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Zynga reportedly paying $200m for gaming start-up

Deal would add Draw Something to its portfolio

David Paul Morris/Bloomberg News

Farmville maker Zynga went public last year.

SAN FRANCISCO - Zynga Inc. agreed to acquire OMGPOP Inc., adding the popular application Draw Something to its portfolio of games played on Facebook Inc. and on Apple Inc. iPhones.

Zynga will pay about $200 million for the start-up, said a person familiar with deal, who asked not to be identified because the terms weren’t made public. OMGPOP will remain headquartered in New York, the companies said in a statement, which didn’t disclose the purchase’s financial terms.

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The biggest maker of social games is stepping up spending on acquisitions after paying a combined $147.2 million for 22 companies in 2010 and 2011. Zynga, which raised $1 billion in a December initial public offering, aims to lessen its reliance on Facebook, accounting for more than 90 percent of its sales.

“They have done a lot of acquisitions of small game companies along the way,’’ said Brian Blau, research director at Gartner Inc. “Most of those acquisitions were for talent rather than titles. This is a case where they are buying a title’’ already popular with users, he said.

OMGPOP’s Draw Something, a game in which users take turns guessing what their friends draw, has 22.4 million monthly users on Facebook, according to the website AppData. A mobile version for iPhones and iPads released in February is currently the most popular program in Apple’s App Store.

Adam Isserlis, a spokesman for San Francisco-based Zynga, declined to comment on the price of the acquisition.

Facebook takes a 30 percent cut of virtual goods sold in Zynga’s games. Earlier this month, Zynga took the wraps off of Zynga.com, a game-playing hub separate from the social network.

In 2010, Zynga acquired Newtoy Inc., the developer of the mobile application Words With Friends, for $53.3 million, according to a company filing.

Zynga shares rose 2.5 percent to $13.72 at the close in New York. The stock has climbed 46 percent this year.

Technology blog TechCrunch reported earlier this week that Zynga could pay between $150 million and $250 million to acquire OMGPOP.

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