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Omgpop founder Dan Porter walks away from Zynga
Omgpop founder Dan Porter walks away from Zynga
April 2, 2013 | By Frank Cifaldi

April 2, 2013 | By Frank Cifaldi
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    12 comments
More: Social/Online, Smartphone/Tablet, Business/Marketing



Zynga lost yet another high-ranking executive Tuesday when Dan Porter, GM of its New York studio, left the company.

Porter was the CEO of OMGPOP, the Draw Something developer that Zynga acquired last year for a rather contentious $180 million.

Zynga tells us that Porter's departure was a "mutual decision," implying that the company may have wanted him out. Zynga would not clarify any further.

Another Omgpop executive, Wilson Kriegel, left Zynga in September.

Zynga New York is putting the finishing touches on Draw Something 2, which Porter led the development of. He is being replaced as GM by Sean Uberoi Kelly, the company's VP of mobile development.

Draw Something...please?

Omgpop's acquisition came at the height of Draw Something's popularity. From the outside it seemed to many that Zynga paid $180 million just to have the game in its portfolio, leading analysts to question whether Zynga's spending was out of control.

The game was a rising star with growth that seemed limitless -- there was even a deal for a network TV show -- but even the most popular games must plateau at some point. And Draw Something plateaued fast.

The fad seems to have gone away, with Draw Something players abandoning ship so fast that Zynga blamed them for being a major contributor in two consecutive quarterly losses.


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Comments


Ryan Creighton
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i haven't seen many folks suggesting that the precipitous drop-off in Draw Something players was DUE to the fact that Zynga were suddenly involved, so ... you know what? I'LL suggest it.

Scott Siegel
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I think the precipitous drop-off was actually a natural part of the game's lifecycle. For a hot minute, EVERYONE was playing Draw Something. And then EVERYBODY burnt out on it. The brightest candles burn the fastest.

I believe the sharkfin would've happened with or without Z's involvement.

Jimmy Ho
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It was when they started adding new words and suddenly removed them from the playlist. Only to later have an option for in-game purchase word packs and themes. The words which remained kept repeating and were uninteresting, which was probably done so that player's would spend more money on a game they have already purchased. This was implemented after Zynga purchased OMGpop. On top of an already declining user base that sent them over the edge.

[User Banned]
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David Marcum
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I bet he took a long shower after leaving. I know I would've felt a bit dirty after working for Zynga.

Mike Weldon
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In a solid gold shower that rains $100 bills.

adam crockett
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I paid money for in app purchases while it was OMGpop, but not after Zynga. I still play with one person but originally I played with around 25 people. I'll agree that improvements were made to the game, but I think the drop off was either bad timing, or the Zynga name tainting it.

Jesse Tucker
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I'm not a huge fan of Zynga and stopped playing Newtoy games after they were acquired. When Omgpop was acquired I also stopped playing Draw Something. However, I feel that I'm in the minority when it comes to voting with my money.
To be honest, I think I was starting to get bored with Draw Something right around the time it was acquired by Zynga. The game is a fun premise, but the entire game is based on two actions: drawing and guessing. Once I did those two actions a few hundred times, the appeal had started to dwindle quite a bit. I had already stopped playing with random strangers, and was playing with people I knew because it was really only fun to play with friends. Zynga's purchase of Omgpop was the final nail in the coffin for me, but I don't think my interest would have lasted much longer anyway.

Timothy Barton
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Actually myself and a lot of my friend group quit PRECISELY because it was aquired by Zynga. I think there is a small but growing number of people who actively avoid their games. And whenever a game relies solely upon interaction with others, any decline can obviously snowball quickly. I think being aquired by Zynga had made a small dent, but it was mostly burnout (like you guys said), followed by the snowball inherent in this type of game.

E Zachary Knight
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My wife an I played Draw Something for a while. It was pretty neat. We went around 150 rounds before we stopped playing. It just stopped being much fun after seeing the same few words popping up over and over again.

I think my biggest issue with it was the lack of challenge. It seemed that my wife and I were cooperating with no sense of competition. There was no discernible limit to how long or how many it took to guess. I think the loss of team vs team aspect of Pictionary just wasn't there and Draw Something was weaker because of it.

Carlo Delallana
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Drawception > everything else

http://drawception.com/

Bob Johnson
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Lucky timing on the sale. Great game, but was never worth $180 million dollars. But companies or at least Zynga had social game rush fever.


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