Sometimes in life we all make impulse buys that we regret. But not often does it involve a $180 million purchase. As such, Zynga doesn’t have a lot of company to console itself if it ever has buyer’s remorse when it comes to OMGPOP, the one-trick pony that developed the incredibly popular mobile game Draw Something. The only problem is that Draw Something is starting to fizzle out just a matter of weeks after the acquisition happened.
So was it a mistake for Zynga to snatch up the mobile gaming startup so quickly, and for so much money? At least one person in the industry thinks so, and he has a little bit of clout. He is, after all, the CEO of one of the biggest video game companies in the industry. John Riccitiello blasted the deal in a conference call with analysts today. He was quoted as saying that EA is not the kind of company that throws around money just to buy an “instant one-hit wonder.”
“There’s an awful lot of noise around a brand when it rises” but “You have to have a belief that it will last for a very long time,” he continued. It’s somewhat ironic coming from EA, which has been accused of being an acquisition hoarder itself. But Riccitiello said there was a distinction, and he pointed out that EA likes to “invest” in smaller companies, not just swallow them after they make a little blip on the industry’s radar. However you put it, if you have EA saying negative things about the acquisition of a smaller gaming studio, then it’s probably pretty bad.