If you love Pictionary and have always wished there was a way you could play the game as and when you pleased, the app for you is currently dominating the free and paid-for Apple and Android download charts in more than 85 countries around the world.
Draw Something, a smartphone app that allows you to play a version of Pictionary on your phone, has taken the world by storm since it was released at the beginning of February. In less than two months, the program has been downloaded more than 35 million times. The app is available for free on Android phones, but smartphone owners can download an ad-free version for 69p.
Three drawings a second were being created by people who downloaded the program when it launched. By the middle of February, this number had rocketed to 3,000 a second. Last week, more than 1 billion drawings were created by players of the game.
The app allows players to use a pallet of colours to draw their interpretation of a word for somebody else to guess. As a reward for guessing correctly, players get coins they can exchange for extra colours for their pallet or “bombs” which can be used to simplify the game. Players who would like to expend their pallet without achieving the necessary level of success can pay money to get more colours.
Draw Something is regionalised so players in different parts of the world are not asked to draw things they would be unfamiliar with. US sports stars are not included in the UK edition of the game for instance.
The runaway success of the app has transformed the fortunes of its publisher, and serves as a salutary reminder how one hit release can make its creator extremely wealthy. Draw Something looks set to become the biggest story in the world of apps since the Angry Birds, if only in terms of media coverage.
New York-based game developer OMGPOP was on the brink of bankruptcy before the game took off. Just six weeks after Draw Something’s launch, the firm was snapped up by Zynga, the developer of the popular FarmVille and CityVille games, for $180m (£113m) in cash. Zynga paid $53.3 million for Words With Friends publisher Newtoy in 2010. Disney and Electronic Arts were also reportedly interested in acquiring OMGPOP on the back of its one successful product.
Charles Forman, the 32-year-old founder of OMGPOP, told reporters how his bank balance leapt from just $1,700 to “a whole lot more” after the deal. Although he remained tight-lipped on exactly how much money he personally received from the sale, but was willing to concede that it was “way more” than $22 million.