Zynga might be the only video game company in the world that is more despised than EA. So it makes perfect sense that EA would sue Zynga for copyright infringement. The argument is over the game The Ville, which EA Maxis says is basically a clone of The Sims franchise. Maxis general manager Lucy Bradshaw had a lot to say on the issue:
“The legal reasons are solid. But for creative teams who feel that their hard work and imaginations have been ripped off, there’s obviously an emotional element too,”As outlined in our complaint, when The Ville was introduced in June 2012, the infringement of The Sims Social was unmistakable to those of us at Maxis as well as to players and the industry at large. The similarities go well beyond any superficial resemblance. Zynga’s design choices, animations, visual arrangements and character motions and actions have been directly lifted from The Sims Social. The copying was so comprehensive that the two games are, to an uninitiated observer, largely indistinguishable. Scores of media and bloggers commented on the blatant mimicry.
“This is a case of principle. Maxis isn’t the first studio to claim that Zynga copied its creative product. But we are the studio that has the financial and corporate resources to stand up and do something about it. Infringing a developer’s copyright is not an acceptable practice in game development. By calling Zynga out on this illegal practice, we hope to have a secondary effect of protecting the rights of other creative studios who don’t have the resources to protect themselves.”
Like Bradshaw said, this isn’t the first time Zynga has been accused of stealing from other games. The developer of a game called Tiny Tower also called out Zynga for copying their game with a game called Dream Heights. However, NimbleBit the developer of Tiny Tower didn’t have the resources to sue Zynga so they took the high road: ”Good luck with your game, we are looking forward to inspiring you with our future games!”.
EA suing Zynga might be the most ironic thing that has ever happened in gaming. EA has spent the last six years copying everyone else and now they are suing someone for doing it to them. Lets make a short list of everything EA has copied from someone else: Origin, Battlefield 3 Premium, and the annualizing release of a military first person shooter game. I could go on and start naming games that are specifically ripping off other games like Army of Two and the Gears of War franchise but that would take way to long.
I am not saying Zynga doesn’t rip off the competition (they do it and are proud of it), just that EA should be the last people complaining about being ripped off. They haven’t had a original idea since Mirrors Edge and it didn’t sell well enough so they threw the franchise away. I hope Zynga does get taken down but this is a extreme case of pot calling the kettle black.