Even though the app is only five weeks old, the turn-based Pictionary-style game called Draw Something, created and developed by New York-based gaming company OMGPOP, has risen to the top of the iOS and Android App Stores. The addictive drawing and guessing game boasts 25 million registered users, 10 million active daily users, and almost 1 billion paid ad impressions per day.
Draw Something is enjoying an incredible run. Currently, OMGPOP's app is the No. 1 Top Paid iPhone App and Top Free iPhone App in the App Store, and the No. 1 Top Free App on Google Play (formerly the Android Market). Draw Something is also the No. 1 Top Free iPad app in the games category, and is in the Top 5 of many other charts in over 80 countries.
Draw Something was officially released on Feb. 6 after making a successful run on OMGPOP's own website, which offers 25 addictive Web-based games to play for free. The game has picked up so much steam that, according to TechCrunch, OMGPOP is looking at developing a TV show based around the No. 1 hit game on Apple's and Android's mobile platforms.
The explosive growth of Draw Something has rivaled that of Angry Birds, Temple Run and Words With Friends, causing investors to pour money and resources into OMGPOP. The company is in purchase talks with Electronic Arts, and could receive a term sheet worth $25 from Institutional Venture Partners. Meanwhile, OMGPOP has received plenty of celebrity endorsements -- at least over Twitter -- from culture shapers like Miley Cyrus, John Mayer, and Vinny Guadagnino of Jersey Shore fame.
Dan Porter, the CEO of OMGPOP, explains that Draw Something is taking off more so than other iOS and Android games because it's centered around people, not a gameplay gimmick.
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This isn't about a game like Angry Birds or Temple Run, which are awesome games but are single player and designed experiences, Porter told TechCrunch. And this isn't like a social game like Words With Friends which is also an awesome game, but played on a fixed game board. This is about communication. It is a structure or a platform for users to communicate back and forth through drawings and shared personal experiences.
It's official. I'm addicted to DrawSomething. I need an intervention.
— Miley Ray Cyrus (@MileyCyrus) March 9, 2012
Draw Something has three ways to make money. Players can buy the premium app for $0.99, or buy the free ad-supported version of the app. In the game itself, users can use virtual currency to buy bombs, which let players skip over difficult words, or expanded color packs to draw more detailed pictures. Wilson Kriegel, OMGPOP's chief revenue officer, said half of the company's revenues are coming fro people who upgrade from the free app to the premium version, while the other half of revenues are split 50-50 between ads and virtual currency.
eCPMS are disappointing, Kriegel said. Our partners aren't used to dealing with explosive growth versus a more natural process. I feel like we could double our ad revenues and be making more than six figures a day from that if it were managed well.
As of a few days ago, Draw Something jumped from 0 to 200 million ad impressions per day. It's not bad at all for a weeks-old game, but the company hopes to do better with more premium advertisers. Given the attention the company is getting over its rocket ship of a mobile game, there's an excellent chance OMGPOP will figure out a way to create a healthier revenue stream. Then, who knows? Maybe OMGPOP will finally have the recipe to compete with Zynga, one of the biggest social gaming companies in the world.