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Farmville creator Zynga extends into mobile gaming

Farmville creator Zynga has bought mobile game company Omgpop, pushing the team behind one of Facebook’s most popular apps further into the mobile phone arena.

The deal was for an undisclosed sum but it had been rumoured by Netimperitive that both Zynga and a Japanese developer called Gree were prepared to offer Omgpop deals thought to be worth around $200 million.

Omgpop was set up in 2006 and has launched 35 mobile games since then, although it recently had its biggest success with a title called Draw Something. Released just six weeks ago, Draw something is the current top seller on the Apple App Store and has been downloaded more than 35 million times for iOS and Android.

Zynga, on the other hand, has had huge success in social gaming on Facebook – counting six of the top 10 games on that platform amongst its products – but is looking to mobile phones as a way to grow beyind its core business.

Zynga’s failure to replicate its social media success in the mobile phone market is certainly not for a lack of trying. The company launched 15 games in the past six months and has seen titles such as Scramble With Friends make the top 10 list of paid-for games on iOS devices.

Despite that, the majority Zynga’s billion dollar revenue is still tied into its Facebook games. In fact, Zynga says it’s the social aspect of Draw something that attracted it to Omgpop. 

“We want people to play our games and feel a fun and valuable social connection to their friends and family,” said David Ko, Chief Mobile Officer of Zynga.

“We think Draw Something is one of the most social, most expressive mobile games ever built with its unique social competition and unmatched player generated content.”
 

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