According to critics of the deal, Zynga overpaid for the game just as it was hitting its peak, it will never recoup the purchase price and it could even be scantly remembered by consumers in a year’s time.
Zynga, of course, which has been looking to move away from its dependence on Facebook social games, sees things differently. Not only is Draw Something “a game that will live on for years,” Zynga’s COO went so far as to call it an “evergreen franchise.”
While that may still seem like a stretch, Zynga’s critics may have been a little bit too eager to dismiss Draw Something’s long-term potential. Perhaps the strongest evidence of that? A report in Variety indicates that television network CBS has picked up a pilot for new show based on Draw Something.
According to Variety, the Draw Something-based program will have “Teams of celebrities and everyday users [testing] their skills in front of a studio audience to earn money and big laughs. Viewers can also play along at home for a chance to win prizes and compete with the celebrities.”
Sony Pictures Television, Ryan Seacrest Productions and Embassy Row are behind the show; Ryan Seacrest is said to be one of the executive producers, although he apparently won’t have an on-air role. According to Variety, CBS won a bidding war for the pilot, but although the network isn’t actually obligated to put it on the air, Variety expects it to be fast-tracked to a 2013 debut.
Obviously, the popularity of Draw Something doesn’t mean that the game, which may have been one of the fastest rising in history, will thrive as the basis for a television show. After all, other internet phenomena haven’t been slam dunks on the small screen. Just look at Sh*t My Dad Says.
But the interest amongst the television networks in taking a punt on a popular game that didn’t even exist a year ago suggests that the internet-to-television trend is just getting started. That’s likely good news for gaming companies like Zynga.