PDA

View Full Version : Zynga Shuts Down 'Draw Something' Creator OMGPOP After Spending $200M to Acquire It




MacRumors
Jun 4, 2013, 02:34 PM
http://images.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/06/04/zynga-shuts-down-draw-something-creator-omgpop-after-spending-200m-to-acquire-it/)


http://cdn.macrumors.com/article-new/2012/03/drawsomething-150x152.jpgLast year, social game-maker Zynga acquired OMGPOP (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/03/21/zynga-buys-draw-something-maker-omgpop-for-200-million/) for roughly $200 million. OMGPOP is the development house behind the once-incredibly popular Draw Something.

Today, Zynga is shutting OMGPOP down (http://www.theverge.com/2013/6/3/4393694/draw-something-studio-omgpop-reportedly-shuttered-amid-zynga-layoffs) as part of another round of layoffs (http://allthingsd.com/20130603/zynga-to-lay-off-520-employees-18-percent-of-staff-and-shutter-new-york-and-la-offices/) at the company. Zynga has laid off 18 percent of its staff -- 520 employees -- reports AllThingsD.
The move today will affect every part of the San Francisco social gaming company and cut $80 million in staff costs. Zynga currently has about 2,900 workers.

But the action will also include the closing of its offices in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas, as well as the slashing of other major infrastructure costs, adding to a total expense reduction that is likely to be much larger.Zynga has killed some 18 games in recent months and has been spending more resources on a transition to mobile games.

Article Link: Zynga Shuts Down 'Draw Something' Creator OMGPOP After Spending $200M to Acquire It (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/06/04/zynga-shuts-down-draw-something-creator-omgpop-after-spending-200m-to-acquire-it/)



CGagnon
Jun 4, 2013, 02:36 PM
I think everybody except for Zynga saw this coming way before they even acquired OMGPOP

Timeraner
Jun 4, 2013, 02:38 PM
Sounds about right. ;)

jbennardo
Jun 4, 2013, 02:41 PM
Finding out you were laid off via Facebook - ouch. :rolleyes:

hexonxonx
Jun 4, 2013, 02:44 PM
Yes, people began seeing the light and realizing paying to plant virtual strawberries was a waste of money. They began losing players well over a year ago and now Zynga is in bad shape. Buying Draw Something was a huge mistake. Bet they won't be doing something like that ever again.

thelink
Jun 4, 2013, 02:45 PM
Did they really think Draw Something would be popular forever? Sheesh...

ArtOfWarfare
Jun 4, 2013, 02:50 PM
This makes sense.

It makes sense that all these casual games crash eventually - Draw Something, Hanging/Words/Chess with Friends, Guitar Hero, etc... - what doesn't make sense is the ones that don't crash, like Angry Birds. Or is that also on its way down?

I guess it's the same thing always... People get bored of games eventually. Except Boggle, CatchPhrase, and StarCraft which somehow never get old...

GoCubsGo
Jun 4, 2013, 02:50 PM
The word is SAD. Now Draw Something!



Filed under: who cares.

milo
Jun 4, 2013, 02:57 PM
2900 employees after layoffs? Hard to even imagine what that many people were working on considering the product they put out. It seemed like a big advantage of working on social/mobile gaming is that it required less manpower to create the content compared with giant console titles.

TouchMint.com
Jun 4, 2013, 02:57 PM
Zynga is enemy number 1 so this is good to hear!!

OMGPOP had some great devs and I actually see this as good news. First off hopefully they got some of that 200mil. Second off now that they are out from under that horrible company they can get back to making some creative games instead of just copying everything and buying customers.

Tinmania
Jun 4, 2013, 03:04 PM
Did they really think Draw Something would be popular forever? Sheesh...

I think it was popular for about 3 weeks. I cringe just thinking about it now. Strange gameplay and took way too much time for a quick game (well, unless you happen to be a quick sketch artist I suppose).



Michael

cassiar
Jun 4, 2013, 03:04 PM
Zynga always made me uncomfortable. I don't really know why. They just seem sleazy. Maybe it's because of all the IAP's. Or the fact that they I feel like the lucked out with some early hits and yet never really understood out to make great games.

I am kind of glad to see them go.

Amazing Iceman
Jun 4, 2013, 03:07 PM
They expand too fast based on a too optimistic forecast. The bubble inflated so much that OMGPOPed!

it's always better to expand rationally. Many other companies have popped due to too accelerated growth, take INACOM as an example.

