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Zynga hopes 'Draw Something' will catch on with China gamers

SAN FRANCISCO -- Zynga on Tuesday launched “Draw Something” in China as it moved to get non-English speakers caught up in the craze for the mobile phone game based on representing words with pictures.

The San Francisco-based social games star made an alliance with Sina Weibo to let people play “Draw Something” at the Chinese social network and added “new English word choices that are more relevant to the Chinese speaking audience.”

Versions of “Draw Something” were localized in 12 more languages including French, Italian, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese.

“Draw Something has only been available to players in English since its launch and became a cultural phenomenon across the globe,” said Zynga chief mobile officer David Ko.

“We are excited to be able to give back to our players around the world by offering an experience that is more locally relevant to them,” he continued.

“How do you draw 'caliente'? — Spanish for hot — “We'll soon find out.”

“Draw Something” quickly became a hit after it was released in February by New York City-based OMGPOP, a startup bought by Zynga in March due to the success of the game.

In “Draw Something,” players use touch-screen strokes to create a pictures of words that friends must figure out to earn points and get turns at drawing.

“Draw Something” is available free at Apple's App Store and at the Google Play online shop for Android smartphones. The Simplified Chinese version of the game is only available at the App Store.

A report by analysts at Cowen & Co. said Zynga may not get the revenues some people expect if Facebook users gravitate to mobile devices.

“We believe that mobile devices may be siphoning off an accelerating number of gamers from Facebook,” the report said.

“Facebook itself is increasingly being accessed by mobile devices, however it is not possible to play Facebook-native apps through Facebook on a smartphone.”

Zynga makes and operates the online games FarmVille, Mafia Wars CityVille, Words With Friends and Zynga Poker, and gets most of its customers from Facebook.

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