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Ryan Seacrest bringing Draw Something to TV

Show is an attempt to head off steep decline in game users

Technology trends and news by Steven Loeb
June 16, 2012 | Comments
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/2798

Remember the game show Win, Lose or Draw? It ran in the late 80s and was basically watching regular people and celebrities, like Burt Reynolds and Ricardo Montalban, play Pictionary. Well, as they say, everything old is new again, and now the show is essentially being relaunching, except this time with a mobile twist.

Mobile game Draw Something is coming to CBS, according to a report from Variety on Friday.

CBS engaged in a bidding war with the other networks, which will be produced by Sony Pictures Television, Ryan Seacrest Prods. and Embassy Row.

Seacrest will serve as one of the shows executive producers, but no host has been named.

Draw Something involves two players. One draws a picture and the other has to guess what it is. The television show will involve teams of celebrities and ordinary people competing. Variety says that the show will incorporate secondary screens, such as mobile phones and tablets, though it was not specifically stated how this would be accomplished.

The show is expected to hit the airwaves midseason.

Draw Something was an instant success, seeing 35 million downloads in its first six weeks. This led to its developer, OMGPOP, being purchased by game development company Zynga for $180 million.

The purchase initially looked like a winner when Draw Something became the top paid app in the iTunes store. Numbers have severely fallen off since then, though, as the game has lost seven million users in the past month. The purchase of a small game company that had only seen a single success has now led to criticism of Zynga for being too hasty and overspending.

(Image source: Venturebeat.com)

Zynga has also been seeing its stock drop recently. On Tuesday, Zynga shares lost 11.8%, falling below $5, more than 50% from its IPO price. Zynga makes 90% of its revenue off games played on Facebook, but those games have been seeing big drops in recent months.

Bringing Draw Something to television may be the best way for Zynga to revive its flagging purchase. A recent comScore study of ten television networks found that over 90% of those surveyed accessed network content on a television, rather than on the Internet or a mobile device.

When broken down by age demographic, those aged 12-34 were far more likely to access content only digitally, while those over 50 were much more likely to access it through a television.

If Draw Something is a success, it could mean interesting things for the future of the relationship between TV and the web. Such successful integration could lead to any number of interesting possibilities.

Bringing Draw Something to television is not the only way Zynga is attempting to revitalize the game. On Tuesday, Zynga announced that it would be partnering with Jennifer Lopez and Enrique Iglesias to promote the launching the game in 12 new languages. The two artists will be playing Draw Something with users on Twitter for the week before the start of their North American tour on July 14. The game will also feature a “JLo Enrique" option in a new Special Words free feature.

Zynga could not be reached for comment

(Image source: awesomedrawsomes.com)


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