Two of gaming’s biggest companies are going to head to head after EA filed a lawsuit against Zynga, saying that Zynga’s The Ville guilty of copyright infringement on EA’s The Sims Social.
EA Maxis general manager Lucy Bradshaw claims that “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.”
Zynga’s general counsel Reggie Davis retorted by saying, “It’s unfortunate that EA thought that this was an appropriate response to our game, and clearly demonstrates a lack of understanding of basic copyright principles. It’s also ironic that EA brings this suit shortly after launching SimCity Social which bears an uncanny resemblance to Zynga’s CityVille game.”
Another interesting wrinkle in all of this is that EA also seems to be doing it out of principle. Some may remember that Zynga was accused of stealing ideas from Nimblebit, a much smaller developer than EA. Nimblebit made this humorous image in light of Zynga’s Dream Heights bearing an uncanny resemblance to Nimblebit’s Tiny Tower.
Bradshaw says, “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.” It’s funny to see EA, one of the most hated publishers, to say that they’re doing this for the “people.”
EA provided some images in their lawsuit which highlights the similarity between the two games. Here are just a couple:
Although it’s most likely that they’ll settle this out of court, it’s still interesting to see two huge corporations fight it out.