EA Sues Zynga for Copyright Infringement
Well, in a world where video game controversies are seemingly becoming a trend and lawsuits of mega power companies are popping up almost as much as a teenage boy at a strip club; it seems that EA has decided to jump on the bandwagon with Farmville master, Zynga.
EA has issued a lawsuit against Zynga “on behalf of Maxis”. EA claims that Zynga’s new social game, on facebook, copies “original and distinctive expressive elements of the SIMS social in a clear violation of the US copyright laws”
Personally, I haven’t played either of these but I have read up on The Ville and what it is about and I have to say, I was reminded of the SIMS upon reading it. So, I can only imagine that Electronics Art does have ground for such a lawsuit. Maxis General Manager Lucy Bradshaw argues;
“The similarities go well beyond any superficial resemblance. Zyngas design choices, animations, visual arrangements and character motions and actions have been directly lifted from The SIMS Social. The copying was so comprehensive that the two games are, to an uninitiated observer, largely indistinguishable”
If you recall in the past, Electronic Arts aren’t exactly the first company that have claimed infringement against Zynga. The developers of an iOS game entitled Tiny Towers, also came out publically and said that Zynga’s game, Dream Heights, was guilty. But because the developers that created Tiny Towers isn’t a well-established one as of yet, they weren’t able to pursue. Bradshaw has stated in a blog on EA’s official website;
“[We are not the first to make claims against Zynga] but we are the studio that has the financial and corporate resources to stand up and do something about it. Some will say The Ville simply iterates; some will tell us to get over it and move on. We are confident in our position, and that we will prevail”
Of course, Zynga is currently in another legal battle, filed on behalf of shareholders, accusing the company of insider trading with stocks.
I guess the real question here is, does EA have grounds to really sue Zynga for The Ville? I haven’t played neither SIMS Social nor The Ville because I am personally not into the facebook game scene but I have played the SIMS, and based on what I hav eread about The Ville, they are similar. Zynga does defend themselves, saying that the recently released SimCity Social is quite similar to CityVille; saying that EA stole ideas but personally, this is a little iffy. EA’s SimCity franchise has been around for years and there are many SimCity games out there so if anything, wouldn’t CityVille be infringing on SimCity; despite the latter being released to Facebook on a later date?
It’s a confusing thing fellow readers but one thing is for sure; Zynga seems to have been hit with lawsuits and controversy and it will be interesting to see what happens from here.