Over the past month developer OMGPOP has gone from relative obscurity to overnight success all with a clever little app called Draw Something. Essentially an asynchronous version of Pictionary, Draw Something became an overnight phenomenon and, chances are, you have a handful of games going on right now.
As Draw Something and OMGPOP grew in popularity it was inevitable that larger publishers/corporations would take note. One such publisher was Zynga, who have made their own claim to fame with their many Facebook games like FarmVille.
Just like any iOS and Android success story, Zynga made an offer and OMGPOP was acquired, unfortunately not all of the developers employees made the transition, there was one hold out. That hold out was Shay Pierce who, when reading through his new contract with Zynga, found there to be a few issues of contention, issues that he couldn’t overlook.
What it boiled down to was Zynga’s unwillingness to rework some key fine print in Pierce’s contract that would protect him from having to take down a project he worked on outside of OMGPOP.
Pierce’s game, called Connectrode, could have potentially been seen by Zynga as a conflict of interest, and he hoped the publisher would be receptive to his concerns and would protect him. Unfortunately they did not, and so he decided not to be absorbed with the rest of the company.
For Pierce it was almost a forgone conclusion that he would not be joining Zynga, though, a company whose values are completely opposed to his. Zynga has a long history of squashing, or copying their competition, in an effort to retain dominance in several key game genres.
Draw Something has a lot of potential, and is only starting to grow with new members joining literally every second – the title enjoyed a long streak at number one before Angry Birds Space came along – meaning we probably have seen its final iteration just yet. Now if only OMGPOP could use all that money to put some more variety into the word choices.
How do you feel about OMGPOP and Draw Something being acquired by Zynga? What’s next for the hugely popular mobile game?