World With Friends, the hit mobile word game that has been installed more than 200 million times since it began distracting your buddies since 2009, is getting the TV game show treatment. MGM Television and Zynga have made a deal to collaborate on the project, which will incorporate elements of other Zynga word and puzzle games.
MGM TV’s unscripted success includes the Mark Burnett-created The Voice on NBC, CBS’ Survivor, ABC’s Shark Tank and Steve Harvey’s Funderdome. Its most recent hit, Fox’s Beat Shazam — hosted by Jamie Foxx and also based on a mobile app — was just renewed for Season 2.
“The interactive social experience of Words With Friends makes it the perfect mobile game for us to bring to primetime, following our success with Beat Shazam on Fox,” said MGM president of unscripted television Barry Poznick. “Playing Words is a daily ritual for some of the biggest names in Hollywood and we’ve created the perfect format to capture their competitiveness and creative wordplay.”
Zynga says an estimated 55 million Words With Friends matches are played globally at any given moment, with the app available on all platforms including Facebook. The game is most similar in rules to Scrabble, but the mobile game features chat and random opponent functions, and as many as 30 games can be played at once.
“Over the past eight years, Words With Friends has proven to be a place where millions of people connect with their friends and family from around the world every day,” said Bernard Kim, president of publishing at Zynga. “We’re proud to partner with MGM, an industry leader in creating innovative and engaging programming, to extend the iconic gameplay and rich social experience of Words With Friends, and our broader collection of With Friends games, to new mainstream entertainment mediums.”