Zynga’s Draw Something took home the Best Social Network Game award during last night’s ceremony at the 3rd annual Game Developers Choice Online Awards. The win could be considered a bit of a breakthrough for Zynga. Even though the company’s games were nominated in 2010 and 2011, Playdom won the award last year with Gardens of Time and won again with Social City in 2010.
The odds of winning were strongly in Zynga’s favor as three of the company’s games were among the five nominees. Nominated along with Draw Something were EA Playfish’s The Sims Social, Cygames/Mobage’s Rage of Bahamut and Zynga titles CastleVille and Empires & Allies.
Draw Something has received a great deal of attention in recent months, attracting millions of users soon after its debut. The game hit the 20 million download mark during its first five weeks and 50 million downloads after 50 days.
In March of 2012, the popular title was sold to Zynga by creator OMGPOP for 180 million dollars in cash. David Ko, chief mobile officer at Zynga, played Draw Something from the day of its launch and felt it would be a good investment for his company. ”There were all these really nice, surprise moments,” said Ko. “The words, watching the drawings, I was really enjoying it.”
Ko discussed the importance of social networking and using social games to keep in touch with friends:
“People are busy. They want quick ways to say hi, to keep in touch. And there is no better way to do that than through games. Maybe you don’t have time to call but if you are playing a game together, to me it feels more social. I have lots of friends I keep in touch with on Facebook but when I do this one to one thing with Draw Something or Words With Friends, it feels a little bit more special.”
Social gaming demonstrated its increasing popularity at this years awards. In addition to the big win for Draw Something, Idle Games’ social title Idle Worship was nominated for the prestigious Online Innovation Award, but lost to the critically acclaimed PSN adventure game from thatgamecompany, Journey.