Feeds

EA sues Zynga over ripping off Sims Social

Claims to represent designers everywhere

Security for virtualized datacentres

Electronic Arts has launched a legal crusade against troubled online games company Zynga, claiming that The Ville is a direct rip-off of the game Sims Social by EA subsidiary Maxis.

"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," said Maxis boss Lucy Bradshaw in a blog post.

"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."

Bradshaw says that Maxis launched Sim Social in August 2011, while Zynga brought out The Ville in June 2012. She claims they not only stole the theme of the game, but also design choices, animations, visual arrangements, and character motions and actions.

"It's unfortunate that EA thought that this was an appropriate response to our game, and clearly demonstrates a lack of understanding of basic copyright principles," Zynga’s general counsel, Reggie Davis, told the LA Times in a statement. (El Reg got no response.)

"It's also ironic that EA brings this suit shortly after launching SimCity Social which bears an uncanny resemblance to Zynga's CityVille game. Nonetheless, we plan to defend our rights to the fullest extent possible and intend to win with players," Davis said.

It's not the first time Zynga has inspired legal action over games copying. In 2009 David Maestri, creator of Mob Wars, sued Zynga over similarities in its game Mafia Wars, eventually settling out of court for a rumored few million dollars. One of Zynga's most popular games, Farmville, also looks very similar to the earlier game Farm Town from software firm Slashkey, although the former has millions more users.

Several former Zynga employees told SF Weekly that they were encouraged to copy the games of competitors directly by CEO Mark Pincus. "I don't fucking want innovation," one ex-employee recalls Pincus saying. "You're not smarter than your competitor. Just copy what they do and do it until you get their numbers." ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
EU probes Google’s Android omerta again: Talk now, or else
Spill those Android secrets, or we’ll fine you
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.