Interview with the author of Draw Something

The success of the funny Draw Something application indicates that virality in the mobile gaming business is not only there, but is also able to bring the original application to the top without attracting large advertising budgets. 

About your project in an interview pocketgamer.biz told Dan Porter, executive director of OMGPOP studio.

Now we can talk about another phenomenon, but what preceded the success?Before Draw Something, we released a lot of games.

We developed projects for the mobile market, released them on Facebook and just on the web. And every time we believed that the game we were working on would be a hit. We believed that we would succeed, however, when we started developing games, we did not suspect that it would take us five years.

What was the process of creating and developing Draw Something?Very, very routine.

We took our old game as a basis, transferred it to mobile rails, played it a lot, testing it. We wanted to be sure that it was convenient to play on mobile devices, because many of our team thought that it was not suitable for them at all. Their main argument was that hardly anyone would like to type answers, as is usually done on the web. So we changed this moment a little. He was the key to success. 

When did you realize that you had a hit on your hands?After the number of downloads reached 30 thousand downloads on the first day.

I remember thinking at the time, “another 30 days and we’ll get a million.” 

How did you promote the game? Have you spent a lot on attracting users?We spent quite a bit during the first weekend to reach 6th place.

We didn’t spend a penny after that. At GDC, almost everyone told us that we must have spent a lot of money to get into the top in the first place. They couldn’t believe we hadn’t spent a penny. 

After that, I realized how cynical our industry is after all: bots, marketing, large advertising budgets. But it’s not about us. We are an anomaly. The same anomaly that projects such as Temple Run, Angry Birds, Words With Friends are. So it’s not about marketing. People just like our game and they tell their friends about it. 

Was it difficult to launch the game immediately on iOS and Android? And how much, in your opinion, does cross-platform affect the success of the game?One of our developers, Steve, is a real expert on Marmalade.

He put together both versions, so at first it seemed that everything was pretty simple. But the Android version was worse. And while on the App Store, Draw Something was already in first place in the charts, the Android version occupied the 78th position in Google Play. 

When she disappeared from sight altogether, two of our Android developers came up to me and said they wanted to make the game as comfortable to work with as on iOS. They made a new version of the application in about two weeks. After that, the game really took off in the chart.   

As for the importance of cross-platform. This was extremely important for us: users like to play our game with their friends. Actually, this is what everything is built on. And it is clear that everyone cannot have any one brand of the device. Although, if we were doing a single-player game, it would not be so fundamental.      

What are your plans for further support of the game, the creation of a franchise? First, keep working.

Secondly, develop Something Seasons and Draw Something Rio. I’m kidding. 

In fact, supporting the application and working on the franchise is a big strategic decision. So, to be honest, I do not know the right answer to this question. I’ll let you know when I find out. 

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