Burning Down the Farmville: Electronic Arts Sues Zynga Over Games
Ruh Row, Zynga ... Farmtown vs Farmville and The Sims Social vs The Ville
LOS ANGELES, CA - Electronic Arts recently announced they are suing Zynga for copyright infringement. In the suit, they allege that Zynga's recently released Facebook game The Ville copied EA's The Sims Social. This is not the first time that Zynga has released similar games if you look at the full complaint.
This is not good news for Facebook either, who gets a sizable amount of revenue from game developers like Zynga and others - especially since Facebook stock prices are still well below their IPO price.
According to a press release, it was clear to "those of us at Maxis as well as to players and the industry at large" that The Ville from Zynga is similar to The Sims Social, said Maxis general manager Lucy Bradshaw.
She cited Zynga's design choices, including animations, visual arrangements, and character motions, saying they were "directly lifted from The Sims Social."
"The copying was so comprehensive that the two games are, to an uninitiated observer, largely indistinguishable," Bradshaw said.
PC Magazine wrote:
In January, the three-person team at NimbleBit accused Zynga of ripping off their popular Tiny Tower game with Zynga's Dream Heights game. Game developer Buffalo Studios later said Zynga's social bingo game Zynga Bingo is a clone of its popular Facebook game Bingo Blitz.
From the suit:
EA believes and therefore alleges that Zynga did not achieve its success in online social gaming through creative game design and innovation. To the contrary, it is widely reported, and EA believes and therefore alleges, that Zynga explicitly discourages innovation in game design and instead watches successful games, plays and analyzes those games, and then creates its own games that closely follow the games of its competition. Zynga's practice is well recognized, and demonstrates that the substantial similarity between The Sims Social and The Ville is not mere coincidence, but is the result of a willful, intentional conduct that lies at the heart of Zynga's business model.