Draw Something turns one under Zynga's banner, celebrates 100 million downloads
It's hard to believe that it's only been one year since Draw Something debuted on the App Store. Few apps have run the full cycle of popularity faster than Draw Something, which started as a huge word-of-mouth release before being acquired by Zynga. A year later, many iOS gamers have Draw Something in their rearview mirrors, but the executive in charge of the game says it's not over yet.
Dan Porter is the CEO behind Draw Something's original developer. He now serves as a VP and General Manager at Zynga. Porter recently spoke with Mashable about what's going on with the game these days.
Even though Draw Something has fallen out of the public eye, Porter notes, the game continues to be very popular with more than 11 billion drawings created, and more than 28,000 years of game play contributed by players. Traffic has leveled off, admits Porter, but the game still has a sizable amount of daily active users and has topped 100 million downloads.
So how can Draw Something regain the limelight it once enjoyed? Porter didn't share Zynga's plans, but he says there are some surprises in the pipeline, while name-dropping both Coca-Cola and kryptonite. So, more branding deals and corporate partnerships, I'd guess.
Here's an interesting thought experiment: If you were running Draw Something, how would you get it back to its initial popularity? If it were me, I'd slim the app back down. The Zynga purchase has added all sorts of crufty nonsense to the experience and the initial popularity was based on just how simple and fun the original game was. At the same time, though, I'd also build out the metagame a little bit. The core back-and-forth drawing game should stay simple, but I'd add some progression elements like goals and achievements to keep veteran players interested. Finally, I'd rebrand it as a newer, better version ("Draw Something Else," maybe?), just because I think the original Draw Something brand was hurt so much by the Zynga acquisition.
But we'll have to see what Porter and his team have planned. He says that despite the well-publicized transition, they're still all together and hard at work on improving the game.