No sooner has the smash-hit social game Draw Something been bought up by Zynga  than we hear that China’s Tencent (HKG:0700) has already cloned and localized it. The promo images (above and below) suggest that the crafty remake will be called Guess What and will soon appear in an iPhone version.
Since it might be impractical to use Chinese characters in the Pictionary-style game, it seems that Tencent’s Guess What will rely on the romanization – aka: pinyin – so that all the possible letters can be included as a clue. From this leaked image, it appears to be inevitably integrated with Tencent’s own QQ Games platform:
Tencent is China’s social gaming giant, running the full gamut from the most casual of social games right on up to MMO titles like Crossfire.
However, let’s not forget that Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) isn’t exactly innocent of such light-fingered lifting, having essentially purloined its iconic FarmVille game from the Chinese social network Kaixin.
Quick to the Draw
But wait! From browsing the iTunes App Store, I see that even Tencent has been beaten to the draw by a tiny Chinese game studio called MelonZone. Its Draw Something clone is called You Draw I Guess (pictured above) and instead uses Chinese characters, with the apparent main clue being how many characters are involved. It was released on March 31st. Check that out on iTunes.
Tencent PR staff, meanwhile, were not immediately available for comment, perhaps because it’s the first day of a three-day public holiday in China. We’ll update and test out the Tencent game once it goes live.
[Source for Guess What news: Techweb – article in Chinese]