Could Zynga Make Back The Money It Spent Acquiring OMGPOP?

Peter Deng was joined on our Facebook Ecosystem CrunchUp stage by Zynga product development VP Sean Kelly, Bump CEO David Lieb, and Xyologic co-founder Matthaus Krzykowski to tackle the prospect of creating and nurturing “modern” mobile applications.

One of the juicier tidbits that came to light during the panel came courtesy of Zynga’s Kelly, who noted he believed that the company would make its money back on its multi-million dollar OMGPOP acquisition.

“It’s been a good contributor to our numbers,” Kelly said to moderator Kim-Mai Cutler.

Fine, it may not be the most shocking revelation considering how vehemently the social gaming company has defended its purchase of the Draw Something creator since it all went down back in late March, but Kelly did note that the company learned quite a bit from the process. He notes that towards the beginning, popularity was so high that users would spend whole afternoons crafting doodles and shooting them to friends — a process that could potentially sour an otherwise fun gameplay mechanic. In hindsight, he says it would have been better if Zynga had implemented some sort of limit to prevent the game from becoming too much of a chore as users sought to keep their streaks going.

That said, there’s no question that Draw Something’s subsequent traffic dips have been a real bummer for Zynga.

“We acquired Draw Something pretty close to the peak of their traffic,” he said. “It’s disappointing to see the traffic dip, and I think it was a testament to how viral word of mouth can be.”

Kelly wasn’t kidding — shortly after the acquisition was announced, Draw Something still played host to over 14 million daily users. Now, according to figures from AppData, the social guessing game is down to a mere (relatively speaking) 3 million active users per day, or roughly 9% of the company’s overall daily mobile userbase. It may seem as though interest in the game is drying up at an alarming rate, but the current state of affairs is still nothing to sneeze at. Rumblings of a Draw Something television show continue unabated for one, and Zynga recently revealed it had partnered up with Hasbro to create (what else?) a Draw Something board game.

“We still feel like it’s a really valuable thing for us,” Kelly noted. “Both from the standpoint of acquiring the team and acquiring a brand we think is going to live a long lifespan.”