If you rewind the App Store clocks to around a month and a half ago, there was absolutely nothing out there hotter than Draw Something [$2.99 / Free]. OMGPOP went from some Flash portal social game company I'd never heard of to releasing a game that even the most extreme non-gamer type friends of mine were relentlessly harassing me to take my turn. Draw Something's popularity was so explosive, that I wouldn't be surprised if it's mentioned in several GDC talks this year as other developers try to divine the secret sauce that caused the game to go so incredibly viral.

What almost instantly followed the success of Draw Something was $210m acquisition by Zynga, spawning all sorts of entirely too predictable Zynga hated across the internet. You'd think that the might of the Zynga empire backing the game would only cause its popularity to grow, but Develop did some digging into some figures published by AppData, who believe that Draw Something's popularity is in a steady decline, already losing five million daily active users.

Even after this decline, I'm not sure you'll find too many game developers out there that'd complain about retaining ten million daily active users. What about you guys? Are you still playing Draw Something? Did you delete it after the Zynga purchase? If you're still playing it, do you notice as many of your friends still at it?

[Develop via VG24/7]

  • http://twitter.com/mashead2000 Lee Massheder

    Played it to death to begin with but as always i got bored after awhile so hardly play it now - nothing to do with Zynga, got particularly sick of matching up with people who just wrote the words instead of drawing them

    • http://twitter.com/SquishedMitten Tyler Piderit

      Lack of people paying for the title as well. Not as many words when everyone is playing the ad-supported version. Got boring really fast.

    • mclifford82

      Same boat here, and I was HOOKED for the first few weeks.  Part of it was that the count never went above 99, so that really cinched it for me.  

      • http://twitter.com/solitha Kathy Clifford

        The 99 cap has been fixed.

        For myself, I paid for the app before Zynga's involvement. I still love the game, and still play it with the same number of people, but I really dislike Zynga in general. I probably wouldn't have gotten into, much less purchased, Draw Something if Zynga beat me to it.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/EAMRT7D5BBJYNP6Y55FCXHQ5RY Karl Jason

    I don't think it has anything to do with Zynga's acquisition. It's just the game itself...it's fun and addictive for just the first few days of playing it, but then it just gets old and tired fast. It's just the way the game is structured - never ending. What may seem like its strength is also its weakness. It also doesn't help that there are way too many repeats, and too many "cheaters" who write out the words.

    Honestly, I had no idea Zynga was involved with the game in any way, and because Draw Something is purely casual, I doubt the majority of the players even cared about who acquired who either.

    • http://twitter.com/MagnusTriolith Magnus Söderberg

       Totally agree on this. The game itself isn't really very fun for any longer period of time. It's fun the first couple of days then you mainly go MEH!. I'm not even sure i would call it a game actually.

  • AdamBlades

    Yeah. I think it was a stupid move of Zynga to acquire the studio. Draw Something was a fad that was going to get old. It was really brilliant at first, but everyone's got bored of it. It's not like Angry Birds where new level packs and content keep the gamer locked in. Waste of money.

    Well done Zynga.

  • http://twitter.com/AhiruDuck Ahiru Nakamura

    still playing it, my drawings take time though (and I'd wait yours as long as it takes) - hook me up (Ahiru Duck) if you want to play for real (no word-writing) 

  • http://rumblecat.wordpress.com/ Rumblecat

    I suspect it's a mix of two things- like Lee said there's a probably a level of boredom that set in. But I also know a lot of people who stopped playing once that enforced Facebook integration was slipped into the last update- mainly out of fear of Draw Something spamming their friends' walls as a result. 

    • http://twitter.com/Tweety3_1415 Alexander Walker

      that is precisely why i stopped playing- the thought that anybody could post on behalf of me at any time really bothers me.

      • http://rumblecat.wordpress.com/ Rumblecat

        There is a way round it- (deep breath)... you have to go into your Facebook privacy settings and then into 'ads and apps', and then into 'apps you use' and then find the one for Draw Something and then scroll down to 'posts on your behalf' ("Who can see posts this app makes for you on your Facebook profile?) and then set it to "Only Me".

