Remember Draw Something? It’s back! In sale form! The online Pictionary-style game is on sale for $0.99 USD, down from $2.99 USD.
Draw Something by OMGPOP
A recent study published by mobile analytic provider Flurry revealed a depressing metaphor: the quick burnout that follows the rise of a popular social game is comparable to the fleetingness of youth. One day you’re burning bright, then the next you’re a doddering old relic forgotten in the corner of Shady Pines Rest Home. Tragic stuff, but the report outlines why Zynga should have seen the fall of Draw Something from a mile away.
According to Flurry’s study, people enjoy playing social games for a time, but the burnout rate is incredibly high. Flurry likened a social game’s quick lifespan with that of a mobile dating app. ‘For most people, we can assume that finding a long-term ‘˜significant other’ is the ultimate goal of dating. As a result, the app maker should expect customer churn. While usage may be high during the time when a consumer looks for a suitable partner, once that person is found, usage stops.’
Users reportedly get tired of social game apps in three months or less. In a sample of apps used 1.7 billion times per week, Flurry discovered that people’s interest runs red-hot at first, and they play a new social game app about 7.9 times per week on average. But then there’s a major dropoff: one month later, 47% of players are still interested in the app, then 34% after 60 days, and then 29% after 90 days.
Zynga learned these numbers the hard way. After it acquired Draw Something, the active user base quickly dropped from 15 million to 10 million. Now, it has about 2 million users, and Zynga stands to be out $100 million on its investment.
When you put all this together, it becomes clear that social games will probably endure as a genre– but long-term investment in social games is unwise at best.
Asynchronous multiplayer in social games has undeniably found its groove on iOS devices. It seems like every month there is some new flavor that the community tends to gravitate towards. One month our phones are getting hammered by Words with Friends requests, the next it’s Family Feud & Friends, and so on. Draw Something By OMGPOP appears to be the latest social craze that is finding a growing audience, and we wanted to see if the hype is justified.
Draw Something is a one-on-one version of the classic game Pictionary ,where you guess what picture your opponent is drawing. We have seen two excellent takes on this type of game from the Charadium series, but those focused on live match play with groups of people. Draw Something is completely turn-based; you aren’t guessing in real-time. For folks used to playing Zynga’s ‘With Friends’ games, they will feel right at home.
Getting going is straightforward in Draw Something. The UI is very clean and spartan and, in turn, makes playing the game extremely intuitive. Your opponents can come from your Facebook friend list, username searches, email invites, or random selection. Again, the UI is simple, allowing the matchmaking to do its thing without issue.
Uh-thank you very much.
Jumping into a game provides you three choices of objects or things to draw, in ascending difficulty. When it is your turn to guess your opponent’s picture, you have a series of random characters to select from, not the full alphabet. Bombs are a tool to eliminate letters, theoretically increasing your chances for success. As you correctly guess pictures and and have your pictures solved, you earn coins, which are the game’s currency. Coins allow you purchase bombs or new color palettes to work with in the game. As expected, you can flat out purchase coins using your own dinero, par for the course in these kinds of games
Unlike the Zynga games, the point here is not in winning, but rather continued engagement by taking turns. Much like Charadium, Draw Something excels because of the great collection of items to draw. Each game you’re playing in has a cool collection of stats and analytics that allow you to view trends of color choices, word difficulty, and how long you’ve been playing. The community has already proven to be a creative one, inspiring new approaches to drawing pictures. Having seven games running concurrently means our phones and iPads are constantly going off, but there is a lot of fun to be had here.
The real draw of Draw Something comes in its brilliant simplicity. It is very tempting for a developer to throw in the kitchen sink and add all kinds of complex layers, but this game knows what it is and excels in it. The tools to draw do not have the same depth of Charadium II, but our fun is not diminished one bit. Also, the inability to chat or send messages between rounds is an odd omission. Regardless, if you are looking for a new digital opiate to indulge in, look no further.