Peter Kafka

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A Year After OMGPOP Sale, Zynga Exec Dan Porter Leaves

dan porterA year ago, OMGPOP CEO Dan Porter sold the games maker to Zynga for $180 million-plus, and became the head of the company’s New York outpost.

Now he’s out.

Porter’s departure isn’t a huge surprise, given both his timing (presumably long enough to hit certain employment and/or earn-out goals) and the fact that Zynga ended up writing off at least half of its OMGPOP deal a few months after it closed.

That said, it would have been nice if Zynga had been straightforward about Porter’s status when I asked them about it 15 days ago. Oh, well!*

OMGPOP, as you might recall, was the games startup that was running on fumes until it came across Draw Something, an iOS game that became a huge hit. Late last month, the company rolled out a sequel.

Here are some words about Porter’s departure, and his replacement, that Zynga is attributing to COO David Ko:

“Developing and launching games is a team effort, and we’re proud of the great work the Zynga New York team has done with Draw Something 2. Our follow up to the original hit is even more social and engaging, and we’re excited to get it into the hands of our players globally. We thank Dan Porter for his efforts in making the Draw Something franchise a success and wish him well in his future endeavors. We’re proud to see talent like Sean Kelly take a bigger leadership role as the Head of our New York studio and lead the team to the global launch of Draw Something 2.”

*To be fair, Porter could have done the same when I asked him.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work