Tinmania
Jun 4, 2013, 03:12 PM
Some day, and that day may never come, buying a company that begins with "OMG" will be considered a crazy thing to do.



Michael

odedia
Jun 4, 2013, 03:28 PM
Too bad the guys at Zynga didn't learn how to draw a bubble.

http://d364y98vz4769w.cloudfront.net/drawings/images/000/023/610/full/bubble.jpg?1340750297

trainwrecka
Jun 4, 2013, 03:32 PM
Did they really think Draw Something would be popular forever? Sheesh...

The potential was there for sure. The mechanics, UI, IAP, and other things prevented it from having lasting value.

toaster64
Jun 4, 2013, 03:54 PM
Anything labeled "Zynga" is terrible.

OldSchoolMacGuy
Jun 4, 2013, 04:02 PM
Now they're betting everything on being able to convince the US government to legalize online gambling nationwide and thinking they'll then take that market.

Keep in mind that they also cut 5% of their employees in October of last year and killed 10 games.

Both CFO Dave Wehner and chief game designer Brian Reynolds have left the company in the past few months.

They're headed down the toilet and I think most saw it coming.

hkenneth
Jun 4, 2013, 04:20 PM
Only if iPad has native support for pressure sensitivity, I would not use it for drawing.

JayCee842
Jun 4, 2013, 04:23 PM
The potential was there for sure. The mechanics, UI, IAP, and other things prevented it from having lasting value.

No, it wasn't going to last forever, nor would it be able to. All these games except Angry Birds are fads.

GoldenJoe
Jun 4, 2013, 04:28 PM
I would love to know how they are using 2,900 people to make apps and Facebook games.

krravi
Jun 4, 2013, 04:41 PM
After using smartphones for the last 5 years or so, I figured that the only Apps that get used regularly are

1) Browser
2) Email
3) Weather
4) News
5) Radio(Tunein,iHeartRadio etc)
6) Stocks
6) Facebook and Twitter (I don't use neither, btw)

The rest of them are all passing fad's. I haven't touched any of the other apps in ages...

I am sure others have other apps they use on a regular basis.

But, to buy a company based on their app for millions of dollars is a risk..

pubwvj
Jun 4, 2013, 04:42 PM
Are they playing Whack-A-Mole with acquisitions and games?

mikeheenan
Jun 4, 2013, 06:08 PM
No, it wasn't going to last forever, nor would it be able to. All these games except Angry Birds are fads.

Well, Angry Birds didn't start out as a fad, but they sure ran it into the ground with multiple games with slightly different settings, and the excessive merchandising and now the forthcoming movie.

ej3ffrey
Jun 4, 2013, 06:14 PM
So they drop "draw something"... And create "draw something 2" lol

PDXoPDX
Jun 4, 2013, 06:58 PM
Shoo, go away Zynga! We don't want your crappy games, business model, or anything you touch.

robanga
Jun 4, 2013, 07:03 PM
Wow how would you like to be one of their shareholders?

Kinda like Cisco buying PureVideo for like $1B and shutting it down a year and a half later.

" Gee, we failed to realize how good the cameras were going to be in phones", sorry.

Business ineptitude is amazing.

iMikeT
Jun 4, 2013, 07:39 PM
That's a lot of money to pay to acquire something just to shut down.

mixel
Jun 4, 2013, 08:07 PM
I'll be happy when Zynga isn't a player in the games industry anymore. So many bad practices and ripped-off games, undelivered promises and a crappy attitude. Their comeuppance is long overdue.

.Asa
Jun 4, 2013, 09:43 PM
Good riddance! DIE ZYNGA, DIE!!!!
Everybody hates zynga!!

dazed
Jun 4, 2013, 11:00 PM
I liked draw something but hated zynga. Always seemed like the only group they disrespected more than their customers were their own employees.

mentaluproar
Jun 4, 2013, 11:11 PM
New from Zynga: Draw Something Else!

e-coli
Jun 4, 2013, 11:46 PM
Zynga's inevitable downfall. That's what happens when your entire business model is predicated on annoying people on Facebook.

Smartass
Jun 5, 2013, 01:52 AM
No, it wasn't going to last forever, nor would it be able to. All these games except Angry Birds are fads.

Angry birds have one advantage over all other games - people play it while they're on the toilet. And since everybody has to use a toilet at some point of the day, those birds will be flying like **** to the toilet.

