Electronic Arts has said it is trying to “stand up for the industry” with the high-profile lawsuit against Zynga over some alleged copyright infringements. Now, we all know that Zynga is the King of Copyright Infringements and gets away with it fairly easy. But not this time, the rope has snapped and Electronic Arts is ready to bite and stand up for small game development studios all over the world.
Earlier, EA filed a suit against Zynga claiming that its new Facebook game, the Ville, was an obvious rip-off of EA’s, The Sims Social, from last year. Electronic Arts/Maxis label General Manager Lucy Bradshaw said at the time: “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.”
“The team that created The Sims Social created things out of their own heads based on something we created a long time ago called The Sims,” EA COO Peter Moore told Eurogamer in an interview at least weeks GamesCom.
“When we looked at The Ville we felt somewhat affronted by what we saw as copyright infringement. We also feel from an industry perspective that a number of these things have happened before related to Zynga, but there’s never been a company that has the wherewithal and the resources to take it to the next level. We do.
“So, we’re defending our Maxis studio, and we’re standing up for the industry. The roots of what we do as an industry is creative, from the minds of people who sit there and build storylines and characters and mesh it all together and work hard to do it. You take years to do that. And when you see somebody, quite frankly, take months replicating what you’ve done, you’re upset. We were upset. We were upset for Maxis.
“And we’ve seen enough of it from an industry perspective, with smaller publishers and developers who also put their hands up and said, this is not right, but I don’t know what to do about it. We do.”
Moore had pointed towards a tweet by the iOS indie developer Nimblebit, whos game Tiny Tower as cloned by Zynga for its game called Dream Heights, as an example of the support that Electronic Arts is getting. When the news of the lawsuit between Electronic Arts and Zynga came up, NimbleBit had tweeted: “You have my sword.” The official EA Twitter page replied to NimbleBit: “You have our shield.”
While Electronic Arts isn’t the best company in the world, I applaud them for standing up for all the game developers that just don’t have the resources to go against Zynga. Electronic Arts is one of my favorite companies, and this really reaffirms that.
“We got a lot of that and the teams respond to that,” Moore said. “And privately we’ve had a lot of feedback directly to our teams, to Lucy in particular, who’s well known in the industry, and she more than anybody has been part of The Sims since the Will Wright days of creating it. She was upset about it. And we decided to do something about it.
“And yes, privately the industry has sent us nice messages of support. We’re a creative industry, and your tools should be your mind and the digital tools to create the characters. It shouldn’t be a photocopier, and that’s what we saw there.”
Zynga has said that they deny any wrongdoing and will be standing up to defend themselves. Poor Zynga, is it not fun getting sued? As they say, “you reap what you sow.”
Good on you, EA!