EA Suing Zynga Over The Ville to “Take a Stand” for Smaller Studios

Everyone knows that Zynga copies other games in order to make its own. Even CEO Mark Pincus has admitted it:

“I don’t fucking want innovation. You’re not smarter than your competitor. Just copy what they do and do it until you get their numbers.”

Well, okay then, Mr. Pincus. As alluded to earlier, Zynga has a track record of copied game developers issuing public statements pointing out Zynga’s transgressions. Zynga has typically ignored or scoffed at such complaints. Previously, most, if not all, of the copied developers were indie and thus could not really issue a formal complaint against Zynga or take the company to court.

Now, however, EA has decided that enough is enough. The company has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Zynga, lodging that “The Ville is an ‘Unmistakable Copy’ of EA’s The Sims Social.” The official comment from Lucy Bradshaw, General Manager of EA’s Maxis Label, follows below:

“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. The similarities go well beyond any superficial resemblance. Zynga’s 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. Scores of media and bloggers commented on the blatant mimicry.
“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.
“Today, we hope to be taking a stand that helps the industry protect the value of original creative works and those that work tirelessly to create them.”

Not sure what the fuss is about? Want some video proof? Check out the video below:

Show Press Release »

EA Files Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Against Zynga

The Ville is an “Unmistakable Copy” of EA’s The Sims Social

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. –(BUSINESS WIRE)– Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) today announced that it has filed a lawsuit on behalf of its Maxis Label against Zynga Inc. for infringing EA’s copyrights to its Facebook game, The Sims Social.

In the complaint, which was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California on August 3, 2012 , EA claims that in Zynga’s recently-released Facebook game The Ville, Zynga has willfully and intentionally “copied and misappropriated the original and distinctive expressive elements of The Sims Social in a violation of U.S. copyright laws.”

The Sims Social, launched in August 2011 , brought the distinctive universe of EA’s world-renowned franchise, The Sims, to the social gaming audience on Facebook. An instant hit, The Sims Social rapidly gained tens of millions of users, and maintains a current user base of several million active players on Facebook.

Lucy Bradshaw , General Manager of EA’s Maxis Label, commented on the lawsuit in a blog posted to EA’s website, www.ea.com:

“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. The similarities go well beyond any superficial resemblance. Zynga’s 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. Scores of media and bloggers commented on the blatant mimicry.

“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.

“Today, we hope to be taking a stand that helps the industry protect the value of original creative works and those that work tirelessly to create them.”

To read the entire post, visit: http://www.ea.com/news/eamaxis-sue-zynga-for-copyright-infringement.

About Electronic Arts

Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: EA) is a global leader in digital interactive entertainment. The Company delivers games, content and online services for Internet-connected consoles, personal computers, mobile phones, tablets and social networks. EA has more than 220 million registered players and operates in 75 countries.

In fiscal 2012, EA posted GAAP net revenue of $4.1 billion . Headquartered in Redwood City, California , EA is recognized for a portfolio of critically acclaimed, high-quality blockbuster brands such as The Sims™, Madden NFL, FIFA Soccer, Need for Speed™, Battlefield™ and Mass Effect™. More information about EA is available at http://info.ea.com.

The Sims and Need for Speed are trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. Mass Effect is a trademark of EA International (Studio and Publishing) Ltd. Battlefield is a trademark of EA Digital Illusions CE AB . John Madden, NFL and FIFA are the property of their respective owners and used with permission.

EA Corporate Communications
John Reseburg , 650-628-3601
jreseburg@ea.com

Source: Electronic Arts Inc.

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