Attack of the Fanboy

EA suing Zynga over The Ville

by William Schwartz


Electronic Arts has filed a lawsuit against Zynga concerning the likenesses between their popular “The Sims Social” game and the increasingly popular “The Ville”.  According to EA, The Ville is in violation of US copyright laws.

“When we launched The Sims Social in August 2011, Maxis brought the distinctive universe of our world-renowned franchise, The Sims, to Facebook.  We created a game that allowed players to create Sims that can interact with the Sims of their Facebook friends.  It was an instant hit, gaining tens of millions of users… As outlined in our complaint, when The Ville was introduced in 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.”

EA further noted that this lawsuit wasn’t just for itself.  It was for the many other titles that EA alleges that Zynga has plucked from competitors, that may not have the financial resources to pursue action against the social gaming giant.  “Infringing a developer’s copyright is not an acceptable practice in game development,” said EA.

Talk about kicking a competitor while they are down.  Zynga is facing numerous lawsuits currently.  Following precipitous drop in stock price, lawyers on behalf of Zynga’s shareholders are seeking damages from the company regarding a misrepresentation of their financial status.  With Zynga’s The Ville just beginning to gain in popularity on Facebook, it could be even choppier waters ahead for the company.

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