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Zynga shutters four OMGPOP games and web portal

Zynga shutters four OMGPOP games and web portal

Tue 06 Aug 2013 8:19am GMT / 4:19am EDT / 1:19am PDT
OnlinePublishing

Sources claim Zynga turned down independent buy-back from OMGPOP staff

Zynga will close four OMGPOP games at the end of the month, with the OMGPOP.com website following at the end of September.

Cupcake Corner, Gem Rush, Pool World Champ and Snoops will all cease to operate on August 29, and their host website will close on September 30. The move will not have an impact on the operation of Draw Something, Draw Something 2 or Draw My Thing.

However, as those games are now Zynga-branded, it does mark the ultimate disappearance of the OMGPOP name. Zynga acquired the studio and its IP for $180 million less than 18 months ago. The bulk of its staff were made redundant in June.

According to a report on TechCrunch, which cites multiple sources familiar with Zynga, the OMGPOP team made a final attempt to save the studio's website. Multiple team members attempted to buy OMGPOP.com on an independent basis, but Zynga refused. Other employees then offered to operate the site for free, but Zynga remained steadfast.

The sources claimed that the site and its games were profitable enough to make their existence as independent entities worthwhile. Zynga has not commented on the rumours.

9 Comments

Bruce Everiss
Marketing Consultant

1,692 594 0.4
Obviously they are going to focus on core IP that is profitable and which can be developed.
Going for the Nintendo strategy and not the scattergun EA strategy.

Posted:A year ago

#1

Christian Keichel
Journalist

682 925 1.4
So this means these games are lost forever. Preservation of web based games is an impossible task.

Posted:A year ago

#2

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,266 2,405 1.1
Popular Comment
So they buy a studio and their IP, axe the majority of the employees and then kill off most of the IPs themselves.

Bruce, that is exactly the EA model. Right, Bullfrog, Origin, Westwood, Pandemic, DICE Canada and Phenomic?

Posted:A year ago

#3

Bruce Everiss
Marketing Consultant

1,692 594 0.4
@Jim Webb

I don't know if you noticed, but Zynga had a recent change in management.
I was alluding to this change leading to a change in business strategy.
That getting rid of commercial dross and concentrating on commercial gold was evidence of a change to focus.
So what is history is history.

Posted:A year ago

#4

Lewis Brown
Snr Sourcer/Recruiter

198 56 0.3
Do I detect that your not EA's greatest fan Bruce?

Its a shame for OMGPOP I wish all the employees luck and maybe they can start again and create another draw something!

Posted:A year ago

#5

Rick Lopez
Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,269 942 0.7
haha! "Draw My Thing"... read that and it cracked me up...

Anyway, I got alot of flack for my opinions against letting a big company buy your smaller company. Its not always a good choice. Back then I had argued that it had short term benefits, but not good long term benefits.

OMGPOP was doing well enough that it could stand on its own. I remember Draw something being a particularly hot game.... meaning lots of people played it.

But now we see Zynga doing its thing. Profitting off others creations. And in the whole time if they couldnt aquire a company they would clone there games.

I view Zynga as one of the worst things to happen to the video game industry, sorry all this talk about social and mobile being the future is not a topic I swallow as easily as people who have stakes in them and have no choice but to make such statements. What this shows is that mobile and social are not the future but simply another business alternative towards games. And just like all the others, console, MMO, it has its cons. It aint what the suits make it out to be.

And for all the talk praising Zynga back in the day i always saw this coming exactly like "Jim Webb" states: So they buy a studio and their IP, axe the majority of the employees and then kill off most of the IPs themselves.

Then all these social games and F2P games, you spend money on them for them to one day go offline whenever the company feels like it, and your left with nothing.

No Im not a fan of Zynga at all...

Anyway, feel sorry for the employee's hope they can find another job. It really touched me when in the article it said the employee's were willing to operate the website for free...

Posted:A year ago

#6

David Amirian
Writer

59 3 0.1
best thing to do is to document its existence.

Posted:A year ago

#7

Christian Keichel
Journalist

682 925 1.4
best thing to do is to document its existence.
Yeah, but is this enough? It would be a major step forward, if publishers like Zynga would release the source code of their abandoned games, like ID software did it in the past. I know this is rather unrealistic to expect, but pure documentation of a game is like having photographs from a stage play. These games will be lost forever and future generations will scratch their heads when reading about people obsessed with something like Farmville, sad but true.

Posted:A year ago

#8

Matt Jeffries
Senior Producer

16 16 1.0
Crappy for the employees but Zynga is not stupid. Why would they let the ex-employees continue to operate an online games site that is in direct competition to Zynga.com when they can just redirect the traffic back to their own site?? Of course they wouldn't.

Posted:A year ago

#9

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