And yes, i also hate Zynga and i dont rly know why. Hated them since they started annoying me with all the games on facebook. Also why i hate them is that couple of years ago a really smart and fun game called "Drop7" came out. It was nice and free, until Zynga bought it, put the price of it to more than 2$ and left it as it was without any updates. And now it just sits there in Apple and google play store, not updated to match bigger screens (its was made for the iPhone 1 and it still has the same resolution) and its really sad all together. Whatever they touch becomes poop.

28monkeys
Jun 5, 2013, 02:58 AM
A bunch of unsustainable losers

Nightarchaon
Jun 5, 2013, 02:59 AM
These guys are the EA of social games. Buy a company for its licenses, then shut it down and churn out crap sequels to the franchises, devaluing the purchased companies name rather than your own.

Dagless
Jun 5, 2013, 05:02 AM
Mobile games, the most fickle industry.

----------

Angry birds have one advantage over all other games - people play it while they're on the toilet. And since everybody has to use a toilet at some point of the day, those birds will be flying like **** to the toilet.

And yes, i also hate Zynga and i dont rly know why. Hated them since they started annoying me with all the games on facebook. Also why i hate them is that couple of years ago a really smart and fun game called "Drop7" came out. It was nice and free, until Zynga bought it, put the price of it to more than 2$ and left it as it was without any updates. And now it just sits there in Apple and google play store, not updated to match bigger screens (its was made for the iPhone 1 and it still has the same resolution) and its really sad all together. Whatever they touch becomes poop.

This is one of those things that makes no sense at all to me. How long do you spend on a toilet to be able to fit in a round of Angry Birds? Even if you have time, why play a game?
Heh, I just don't see the appeal at all!

Nightarchaon
Jun 5, 2013, 05:47 AM
I'll be happy when Zynga isn't a player in the games industry anymore. So many bad practices and ripped-off games, undelivered promises and a crappy attitude. Their comeuppance is long overdue.

People have been saying exactly that about EA for years, sadly Zynga is likely to survive to become a big player by using the exact business model EA has been using for years, Buy a company that's doing well, has good franchises in its position, fire everyone, and churn out crap products using the goodwill the company built up before you bought it, devalue its name, move on to purchase another new company to devalue.

Unless of course EA by Zynga at some point..:eek:

mabhatter
Jun 5, 2013, 06:38 AM
Zynga always made me uncomfortable. I don't really know why. They just seem sleazy. Maybe it's because of all the IAP's. Or the fact that they I feel like the lucked out with some early hits and yet never really understood out to make great games.

I am kind of glad to see them go.

Their business modes was to bac the "EA" of mobile and social. Whatever anybody else had, they had to have a copy too. That way you never leave Zynga's servers. I'd say it worked well.

What we are seeing now is the first real growing pains of the company. This is where the IPO investors push the remaining founders out.., while the founders are scrambling to save the ship. The Guys on the ship at IPO will then sell all their shares to EA or another big player and the company get assimilated.

jlnr
Jun 5, 2013, 07:14 AM
No, it wasn't going to last forever, nor would it be able to. All these games except Angry Birds are fads.

Not in terms of money if you look at Top Grossing. Clash of Clans, Candy Crush Saga and Hay Day have been absolutely dominating for months now, plus Hobbit/Simpsons. Angry Birds only makes a short blip every time a new game is released, kind of like the Lego games. They have done some good brand building though.

It's weird that Zynga is failing in a market that is dominated by the cow-clicking they've been famous for. o_O

e-coli
Jun 5, 2013, 07:44 AM
Angry birds have one advantage over all other games - people play it while they're on the toilet.

Or the subway. (sometimes one and the same) ;)

azentropy
Jun 5, 2013, 08:10 AM
I think Draw Something was something that was sustainable, the problem was that they continued to tinker with it and screwed it up.

I know a lot of my friends were ticked off when they changed to the randomness of how many bombs it cost for a new set of words. So instead they would just quit and then reload later to get a new set. The end result is they ended up playing much less and lost interest. Also I really miss the stats from the earlier versions as I found it to be a challenge to see how fast I could guess, or how quick I could draw a picture that my friends could correctly guess etc.

GoCubsGo
Jun 5, 2013, 08:32 AM
I think everybody except for Zynga saw this coming way before they even acquired OMGPOP

I read an AMA from a former employee on Reddit and people didn't see it coming but severance packages were quite handsome and included healthcare.

