-up into a must-have for an industry giant. The Zynga deal shows how companies are moving at Internet speed to stay on top of online trends and can generate quick reversals of fortune for smaller companies.
OMGPOP chief executive Dan Porter says “I’ve said this before but we’ve only had one mission at the company; I really, really wanted to make a game where you can sit on the bus and see everyone playing our games. This is the first time this has really happened. It’s a really amazing feeling and now we have the resources and support. At the end of the day, you’re making creative content and you’re putting your heart and soul into it. It’s so personal.”
I think we can draw our own conclusions.