The lights are on
EA said today it filed a lawsuit against Zynga over the game The Ville, which the publisher says infringed copyrights for its game The Sims Social. A letter was published by Maxis general manager Lucy Bradshaw outlines the publisher's complaints, saying they go beyond simply copying the game's look.
"Zynga’s design choices, animations, visual arrangements and character motions and actions have been directly lifted from The Sims Social," Bradshaw says. "The copying was so comprehensive that the two games are, to an uninitiated observer, largely indistinguishable."
She continued: "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."
Zynga general counsel Reggie Davis responded with the following statement sent to Game Informer:
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.