NachoGrande
Jun 5, 2013, 08:45 AM
Russia Roulette with stock holder's money. Yahoo is guilty of the same thing..

lemoncrsh
Jun 5, 2013, 08:49 AM
Zynga's new motto: WithDraw Something!

typeadam
Jun 5, 2013, 09:07 AM
Wait.. am I missing something here? Perhaps I'm ignorant or didn't read this properly but the purpose of acquiring the company was just to shut it down? :confused:
Damn, talk about going after your competition.
Wait! I just solved Apple's problem! Acquire Samsung then kill it off! :eek::D:p (ready to get flamed for that by everyone w/o a sense of humor).

adrian.oconnor
Jun 5, 2013, 09:17 AM
6) Facebook and Twitter (I don't use neither, btw)


That's funny! I don't use neither either!

OldSchoolMacGuy
Jun 5, 2013, 09:35 AM
Wait.. am I missing something here? Perhaps I'm ignorant or didn't read this properly but the purpose of acquiring the company was just to shut it down? :confused:

Closing them down wasn't the intention. They bought them hoping to make a profit. At the time of the acquisition, OMGPOP was the fastest growing app in history with 15 million users in just the first 3 months of it's release. Zynga bought them at that point and that same month they lost 1/3 of their users (5 million). From there it continued to lose users. It's not a game I can see people playing forever.

OldSchoolMacGuy
Jun 5, 2013, 10:17 AM
Wow how would you like to be one of their shareholders?

Anyone that bought Zynga was an idiot. Their IPO was grossly overvalued and had nowhere to go but down. The games they make are the kind of thing that will only attract users in the short term. Farmville, Words With Friends, Mafia Wars..... All games made to be played for a week or two then thrown aside. They somewhat understood that which is why they worked on so many games at a time hoping to have another game for their users when they got bored with the last one after a couple weeks. The problem is that kind of growth and release schedule just isn't sustainable. There is also a limit to how many stupid little games people will play. Few will spend years going from game to game to game.

Their other issue is that the majority of their revenue comes from their Facebook games. This is a bad business model in that it ties you to another company and makes them totally dependent on Facebook. They had to give a portion of their profits to Facebook for using the platform (and having access to all of their users). Should Facebook tomorrow decide to cut them off, they're f'd. You really don't want your company to be dependent on another company like that.

Wolfpup
Jun 5, 2013, 10:40 AM
what doesn't make sense is the ones that don't crash, like Angry Birds. Or is that also on its way down?

Ugh, I do not get that "game". I got bored of it within a few seconds of starting lol. Bioshock Infinite, it's not :-D

Tinmania
Jun 5, 2013, 10:58 AM
Not in terms of money if you look at Top Grossing. Clash of Clans, Candy Crush Saga and Hay Day have been absolutely dominating for months now, plus Hobbit/Simpsons.
None of those are from Zynga. Three years ago that wouldn't have been the case. People grew weary if not leery of the repetitive, no-point, "game play" of their "games." Thank god for that.




Michael

ablashek
Jun 5, 2013, 11:46 AM
this is what happens when investors throw too much money down a baby companies throat. they end up spending 200 million dollars on a company they just end up shutting down.

lately i get the feeling that people have lost their value for money, 1 billion dollars is a common term used to purchase companies that have 20-100 employees, produce no meaningful benefit, and best of all have no revenue.

drummingcraig
Jun 5, 2013, 12:15 PM
There's a great Q&A going on over at Reddit with two or three of the Zynga (former) employees answering questions about what is was like at the company. Pretty interesting read.

http://http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/1fpbv1/i_was_one_of_the_520_people_laid_off_by_zynga/

Tiger8
Jun 5, 2013, 12:18 PM
After using smartphones for the last 5 years or so, I figured that the only Apps that get used regularly are

1) Browser
2) Email
3) Weather
4) News
5) Radio(Tunein,iHeartRadio etc)
6) Stocks
6) Facebook and Twitter (I don't use neither, btw)

The rest of them are all passing fad's. I haven't touched any of the other apps in ages...

I am sure others have other apps they use on a regular basis.

But, to buy a company based on their app for millions of dollars is a risk..

I can't agree more. And btw, I storngly believe that WEB APPS are replacing regular apps. I have uninstalled Zap2it app since now I can access their mobile web UI, I also uninstall Bank of America app after they updated their web app. same goes for all those NYC subway and guides.

Variant
Jun 5, 2013, 02:00 PM
After using smartphones for the last 5 years or so, I figured that the only Apps that get used regularly are

1) Browser
2) Email
3) Weather
4) News
5) Radio(Tunein,iHeartRadio etc)
6) Stocks
6) Facebook and Twitter (I don't use neither, btw)

The rest of them are all passing fad's. I haven't touched any of the other apps in ages...

