Zynga acquires ‘Draw Something’ game-maker OMGPOP

Zynga, the undisputed social-games champ, is acquiring York-based game-maker OMGPOP, which till now was a struggling start-up, but has recently seen a turnaround of sorts with its hot-selling `Draw Something' smartphone app.

Despite the fact that Zynga has refrained from disclosing the financial terms of its OMGPOP takeover deal, it is being largely speculated that the company paid somewhere to the tune of $210 million for the acquisition.

Zynga was apparently attracted to OMGPOP after the start-up's `Draw Something' app - released around seven weeks back - became a blockbuster hit, to emerge as the most downloaded app on Apple's App Store in 84 different countries. The stupendous success of `Draw Something' app literally transformed the obscure and almost bankrupt start-up into a must-have for a gaming industry biggie.

About the app, Zynga said that `Draw Something' is more of a twist on Pictionary, and it chiefly involves the drawing of quick sketches which illustrate words and phrases - such as `starfish' or `swimming pool' and the like - which have to be guessed by friends. The app has been downloaded over 35 million times ever since its February 6 release; with players having already generated over one billion drawings.

Commenting on Zynga's OMGPOP acquisition deal - which is an indication that companies are moving at break-neck speeds to stay on top of online trends -, IDC research analyst Lewis Ward said: "They bought a property that went from 0 to 60 in four seconds"!