Life hasn’t been kind to Zynga as of late; the developer behind such social games as Farmville and Words With Friends has in recent months seen its stock plummet astronomical lows. Matters are only looking to get worse for the company in the coming months as now, according to IGN, EA has sued them over what they believe to be Copyright Infringement in The Ville.
In the above video, a scene from The Sims Social, a social game released before the accused project, is shown that is then followed by an eerily similar scene from Zynga’s The Ville. Maxis General Manager Lisa Bradshaw released a statement in concurrence with this report illustrating the ways in which the studio believes its creations have been infringed.
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.
General Manager, Maxis
An official statement from Zynga General Counsel Reggie Davis paints a different picture and attempts to turn the tables on EA for similarities between SimCity Social and CityVille.
We are committed to creating the most fun, innovative, social and engaging games in every major genre that our players enjoy. The Ville is the newest game in our ‘ville’ franchise – it builds on every major innovation from our existing invest-and-express games dating back to YoVille and continuing through CityVille and CastleVille, and introduces a number of new social features and game mechanics not seen in social games today.
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. Nonetheless, we plan to defend our rights to the fullest extent possible and intend to win with players.