        Which is a total pain in the neck to have to do just to play a simple drawing game. 

  • MadMilkMan

    You can only "Draw Something" for so long.. Then it gets repetitive..

    • http://www.jshamblin.com J.Shamblin

      You don't have to draw the same thing the same way each time. Try and be more creative.

      • http://zqp.me/ Brad

         Many of us just aren't that creative.  I think the more artistic types hold onto the game longer but for most it lost flare pretty quick.

  • Adams Immersive

    I for one have abandoned all things Zynga. But I fear most users haven't even heard about the reasons for doing so.

  • http://twitter.com/akjak Ariel Phifer

    I deleted it when it wouldn't obey my notification settings (that is, it kept notifying me when I had all the notifications OFF.) It even notified me when there were new words to buy. That, plus all the bugginess had me delete it in nerd rage.

  • nonstickron

    Charadiium is better, for so many reasons.

  • alex birch

    they need new words badly. deja vu otherwise.

  • araczynski

    never heard of this till the zynga thing, then tried it, deleted after a minute. 

  • http://twitter.com/Kakitamike Mike Walko

    Still playing, but haven't updated to the zygnified version.

  • evilsearch

    deleted after zynga bought this. nothing personal, just hate the freemium company.

  • http://twitter.com/Zghying John Dickerson

    I got bored with it rather quickly, but my wife still plays. Too many games too little time.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mobileosterberg Geoff Osterberg

    I lost interest after a week. It just didn't hold up any longer than that. In all fairness, the Zynga acquisition happened around the same time, so it was more like the straw that broke the camel's back rather than the initial catalyst. 

  • http://twitter.com/woodesh matthew wood

    the chart could apply to any game if you remove the numbers. i hope zygna don't learn and continue down this path.

  • http://twitter.com/Micahsa Micah Peterson

    I can't even get my wife to respond to my nudges (in game or out of game), let alone other users. 

    I think the main issue is the lack of progression.  It's like an endless runner with no score, just different backgrounds.  It needs more depth in the form of bonuses/achievements for:

    - speed.  draw faster, get rewarded
    - colors used, both more and less
    - drawing without using eraser
    - group play - you put out a drawing to a group of friends and the one who guesses the answer the quickest gets higher rewards

    Any or all of the above would add a bit of depth.

  • MetalJesusRocks

    I was passionate about the game...for about 2 weeks. Now, it feels like a job and it's lost some of it's fun.

  • Marc Chow

    After getting the new iPad while on vacation in Hawaii.  This was the first game I got my wife hooked on! She loves it... However she said it needs more words! Beyond having some people just "write" the word so they can get points to buy colors, the game will need to expand their words so it has the ability to last longer... If not, I predict the 5 million to drop by more over time.  While conceptually this is a great game the longevity and thus staying power diminishes based on actual amount of words in the game!

  • MidianGTX

     I didn't like the Zynga acquisition at all, but I was already getting slightly bored of the game. Much like one of the games it's inspired by, Pictionary, it's not something you need to play every day. I don't think anybody actually makes the likes of Monopoly, Twister and Jenga a regular deal. You bring them back out for fun every once in a while and that's enough.

  • http://twitter.com/ShaunJonesLA Shaun Jones

    There's nothing for me to keep coming back to play this game. No leaderboards. No achievements. They have added no new drawing tools and I always get the same words over and over. Zynga never takes any good feedback from their players.

    CHARADIUM 2 is a much better game and the developer is always responding to the TA forums. TA should write an article on that game! I'm tired of hearing about Draw Something.

    • http://twitter.com/SquishedMitten Tyler Piderit

      Gonna give Charadium a shot! Sounds awesome!

    • KenGriffeyIII

      Charadium is probably the most unfortunately named game in the app store.

  • neodoru

    didn't delete it yet, but didn't play anymore after zynga acquisition. The rumors about how the company treated those employees made me avoid its games.

  • http://modmyi.com/forums/iphone-4-new-skins-themes-launches/740147-neurotech-hd.html#post5637502 Jay

    It just takes forever to get points.  Obviously they structured the game around IAP, rather than any kind of gaming progression.   