I am sure others have other apps they use on a regular basis.

But, to buy a company based on their app for millions of dollars is a risk..

I think you are exaggerating a bit. I just looked at the recent apps on my Nexus 4...

Facebook Messenger
Shazam
Fuelio
Gallery
Calendar
Maps
reddit sync
Google
Tapped Out
Chrome
Gmail
Facebook
Instagram
Play Store

The non-Google apps (Shazam, Fuelio, reddit sync) have been on my phone for a while, and unless a better app roles along, I will continue to use them. FB Messenger and Instagram can be bundled into your category of FB and Twitter. Finally, Tapped Out, as much as I enjoy it, does fit into your category of a "fad app".

I think you hit the nail on the head as far as games go, but there are plenty of useful apps out there, and if your truly find them useful, you will continue to use them.

CGagnon
Jun 5, 2013, 03:43 PM
I read an AMA from a former employee on Reddit and people didn't see it coming but severance packages were quite handsome and included healthcare.

Yeah I saw the AMA as well. What I meant was this app was doomed to fail. It was fun for the first day and then I slowly saw all of my friends stop playing. I held out a week longer but then realized I was the only one still drawing. And the game became more of a chore than entertainment. I knew the app would fail.... And THEN it was bought for $200M.

GoCubsGo
Jun 5, 2013, 06:21 PM
Yeah I saw the AMA as well. What I meant was this app was doomed to fail. It was fun for the first day and then I slowly saw all of my friends stop playing. I held out a week longer but then realized I was the only one still drawing. And the game became more of a chore than entertainment. I knew the app would fail.... And THEN it was bought for $200M.

Oh gotcha. You're completely right.

mentaluproar
Jun 5, 2013, 07:31 PM
I actually still play. I get a response once a day from some guy...somewhere, and respond between my classes. Sad to see it go, really.

Why do people keep selling out to Zynga? Long term, they could probably make more as they wouldn't let the products atrophy the way Zynga does.

charlituna
Jun 6, 2013, 11:14 AM
Did they really think Draw Something would be popular forever? Sheesh...

Could have been. Had they not failed to fix the bugs for ages, had they updated it with these new tricks and not waited to release a new one at cost again. Who knows

OMGPOP had a great system for letting folks pay or play to get things and Zynga could have found success sticking with that for the stickers and such and just updating the rest as needed improvements.

sk24iam
Jun 6, 2013, 11:57 AM
I think draw something was trendy for awhile and that is it. It had potential to become more of a game, but never really went anywhere.

mixel
Jun 7, 2013, 01:25 PM
People have been saying exactly that about EA for years, sadly Zynga is likely to survive to become a big player by using the exact business model EA has been using for years, Buy a company that's doing well, has good franchises in its position, fire everyone, and churn out crap products using the goodwill the company built up before you bought it, devalue its name, move on to purchase another new company to devalue.

Unless of course EA by Zynga at some point..:eek:
EA seem to alternate between absolute mess/evil and making some really quite good stuff though, making it a little more bearable at least. Zynga's product has never been great. EA do need their heads checked... Hopefully their downsizing/refocusing will get them to rethink some things.

I wouldn't mind if EA bought Zynga, they'd probably kill them off like they did with the Sims Social.

Nightarchaon
Jun 10, 2013, 01:05 AM
EA seem to alternate between absolute mess/evil and making some really quite good stuff though, making it a little more bearable at least. .

I think EAs good stuff is the stuff that the companies they just bought had nearly completed BEFORE EA bought them and fired everyone, after that its all downhill

mixel
Jun 11, 2013, 07:30 AM
I think EAs good stuff is the stuff that the companies they just bought had nearly completed BEFORE EA bought them and fired everyone, after that its all downhill
Battlefield series is still going strong.. And umm.. The Sims if you like that sort of thing is good.

Still not going to forgive what they've done with Dead Space though. Whyyyyy?

Nightarchaon
Jun 11, 2013, 09:55 AM
Battlefield series is still going strong.. And umm.. The Sims if you like that sort of thing is good.

Still not going to forgive what they've done with Dead Space though. Whyyyyy?

Dead Space, Mass Effect (series got more and more like a Gears of War clone, and Multiplayer was un-necessarily shoehorned in) Dragon Age 2, even BattleField, which is a stunning engine, but all revolves around selling gear-unlocks to multiplayer FPS nutcases, the single player storyline is not actually that good.