EA Sues Zynga For Infringing Copyrights To The Sims Social

Publisher Electronic Arts has sued Zynga for copyright infringement, it said today. In the lawsuit, EA alleges that Zynga's The Ville "copied and misappropriated the original and distinctive expressive elements" of their game The Sims Social.

Here's a statement sent out by EA's Lucy Bradshaw:

As outlined in our complaint, 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. Scores of media and bloggers commented on the blatant mimicry.

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.

Today, we hope to be taking a stand that helps the industry protect the value of original creative works and those that work tirelessly to create them.


Comments

    Respect this move EA, keep this up.

    EA are definitely in the right here. Zynga has a long, long history of plagiarism as far as their games go. The tower game, 'the ville', some of their others as well, they're nothing but copycats... tear them a new asshole-ville EA.

    They copied everything , even The Sims font and font size for the title.

    goof luck EA, I hope they win!

    Of course EA's social games stole basically every game-play element from Zyngas winning model in the first place though... but that's a whole barrel of fish. Pretty much every social game is identical in gameplay, you click one thing and wait for it to grow/build/otherwise be done, you can speed that process up by using the premium currency and you earn enough normal currency to move to the next 'level'.

      There's probably an argument that making games whose gameplay is similar isn't copyright infringement (otherwise every shooter ever would be illegal), but EA are accusing Zynga of going beyond superficial resemblance to things like animations or art style.

      It's a tricky area, but if this is truly blatant copying to try and capitalise on the success of rival games, it deserves some sort of punishment.

      Zynga has never created a original game, all of their games are stolen from indie/flash games and instead of doing the the respectable thing ie. hire the original studio, pay for the rights for the game etc. they instead steal all art assets and gameplay mechanics so they don't have to pay anything and get all the profit in return. As for EA, personal opinions aside they get a +1 in my books.

    Good. I hope EA get a win from this. For once, they're not the bad guys here.

    This makes me respect EA now :D

      I definitely have some respect for EA also, they've lately been very much on the ball and showing their good side! good for them and all hopes that Maxis & EA are successful in this case!

    You can view the complaint PDF here: http://gamasutra.com/view/news/175362/EA_sues_Zynga_claims_The_Ville_is_a_copy_of_The_Sims_Social.php
    and check out page 32 of the PDF (31 of the complaint) where EAs lawyers get the two confused by mixing up some screen shots.

    It's started now. As the already-putrefying, soon-to-be-corpse of the sickly behemot Zinga is coughs and wheezes its last breaths, everyone hurries to take a morsel before only the dry bones are left.

    I just hope that somehow Words and Scramble with Friends find a new home :(

    All we needed was a bigger baddie and now everyone likes ea again.

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