Will This New Thorn Come Back to Bite Zynga?

Zynga’s (NASDAQ:ZNGA) $183 million purchase of OMGPOP Inc. is drawing flak after the declining popularity of its “Draw Something” mobile game.

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The initial euphoria around the game helped push it to the top of Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) mobile store ranks and also made it the highest grosser in the store. But the game now stands at a lowly 18 in the rankings, and is only the 23rd highest-grossing app.

Investors are also miffed that Zynga’s stock has halved over the past two months, not least due to its over-dependence on Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), which is itself under a cloud after its IPO became controversial due to its lowered revenue guidance.

In damage control, Zynga is likely to place more advertising in the game in collaboration with Dreamworks Animation (NASDAQ:DWA) to boost revenues.

In defense of the game, Zynga claims it is an excellent asset that still attracts millions of players. “We think of it as a game that’s an evergreen franchise,” said John Schappert, Zynga’s chief operating officer. “It’s a game that will live on for years.”

In other moves to bolster the game’s fortunes, Zynga added social networking features such as messaging between players and plans to add more languages to expand its global reach.

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