Zynga quietly shutters OMGPOP games

Zynga officially has marked the end of OMGPOP, the game development studio behind the game Draw Something. The company quietly announced the closure of OMGPOP and four of its games last week in its player support forum.

Zynga will continue to provide support for Draw Something, Draw Something 2, and Draw My Thing. Although Zynga laid off its entire OMGPOP team in June, the company officially is shutting down OMGPOP on Sept. 30. The unit's four other games -- Cupcake Corner, Gem Rush, Pool World Champ, and Snoops -- will go dark on Aug. 29.

The struggling gaming company … Read more

Draw Something team included in Zynga layoff

After Zynga announced it was laying off 18 percent of its staff, former employees took to Twitter to reveal that the action resulted in the closure of three offices for OMGPOP, the studio behind the popular Draw Something franchise. That leaves Zynga's remaining U.S. offices to pick up the slack the popular series and other games like CastleVille and CoasterVille.

The layoff announcement will lead to the closure of offices in Dallas, Los Angeles, and New York. While Zynga won't confirm the specific closures, former employees have tweeted about their fate. Zynga acquired New York-based OMGPOP for more than $200 millionRead more

Zynga lowers its full-year outlook, writes down OMGPOP buy

Zynga lowered its 2012 outlook and said it will write off nearly half the reported $200 million it paid for game maker OMGPOP in March, in the latest sign of the woes overtaking the social-gaming company.

The company said it expects 2012 bookings (i.e., sales deals that haven't necessarily yielded revenue yet) to fall short by about eight percent compared to its previous estimate. Likewise, Zynga said its non-standard measure of profit (which it calls "adjusted" EBITDA) will likely be about 28 percent lower than expected.

Zynga said it expects to report revenue of $300 million … Read more

Zynga says farewell to another departing exec

The list continues to grow -- another Zynga executive announced today that he is joining the group of those who recently jumped ship.

According to VentureBeat, Wilson Kriegel, who worked in business development, marketing, and advertising for the game maker, is leaving the company. Kriegel was fairly new to Zynga, having only started there when it acquired Omgpop in March for around $180 million.

At Omgpop, Kriegel was the chief revenue officer. On his LinkedIn profile he says was in charge of making the uber-popular game Draw Something into a "more fun, social and a global juggernaut."

Kriegel … Read more

The 404 1,076: Where you don't know you're beautiful (podcast)

Hope you're sitting down for this: Jeff actually has positive words about a movie he saw this weekend! Without giving away the surprise, suffice it to say that Jeff's complaints about the lack of creativity in film and his disgust with the movie-going experience disappeared for two hours on Friday.

In advance of Microsoft's mysterious press event today, we'll speculate what's in store for the software giant and how it could fit into the 56-page road map document that leaked over the weekend.… Read more

Draw Something may be coming to your TV screen

Perhaps Zynga will have the last laugh on its multimillion-dollar OMGPOP/Draw Something purchase after all.

Hollywood trade paper Variety reports that CBS has outbid "multiple networks" to nab a pilot episode of a primetime TV show based on the Pictionary-like game Draw Something.

The OMGPOP-developed app shot out of the gates in February -- exceeding 50 million downloads and boasting more than 14 million daily users by April -- only to see its daily average user base drop by nearly half by late May. The plunge had some investors wondering if Zynga paid too much for OMGPOP.… Read more

The 404 1,045: Where we're outed on Facebook (podcast)

We love Facebook pranks as much as the next guys, but not when it's coming from an anonymous source at Best Buy. As if we needed another reason not to step foot in the big blue retailer, we read this story about a Best Buy employee that posted a phony Facebook status update on a customer's phone. The message declared, "I am gay, I'm coming out," but there's one problem: the customer is straight.… Read more

Draw Something goes viral with 50 million downloads

Zynga must be glad it dropped that $180 million on OMGPOP last month. Besides acquiring Checkers, Pool, and other online games, Zynga also got its hands on Draw Something--which topped charts today as the fastest-growing original mobile game ever, according to VentureBeat.

The wildly popular game, which most resembles the board game Pictionary, was released less than two months ago and within the first two weeks it skyrocketed with 10 million downloads. Quickly, both the free and paid versions were No. 1 on iTunes' download charts.

As of today, the game has exceeded 50 million downloads, according to VentureBeat. … Read more

OMGPOP chief backtracks after trading barbs with ex-employee

It's not uncommon for a disgruntled employee to share issues about a former employer with the world. But when the CEO gets into the mix, everything escalates. OMGPOP Chief Executive Dan Porter is learning that lesson right now.

The trouble started last week when OMGPOP employee Shay Pierce wrote an editorial on gaming site Gamasutra, saying that he refused to work for Zynga -- the company that had acquired his employer -- because he didn't want to sign over rights to an iOS game he created, called Connectrode. But his troubles with his [prospective new employer extended far … Read more

Low Latency No. 16: If you can't beat 'em, buy 'em

In an effort to scoop up the smash-hit social-gaming app Draw Something, mobile gaming publisher Zynga acquired OMGPOP for an unprecedented $180 million, plus an extra $30 million in employee retention.

Not only is it the first major acquisition for Zynga, it's also a bit out of character for the company, especially considering some recent controversy the mobile powerhouse ran into with the developer of Tiny Tower, NimbleBit. … Read more