Since getting sued by EA over a month ago, Zynga has been relatively quiet about the publisher’s allegations that The Ville was a blatant copy of EA’s game, The Sims Social. To rub salt in the wound, The Ville swiftly overtook The Sims Social in Facebook player numbers.
Zynga has now responded by not only denying the allegations, but also filing a counter-suit against the publishing giant, accusing EA of violating anti-trust laws.
Zynga has filed a three-part claim; the first part aiming to negate parts of EA’s claim that Zynga believes are “redundant, immaterial, impertinent and/or scandalous matter that is unfairly prejudicial to Zynga.” According to Zynga, similarities between the games are coincidental as they are both “life simulation” games, and these standard elements are not covered by copyright law.
Zynga’s counter-suit claims that EA CEO John Riccitiello is trying to establish an illegal “no-hire” agreement with Zynga that would prevent the social gaming juggernaut from headhunting EA’s employees. According to the filing, the CEO was upset by so many of his employees jumping ship and had now “gone on the war path” to put a stop to it. According to Zynga, EA’s lawsuit is an attempt to do exactly that.
EA has made an official response, unsurprisingly denying Zynga’s allegations.
“This is a predictable subterfuge aimed at diverting attention from Zynga’s persistent plagiarism of other artists and studios. Zynga would be better served trying to hold onto the shrinking number of employees they’ve got, rather than suing to acquire more.”]
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