Draw Something notches 50 million downloads in just 50 days

Apr 5, 2012
Games

Setting a record for most insane popularity surge in the mobile gaming sphere is Draw Something, the game that has users basically playing Pictionary with each other over the Internet. According to a story from Venture Beat, Draw Something has also set an actual record in downloads: It’s the “fastest growing original mobile game of […]

Setting a record for most insane popularity surge in the mobile gaming sphere is Draw Something, the game that has users basically playing Pictionary with each other over the Internet.

According to a story from Venture Beat, Draw Something has also set an actual record in downloads: It’s the “fastest growing original mobile game of all time,” with its numbers allowing it to take back the No. 1 spot in the iTunes App Store from the brief return of the Angry Birds juggernaut with Angry Birds Space. Draw Something currently dominates both the Top Paid and Top Free charts in the App Store.

It’s that meteoric rise in success that resulted in Draw Something developer OMGPOP drawing $180 million from game creator Zynga to buy the studio earlier this month. As OMGPOP reveals, some 6 billion drawings have already been created in the game, which tasks players to draw something for one another, with each person trying to guess the others’ drawings to score points. The developer also says that, “About three draws per second were created on the day the game launched, and now that number is 3,000 drawings per second,” as Venture Beat writes.

The acquisition by Zynga brought just about all of OMGPOP’s employees under the umbrella of the publisher, which is responsible for games like FarmVille and Mafia Wars, and has become the owner of studios such as New Toy and the publisher of games such as Words with Friends. Not everything has gone smoothly, however. Despite a lot of great press, some social networking ire has befallen OMGPOP because of the actions of its former CEO.

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Specifically, those actions were updates on social network Twitter focusing on the one employee who didn’t join up with Zynga, Shay Pierce. Pierce drew the eye of OMGPOP CEO Dan Porter following an editorial he wrote for Gamasutra detailing why he didn’t join Zynga – basically, because he was unwilling to surrender the rights to a mobile game he’d been working on in his spare time to the publisher. Porter responded with an angry tweet, Venture Beat reports, calling Pierce the “weakest” member of the OMGPOP team, and followed up the whole question with “good riddance!”

After significant fallout in the direction of Porter and OMGPOP last week, the OMGPOP head apologized for his conduct. The result doesn’t seem to have slowed down OMGPOP or Draw Something, however. The game still manages to pull down huge download numbers, even if some people have been uninstalling it from their devices because of the controversy.

But Porter’s actions constitute an image that Zynga doesn’t need, as it’s already waging a PR battle in an attempt to increase the amount trust consumers have in the company. A CEO publically insulting a former employee probably doesn’t help. But even so, Draw Something must be pretty great to most folks, having convinced around 50 million of them to download the game. Now we’ll just have to wait and see what Zynga intends to do with that huge hunk of change it just made available to OMGPOP, and how Draw Something might change or improve.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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