Well what do we have here? Apparently Electronic Arts thinks Zynga ripped off The Sims Social and is now taking the social games giant to court. More specifically, Electronic Arts claims that Zynga committed copyright infringement with The Ville, which does look quite similar to The Sims Social. Of course, we’ve known that EA has felt this way about The Ville for a while now, with EA complaining about the similarities between the two since The Ville launched in June.
Anyone who follows gaming probably knows that being accused of stealing is nothing new for Zynga. Many of Zynga’s games can look similar to other games out there, and usually the games Zynga is accused of copying were made by small teams of independent developers. This means that most developers don’t have the financial backing to be able to take Zynga to court, so nothing typically happens aside from a bit of bickering.
Anyone who follows gaming also knows that Electronic Arts isn’t a small indie developer. EA has more than enough money to throw at a lawsuit against Zynga, and in a 36 page complaint filed with a federal court in San Francisco, EA makes no bones about pointing out the similarities between the two games. It also gets in a few zingers at Zynga, like this one from point four of the complaint:
As The Sims Social increased in popularity and visibility, Zynga turned to its well-known competitive playbook: “Steal someone else’s game. Change its name,” then cross-promote the Zynga clone to its extensive user base. It has been widely reported that much of Zynga’s current position in the online social gaming market is not the result of creativedevelopment and innovation, but rather has been achieved through cloning rivals’ games.
Electronic Arts is demanding a jury trial, and is seeking damages and all of the profits made by Zynga’s perceived copyright infringement. EA definitely isn’t shy about claiming that Zynga copied The Sims Social, but ultimately that decision rests with the jury (if there’s a trial at all). Stay tuned, because this is sure to be a very interesting lawsuit.