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Mobile gaming: #Zynga buys OMGPOP

Zynga announced on Wednesday that it has acquired OMGPOP, a mobile game maker, for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition comes as Zynga, the maker of popular Facebook games like CityVille and FarmVille, tries to expand its mobile offerings and become less dependent on the social network.

Founded in 2006, the New York-based OMGPOP struggled to gain traction for years before releasing Draw Something six weeks ago. The mobile application– a game in which friends guess each others’ sketches– has recorded more than 35 million downloads and has rocketed to the top of the iTunes charts.

As of Wednesday, the game, which comes in a free and paid version, ranks as the top grossing application and the top paid and top free application.

“The OMGPOP team has created a game that’s fun, expressive and engenders real social interaction,” Mark Pincus, Zynga’s chief executive said in a statement on Wednesday. “Draw Something has captured the imagination of millions of people around the world.”

Shares of Zynga, which went public in December, rose about 2 percent in late afternoon trading on Wednesday.

Although Zynga did not disclose the price, OMGPOP had talked to multiple suitors in recent weeks, including GREE, the Tokyo-based game maker, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The discussions valued OMGPOP at roughly $150 million to $250 million, these people said.

Glu Mobile shares closed 5% higher in today’s trading session on the renewed M&A action in the mobile gaming sector. We think it’s ony a matter of time that the first public offer for G5 Entertainment will emerge as well.

Nordic Investor

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