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Codebreaker

EA sues Zynga

John Moe Aug 6, 2012

Electronic Arts has filed a lawsuit against Zynga, claiming that Zynga’s game The Ville is a total ripoff of The Sims Social, a social game from EA based on the popular Sims franchise.
The Inquirer quotes EA GM Lucy Bradshaw:

“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,” she adds.

“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.”

Among other claims, EA says that the eight character types you can play in The Ville are the same as in The Sims Social  and that the color palette of skin color is identical in Zynga’s game as it is in EA’s game, which came out a year earlier. The case is seen as being a test case for the game industry, especially online games where the titles are pumped through pretty fast. There are plenty of games that are arguably inspired by other games – take a look at Asteroids and Space Invaders for instance – but how far can you imitate before it’s no longer inspiration but theft? Since this case pits two of the biggest companies against each other, the outcome will be watched carefully. 

Zynga is also planning several new titles: Donkey King, Pack Man, and, of course, Call of Doody.

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