Today, I am sharing my analysis on “Words with Friends” (the most popular and entertaining scrabble game) which I got after reading many  articles.

About the creators of Words with Friends!!

Game released in July 2009 by Newtoy, a small studio run by two brothers, Paul and David Bettner, in McKinney, Texas. Later Zynga acquired Newtoy in late 2010 and rebranded as the division Zynga with Friends (well-known flash game developer). The’re focussed on developing social-based games to play online.

Success Story of Game:
Words with friends has 14.9 million monthly active users and 6.7 million daily users, both on Smartphones and on facebook, according to AppData.

What is a Game all about?

Words with friends is a scrabble -style  word building game  where you have  to create  words to rack up points.  And with  in-game chat, you can give props or talk a big game.

Chat with Friends Feature:

  • Facebook friends, Contact-list, “Random Opponent” etc.
  • Play upto 20 games at once.
  • You can do other mobile activities while playing.

Secret Sauce: Social Element (Chat while playing) that was baked into the game from early on!

Available on Platforms:

  • Android
  • Facebook
  • iPhone
  • Desktop
  • Windows

Key Success Factors:

  • Simple and familiar crossword gameplay you know and love
  • Turn-based design lets you play up to 20 games simultaneously
  • Play with your friends or match-make instantly with a random opponent
  • Stay in touch with friends  and family with in-game chat messaging
  • Notifications tell you when it’s your turn.
  • Can be played  by any age group
  • Players can “chat” with their opponenets during  games by messaging

Development Strategy:

Although, I haven’t found much on their development strategy, but got something which might can help developers:

They follow two kinds of code strategy:

Functional Code:
They make small-small functions or methods to perform their task in the  project. Doing  this they are able to fix the bugs or error easily.  It also increase the reusabilityand easy  to understand the code by other developers.

Maintainable Code:

  • As they use functional code, it is easy  to maintain the code
  • Issuses raised by users are fixed in short time

Designing Strategy

  • The goal was something lightweight and casual, something anyone can pick up immediately, without an instruction manual.
  • Simple Menus
  • Removed  unnecessary  and less-used features, such as  picking  opponenets, setting up challenge mode games, selecting a dictionary, etc.
  • A smooth, top-notch interface

Marketing Strategy

The game earned money through:

  • Ads
  • An ad free paid version
  • in-game  purchase option

And the mainstream popularity of the title helped  build buzz  for Zynga’s $1 billion IPO

  • Two Aggrawall’s brother released  Scrabulous as FB app in 2007 but Scrabble  owner raised  copyright issue  and sued the Aggrawallas for copyright infringement. So, words with friends came at the right moment for scrabble like mobile games.
  • Multiple Social Networking Sharing options (facebook, twitter, g )
  • Ability to start game  with people  on the contact list
  • They ran many contest to engage and drive users
  • Released update on Valentine’s Day which resulted in 100,00 more users
  • Users find it a virtual dating scene & multiple studies shows gaming demographics are shifting to include more females
  • Involved in new and big campaigns like HONDA 2013 Accord
  • Interstitial ads:
    • Ran word of the day campaign from Oct 6-12. In 4 day campaign Zynga claims that more than 220,000 words were played.  Similar desktop reward-based campaigns with brands including Nordstrom and McDonald’s
      • This particular campaign leveraged the eight billion minutes each month spent playing Words with Friends and Scramble with Friends and reaches players through the mobile games they love.
  • Active on Social Networking Sites like Fb, Twitter, g

What Can we learn ??

  • Try to fix bugs in short time
  • Simple Menus
  • Spend more time on look & feel(planning)
  • Wise selection of Ads: Ads involved should be chosen which motivates users to play a game more


Although, I have read lot of article on “Words with Friends” but the information shared in the blog is best of my knowledge. It can be different from the actual one.

I would like to have your comments or feedback if any !!