After the Zynga acquisition of Draw Something creator OMGPOP, all eyes have been turning to the company’s rivals to gauge their reactions. In the case of EA at least, the response has been little more than a yawn and a dismissive wave of the hand. According to EA Corporate Communications rep John Reseburg, buying up unproven properties really doesn’t mean much.
“This reinforces the value of PopCap, a studio with multiple proven intellectual properties,” he told GamesIndustry.biz. PopCap, which created such multiplatform hits as Peggle and Plants vs Zombies, has basically been a cash cow for EA, with a string of hits that have all spent time atop the bestseller charts.
Not everyone sees EA’s decision to lay off as wise though, as others believe they missed a major opportunity. “Of course EA would spin it as how good their PopCap deal was,” said Panoptic Management Consultants CEO Asif Khan, “but their stock is down because they didn’t buy OMGPOP.” Khan and others believe that if EA had opted to buy OMGPOP and added them to the stable alongside PopCap and Playfish that they would have created an unstoppable mobile juggernaut.
While it’s true that OMGPOP has a fairly sizable roster of games, Draw Something is really the first one to capture widespread attention. Yes, the company has the capacity to create another hit game, but if publishers chased down every one-hit wonder out there then they’d be holding hundreds of companies, only a handful of which are profitable. If the OMGPOP acquisition ends up being a masterstroke for Zynga then EA can give themselves a thorough kicking, but in the meantime we’ll just have to wait and see if discretion is the better part of valor.