When two of the widely considered “evil” game companies start fighting, it’s hard to choose a side. EA is suing Zynga over their new social media game ‘The Ville,’ alleging that the company is ‘in clear violation’ of copyright laws.
Maxis general manager Lucy Bradshaw wrote:
“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.”
“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.”
Zynga’s General Counselor, Reggie Davis had replied to Lucy’s statement saying:
“We are committed to creating the most fun, innovative, social and engaging games in every major genre that our players enjoy. The Ville is the newest game in our ‘ville’ franchise – it builds on every major innovation from our existing invest-and-express games dating back to YoVille and continuing through CityVille and CastleVille, and introduces a number of new social features and game mechanics not seen in social games today. 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. 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.”
Editors note: I especially like the part where Reggie Davis mentions “We are committed to creating the most fun, innovative, social and engaging games in every major genre that our players enjoy.” Due to the fact that it that doesn’t seem to really be the case after Zynga’s CEO Mark Pincus was caught saying “I don’t f**king want innovation. You’re not smarter than your competitor. Just copy what they do and do it until you get their numbers.”
Below is the entire legal document from Scribd and you can see the gritty details about the upcoming lawsuit. We will keep you posted as this situation develops.