    For instance, I grinded through about 50 games and I STILL couldn't buy a single new color.  I finally bit the bullet and bought some new colors and suddenly the fun of gaining points became a tedious, grueling uphill climb.  

    This makes it feel less like a 'game', and more like work.  It needs to be more 'gamey'.  Points that actually mean something, and perhaps some basic shapes.  How about stamps of basic shapes?  The same way you'd select line width could be used to select shape sizes.  The game is too... simple. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5FLRQI2X2LU3IHMCG7HEAEFD5I Cat Astrophy

    Does this happen for companies that get bought out by EA?

  • KenGriffeyIII

    I hate Zynga a lot but I had already stopped playing this game before they bought it. Once I guessed "Kanye" after my friend drew a brown circle I knew I was done with the game. I actually deleted it once Zynga bought it though cuz I felt like I was sticking it to them lol.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Wayne-Choi/705875099 Wayne Choi

    While I believe the Zynga acquisition likely has affected a very, very small portion of the daily users (ie. only people who stay somewhat on top of these things, and not the millions of average very casual gamers) I feel the post may be searching for causal effects of Zynga when it's much more likely just temporal coincidence.

    Personally, I absolutely loved it at the beginning, and couldn't put it down. After playing it incessantly for a while, it got stale. I barely noted the Zynga acquisition when that happened, and didn't really care that much. Just got over played, and nothing at all to do with Zynga.

  • http://twitter.com/Ravenblack7575 Ravenblack

    I think it's mainly that it doesn't have enough words. After a while, it feels like you are drawing the same thing over and over and you know what people are generally trying to draw. Not much fun after that.

    Unless they update it with new words regularly, I think the game is gonna go into decline.

  • http://twitter.com/terryjr91 Terry Hardwick

    Stopped playing before Zinga bought it, but will never download again because they did.

  • http://twitter.com/tfobf  tfobf

    "What almost instantly followed the success of Draw Something was $210m acquisition by Zynga, spawning all sorts of entirely too predictable Zynga hated across the internet."

    Great writing HODAPP gb2gbs

  • LegoKnockingShop

    When your entire content is just words, the narrow selection is astonishing. The game doesn't need to do any back end checking, it just needs to put 3 random words out there. Why isn't it just pulling 5,000 random words a day from the net? I must have drawn and seen 'Viking' 30 times now. Minf boggling short sightedness.

    Surprised Zynga bought the company for this. They must see the IP as worth a lot because they could have cloned this and improved it very easily.

    Personally I'd like them to put a 'speed up' option when watching users draw stuff, and the option to view the end pic for longer if you skip. The joy is seeing the end result, not the process, but sometimes when you 'skip' a masterpiece flashes by that someone clearly took a long time to make. But watching someone etch away for 5 mins is pretty dull. Find a middle ground there please.

  • http://pcurd.co.uk/ Peter

    As soon as Zynga bought them I stopped playing, as soon as the new Zynga terms and conditions appeared in the update description, I uninstalled. I won't touch Zynga, they hurt my beloved Tiny Tower.

  • http://twitter.com/electricfoo Electric™

    yep, boycotting all zynga games ever since they ripped off tiny tower
    those guys are soul-less demons

  • http://twitter.com/booch138 Booch138

    This game was stupid addictive for me. I got it a little bit later than everyone, but I gave in after enough people haggled me for it. I played the shit out of it for like 2 days straight. Couldn't get it out of my hands. Then after seeing the same words more often, and generally just getting tired of it, after TWO days, I quit. Nothing to do with Zynga, though I probably wouldn't have even considered it if it initially was a Zynga game. That's why I hate these kinds of games. I like games with Staying power, and I know it's a casual game, but it just got stupid boring fast. Plus I got the free version, so it took forever to get additional colours, which I never even got around to getting. I saw some interesting shit, and some cool stuff people make up. But I just don't really care about it anymore. The ship has sailed.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/BPJ5U3IS5OGXJCRE5MZHISHWBI Leah

    I uninstalled for 2 reasons:
    1 - When the facebook integration started, it all of a sudden took like 2 minutes to load
    2. I started getting SPAM - got notifications that 'babymama' 'teenmom' and 'octomom' had sent me drawings. I don't think so!

