Is Zynga Ripping Off Other Game Designers?

Electronic Arts has filed a lawsuit against Zynga, the popular gaming app maker, alleging that Zynga’s new Facebook app The Ville too closely resembles EA’s The Sims Social.

In the lawsuit, EA asserts that this is not the first time that Zynga has done this. Here is an excerpt: “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.”

Forbes points to another case of alleged copying: “One of those studios who couldn’t fight back with legal force was Nimblebit, who claimed that their popular game, Tiny Tower, was cloned by Zynga to make the very similar Dream Heights. The smaller company responded with an infographic showing the similarities that went viral.”

To address the issue, Forbes’ Paul Tassi made some side-by-side comparisons of Zynga games and games that they are supposedly ripping off including Farm Town vs. Farmville, Mob Wars vs. Mafia Wars and Restaurant City vs. Cafe World. It’s worth checking out.