In 2012, Zynga spent a lot of money on New York developer OMGPOP. To be more specific, the social giant paid $180 million cash as well as offering a $30 million earn-out.
The acquisition was about Draw Something, though, which was reportedly grossing $250,000 a day from an audience of 15 million daily active users at the time.
But Zynga bought a fad. Hindsight may be 20:20, but looking back it certainly seems obvious that the Draw Something craze was never built to last. So Zynga and OMGPOP have attempted to build a follow-up that will.
Draw Something 2 is designed to be 'sticky'. It adds little in the way of core gameplay – but then, its predecessor didn't add much more than convenience to Pictionary. Instead, the game's novel features are all about retaining users.
So sketches are now saved, and players can 'follow' other artists in the Draw Something 2 community – even celebrity sketchers. Daily guesses incentivise players to check in to the game regularly, and dole out virtual currency to users that keep their daily appointment with game.
Of course, it's too soon to say whether all this will work. We've examined the game's performance to date in this week's Charticle, though.
And speaking of the stories on PocketGamer.biz this week, let's take a look back at our last seven days of mobile gaming news, interviews and features.Tools and platforms
- A Kantar Worldpanel report shows that Microsoft's Windows Phone is beating BlackBerry in the race for third place smartphone OS…
- But later in the week, BlackBerry disputes the report, claiming that its market share remains strong in key territories.
- Gramble CEO Adam Palmer tells us how gamers, developers and charities can all benefit from the Gramble Network.
- Pyramid Research examines the potential pitfalls for Apple if it's going to get a slice of the Chinese mobile market.
- "In five years I don't think there'll be a reason to have a tablet anymore," says BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins.
- DeNA quietly shelves five first-party Mobage games in Japan, including social spin-off Infinity Blade Cross.
- Apple sets out to educate parents with an App Store guide to in-app purchases.
- Global Gaming Initiative CEO Elizabeth Sarquis explains how Sidekick Cycle's IAPs will benefit charitable causes.
- Free-to-play monetisation has to stop relying on 'tension' and 'desire' systems, argues Quark Games VP Shawn Foust.
- Well-implemented monetisation mechanics trump marketing might every time, argues PocketGamer.biz US correspondent Carter Dotson.
- Nintendo is considering "games that are similar to free-to-play games," according to CEO Satoru Iwata.
- Mojang announces that Minecraft – Pocket Edition has surpassed 10 million sales, a landmark that's made all the more impressive by the game's $6.99 price point.
Acquisition and retention
- In this week's edition of the PocketGamer.biz Charticle, we examine Draw Something 2, and ponder whether Zynga's managed to serve up a 'stickier' sequel.
- As PlayHaven's tools go free, the platform boasts it now tracks more than 523 million unique users...
- So we catch up with PlayHaven CEO Andy Yang, who tells us retention and monetisation must come before user acquisition for mobile game developers.
- Facebook announces its mobile app install ads have driven 25 million app downloads to date.
- Xyrality's co-CEO Sven Ossenbrüggen tells us how his 2009 start up came to lead the German mobile MMOG market.
- Following TIGA's call for British devs to avoid 'Americanisation', the PocketGamer.biz Mobile Gaming Mavens debate whether studios have a responsibility to reflect their national culture in play.
- Pocket Gamer editor-in-chief Kristan Reed explains why console's summer drought is great news for mobile gaming.
- It's time for Apple to sacrifice skeuomorphism in iOS 7, argues PocketGamer.biz editor Keith Andrew.
- It's time to stop hunting whales and start supporting sharers, argues Oscar Clark.