Can Draw Something Be Saved?
I always like to think of myself as ahead of the curve. When Draw Something first came out I was one of the first (that I knew) to turn my back on it after trying it; there are only so many times that you can draw a picture of Justin Beiber for someone else to guess. My biggest issue with Draw Something is that I just couldn’t see how the idea could stay fresh and I always thought that, unlike the Angry Birds phenomenon, the game would fall away and die a death. Whilst it isn’t there yet the fact that Twitter isn’t a buzz with people offering out their usernames just shows that others have finally started to see the light.
In the last month Draw Something’s daily active user figures dropped from 14.3 million to 10.4 million (according to analyst group App Data) and while that is a pretty alarming drop it doesn’t tell the whole story. As a free App the daily/monthly active user figure isn’t necessarily the most important stat that people should be looking at. The figure that will reveal the most about the ongoing success of Draw Something is how much customers are appending on In App Purchases (IAP).
If Draw Something is still attracting people to purchase new items in the game with real currency then it’s not going to be a huge issue to Zynga… for now. Of course with a declining number of users it means there are less people who you can convert from just playing the game for free to those who actually give you money on a regular basis, and this is where Zynga need to use their brains and figure out what is next for Draw Something.
Can Draw Something become as successful over a sustained period of time like Angry Birds? I personally don’t think so, how much can you innovate what is essentially Pictionary? What can be done? For starters updating the amount of things that you are asked to draw – I mentioned earlier that I had to draw Beiber god knows how many times while I had fifteen games on the go, when Draw Something first released.
Maybe there could just be a free drawing option where you play against someone else and you create your own word to draw. How about a time attack mode where you only have 30 seconds to draw the item and 30 seconds to guess; just something a little different than what they offer now. Again they aren’t major innovations but they are tweaks to the current format that has shown be successful.
Retention in the freemium space is always going to be the biggest nut to crack for developers and publishers; how can we keep people coming back and spending money? It’s a huge headache (borderline migraine) that Zynga have right now especially after spending $210 million on acquiring OMGPOP, a price that was questioned heavily at the time. It is certainly going to be interesting to see what the future has in store for Draw Something.
So as the first sign of cracks appear what do you think can be done to improve Draw Something? Or do you think it is app that won’t last much longer?