A recent deal in the iPhone realm is making headlines and upping the ante when it comes to staying on top of the app world. The monopolistic app company Zynga has just bought out Omgpop, the makers of the now popular game Draw Something. Zynga already owns the rights to Farmville and they are considered the “king of social games”. The newsworthy element of this story is the speed at which it was bought with Draw Something having just been introduced seven weeks ago. With this game having already been downloaded over 35 million times it’s no wonder it caught Zynga’s eye and why $180 million was shelled out for it’s possession. The fact that the game has been downloaded that many times in such a short while is not as astounding considering how many people have smartphones and how trendy these games are, but Zynga’s speedy purchase is indicative of how fast companies have to move to stay on top of online trends and make the most money.
Another way Draw Something has become popular is through the use of Facebook and Twitter, with users posting their drawings on their personal pages to share with friends. In this way audience awareness and reception is easily measured and open to the public. Just looking at the iTunes app store right now the game is number two on the top app charts. This notoriety made Omgpop an obvious candidate for purchase by Zynga.
This kind of success in business is obvious because public deals are involved with money changing hands and big businesses placing value on the product. The game became popular because of its simplicity and because it was different from the other games that people were obsessed with at the time. Those first 30,000 users who downloaded the game the first day it was released probably had no idea it would become so big but alas just seven weeks later it’s creators were having cocktails at an expensive hotel in Manhattan, celebrating it’s ascension to Farmville status. The nature of today’s communication spectrum has a lot to do with it, with everyone and their mother having a smart phone and the ability to play and become addicted to any game put on the web. I know I’ve felt its presence at every outing I go on with friends who whether their bored waiting for food or taking a study break, always pull out their phones to send their sketches to friends. And it’s not only an Elon thing either, having visited friends at other colleges and seeing them playing Draw Something just as much as Elon kids do. This observant success measurement has been just as effective as quantitative data in this case because that is the whole point behind trends. It gives me hope when I see this game being played at every bus stop and grocery store now that I know of its humble beginnings and speedy victory. Maybe the fast paced world that we live in isn’t so bad after all.