Electronic Arts is pretty upset over Zynga’s new Facebook game The Ville, saying it is near-identical to EA’s own game, The Sims Social. Aside from filing a lawsuit against Zynga, and releasing videos on Youtube showcasing the similarities, the publisher also has thrown some serious criticisms of Zynga in the lawsuit claim itself.
In the claim, EA describes “stealing someone else’s game and changing its name” as part of Zynga’s “well-known competitive playbook”; alleging that the social gaming giant “explicitly discourages innovation” as part of its business model, favouring outright plagiarism instead.
The claim reads: “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 creative development and innovation, but rather has been achieved through cloning rivals’ games.
“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 competitors.
“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 willful, intentional conduct that lies at the heart of Zynga’s business model.”
Zynga responded to the lawsuit by calling it “ironic”, accusing EA in turn of copying CityVille with SimCity Social. If Zynga really did intentionally copy EA’s game, they have a right to be angry considering it is currently the most played game on Facebook.