Will Zynga Buy OMGPOP for $200 Million?

Zynga may be acquiring OMGPOP, the creator of the Pictionary-style game “Draw Something.” TechCrunch reports that the offer could be in the neighborhood of $200 million, and might provoke a bidding war with Japanese companies GREE and DeNA, who have also expressed interest in buying OMGPOP.

“Draw Something” launched on Android and iOS devices in February.  As with “Pictionary,” players take turns drawing a mystery word and having other players guess what it is.  Requiring virtually no skill – and only one finger – to play, the game quickly became the number one app in both stores, with 30 million downloads in the first five weeks.

The launch of the popular game followed OMGPOP’s second round of funding, in which the company raised $10.1 million from Rho Ventures, Japan’s Softbank, Spark Capital and other investors, bringing the total amount raised to $17 million.  OMGPOP has also expanded its user base through partnerships with the MyYearbook and IMVU online communities.

Zynga snagged another company, New Toy, for more than $50 million in December 2010, which now seems like a bargain considering it was the game developer that created “Words with Friends.”

Last year, Zynga accounted for 12 percent of Facebook’s revenue, thanks to the popularity of casual games like “Words with Friends” and “FarmVille,” which allow people to connect with their friends on Facebook.

Although Zynga’s IPO dropped 5 percent on its first day of trading at the New York Stock Exchange in December, the company also raised $1 billion.

The gaming company is now making a play for a space of its own with a new social platform on Zynga.com.



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