Zynga buys OMGPOP for $200 million

Zynga, the company that created popular Facebook games such as "FarmVille" and "Zynga Poker," announced its acquisition of fellow game developer OMGPOP on Wednesday.

Besides buying OMGPOP, Zynga is launching a new games service that allows users to play on the company's website instead of Facebook, potentially driving traffic away from the world's No. 1 social network that is its biggest partner.

We’ve confirmed the acquisition of OMGPOP by Zynga, the app-studio-eating megalith of social gaming. You know what they say: If you can’t beat ‘em, buy ‘em.

Zynga eventually wants “to get one billion people to play together, and with this announcement, we’re getting closer to that goal,” said Zynga’s chief mobile officer David Ko in a call today.

OMGPOP recently created Draw Something, a simple Pictionary-like app that saw skyrocketing stats for adoption within days of its release. As of last week, the app shop’s blockbuster game was showing the following stats, which come to VentureBeat courtesy of OMGPOP chief revenue officer Wilson Kriegel:

  • 14.1 million daily active users
  • 24.5 million installs
  • 1.3 billion drawings created in the game
  • 2,000 drawings per second
  • Most tweeted-about game ever

Ko updated those stats today, stating the app has seen 35 million downloads altogether during its 6 weeks on the market, and players have created 1 billion drawings in the last week alone.

Draw Something’s growth was so meteoric that it even eclipsed Zynga’s Words With Friends as the top game on the AppData charts late last week. Now, Zynga has snapped up OMPOP for its very own, and All Things D pegs the sale price at $200 million.

We first got wind of the rumored acquisition earlier this week. At that time, OMGPOP CEO Dan Porter told VentureBeat, “I’m not in competition with Zynga. Words With Friends is a great game and has stood the test of time. That’s the press angle. My angle is about what makes the game special. You can quote me on it.”

The OMGPOP 40-person team will now be Zynga employees, and Porter will be Zynga’s vice president and general manager of the comapany’s New York office. Porter said in a call today that having access to Zynga’s warchest of funds and resources will make it easier to bring a slate of new features to Draw Something quickly.

OMGPOP was founded four years ago and initially focused on web-based gaming. The company’s focus later shifted to Facebook games and now to mobile games. All told, the startup has raised $17 million in venture captial.

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