    • http://twitter.com/AhiruDuck Ahiru Nakamura

      about #2, it was never spam, it was a notification about new words coming to the game... and you can always disable app notification. (lots of apps do that, some announce updates like Order and Chaos, others tell the player it has been a while since they last played, like Homerun Battle 2, etc)

  • eloahj

    I think it's because the game is glitched for so many players, where they never get to take a turn when trying to play a game with someone.  The last update was supposed to fix the problem, but it did not fix it.  My guess is, tons of people downloaded it only to have to delete it because they could never get it to work properly.

  • http://twitter.com/visceralrevolt Daniel Beswick

    I believe this has less to do with the acquisition, and more to do with it being a fad. When it launched, everyone was playing it. It was the new hip thing. It was the very definition of a trend. And I don't mean that to sound negative, as I myself was totally hooked on it. But now its time has passed and people, who previously loved it and couldn't get enough, have now lost interest and moved on with their lives. A month ago I'd receive anywhere from twenty to thirty turn updates every day. Now I barely get two a week. Nothing to do with the acquisition or any ill-will towards zynga, just that people have got over the fad, had enough, and moved on with their lives. While I don't believe the acquisition is to blame for that, it does perhaps make said it the most ill-advisedly expensive impulse buy ever.

  • http://www.jv21.com/ John V. Keogh

    Not tried it, but apparently Zynga have added brands like Coca-Cola to the word lists, so I will not try it now.

  • http://www.facebook.com/erand Eran Davidov

    It's going through a typical cycle of people liking it then getting bored. They've been doing some nice things lately (e.g. adding chat to the game) to get people more engaged. I wonder if the graph would show the impact of allowing people to talk (not through writing words on the board) or the new words they've been adding even to the free version.
    In any case Zynga bought a studio. What they do from there on is stil TBD.

  • ZenMonkey

    I wasn't going to quit on principle due to Zynga. But then came the announcement that to celebrate Mother's Day they added BABYMOM, TEENMOM, and OCTOMOM. To *celebrate.* That yucked me out enough not to want to play anymore. That quitting is a zinger to Zynga is just icing. 🙂

  • http://2nihon.com 2nihon

    Zynga didn't change anything. I'm still playing.

  • infi

    I was super turned off once zynga acquired the game - it all went downhill as soon as I saw their first game update with Facebook integration, then alerts telling me there were new words - you couldn't just let me see them for myself..?

    what I haven't seen mentioned though, is the words themselves. a hard word I encountered was "taiocruz" - their new words are just as awful as seeing repeats forever. I play this with my mother, who isn't knowledgeable at all with music artists, much less "entertainment" news subjects like "octomom" or "teenmom." that is what really sealed the deal for me... it became less timeless and more "how much people magazine do you read?".


    I uninstalled it just now, I detest Zynga and really dislike anything that links to Facebook. I blocked all apps on FB only to have my tablet want to go in and reopen the spam, umm no thanks. Goodbye Draw Something.

  • D3LN3GRO

    i have ~ 20 friends on DS. half dont play anymore. around half of those stopped playing pre-zynga. the other half stopped post-zynga. of the people still playing, NONE play daily or even everyother day. just me. some people play once/twice a week, others play like a couple times a month.
    i hated the new menu look and i miss the stats but i think that was pre-zynga. seriously all they need to improve on is just adding new words, maybe colors (dont care too much about it), disabling colors (if you accidentally bought them...guilty as charged), bombs as prizes every so often and maybe somehow moving around the HUD cuz the bottom of the picture is covered up when you are watching people draw. there has been issues ever since zynga bought it: games freezing up, current sessions reset because it reloads if pull up another app and sometimes it doesnt accept my turn and i have to re-draw once or twice. oh and something about using DS on multiple devices...wtf? its on an ipad and on my iphone. whats the problem? it works just fine. i shouldnt need to be alerted about that every few days.