EA Suing Zynga Over The Ville, To “Take A Stand”

By John Walker on August 3rd, 2012 at 10:48 pm.

From EA's complaint document.

Update: The memo we saw is now publicly posted here.

EA have announced tonight they’re planning to sue Zynga, over the similarities between the recently released The Ville, and Maxis’ The Sims Social. It’s not the first time that Zynga has released a game that looks astonishingly similar to another company’s game, but it’s the first time they’ve met an opponent big enough to fight back. We’ve seen an internal EA memo that tells staff that while they are pursuing this because they believe they’re legally in the right, they’re also doing it because they believe it’s time to be “taking a stand”. It says that even if they were to lose, “we will have made a point.”

Earlier today an email was sent around to EA employees explaining the plans to take a stand against this mimicry, emphasising that it was a matter of principle. A fact they repeat in their public statement on the matter. While they believe there’s a strong legal case to demonstrate that the Ville, in their words, “copied the original and distinctive expressive elements of The Sims Social”, they are saying they want to take it on for emotional reasons too. Zynga, however, have responded by saying that The Sims Social bears a great deal of resemblance to their older game, CityVille.

In the email sent to staff, they outlined their motivations.

“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.”

Another passage that emphasises this. “I’m certain there will be a response. Some will say The Ville simply iterates; some will tell us to get over it and move on. We are confident in our position, and that we will prevail. But even if we do not, we will have made a point.”

The action EA has taken lays out some interesting arguments, including highlighting how many former senior EA staff have recently been employed by Zynga during The Ville’s development, and put out some images that starkly demonstrate the visual similarities between the two. (I’ve played neither game, so absolutely cannot comment on whether these claims are right.)

In EA’s complaint, they go through the usual legal process of laying out the ways they believe Zynga’s game violates their property, including multiple quotes from the gaming press who observed just how similar they are. But then also goes on to emphasise the point that they believe this is a frequent act by Zynga:

“EA believes and therefore alleges that Zynga did not achieve its success in online social gaming through creative game design and innovation. To the contrary, it is widely reported, and EA believes and therefore alleges, that Zynga explicitly discourages innovation in game design and instead watches successful games, plays and analyzes those games, and then creates its own games that closely follow the games of its competitors. Zynga’s practice is well recognized, and demonstrates that the substantial similarity between The Sims Social and The Ville is not mere coincidence, but is the result of willful, intentional conduct that lies at the heart of Zynga’s business model.”

They then list previous alleged incidents, including Mafia Wars and Mob Wars, FarmVille and FarmTown, Cafe World and Restaurant City, FishVille and Happy Aquarium, PetVille and Pet Society, Zynga Bingo and Bingo Blitz, and Tiny Tower and Dream Heights. They also list various times Zynga’s CEO Mark Pincus has been alleged to have boasted that his company copies others. The complaint continues with dozens of screenshots demonstrating what, to my eyes, look like extraordinarily similar games. For example:

The email sent to EA staff concludes,

“As a longstanding game developer, I know what it feels like to pour your heart and soul into creating something unique and special for your fans to enjoy. 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.”

Zynga have issued a statement in response to the filing by EA.

“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.”

Clearly this could get ugly, and good grief, RPS is not stupid enough to take sides in an ongoing legal dispute. It is pretty hard to reconcile Zynga’s statement with the phenomenal similarity in that screenshot at the top of this post. And comparisons to CityVille seems perhaps a touch bold made against the company who developed not only The Sims, but also Sim City. But we shall see. EA have requested a jury trial, but Zynga has yet to respond in the courts.

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254 Comments »

  1. Ocho says:

    Good for them. I’ll respect EA for a while if they give Zynga what they deserve

    • Cam says:

      This is kinda pointless. Games in other genres like shooters for example, copy TONS of elements from each other. It’s just easier to make the comparison with these 2 games because their field is much more narrow.

      “Ooh, look. The walls turn invisible, so it’s theft.” What about plasma grenades?

      • The Hammer says:

        But it’s -not- just these two games. It’s a score of other titles too, primarily released on Facebook, that Zynga has shamelessly pilfered to make their own dubious games. Just take a gander at Mafia Wars.

        Similar game mechanics are nothing new; nigh-on replicated art-styles and interfaces, however…

      • Archonsod says:

        There’s a difference between copying a couple of elements, and wholesale cloning the game.

        • tetracycloide says:

          Yeah, cloning is legal while actual copying is not. If EA sets a precedent that simply being similar is copyright infringement it’s goong to open a big can of worms and dump them all over the gaming industry. No matter how distasteful you find Zynga it won’t be worth it to see them loose.

          • Bhazor says:

            Destroy Zynga and kill off the endless Contemporay Disagreement clones? Win win.

          • tetracycloide says:

            It’s only a win win if you’re so short sighted you can’t see any implications beyond just what would happen to Zynga. This is bigger than that.

        • Captain Joyless says:

          tetracycloide is right.

          What everyone needs to know here:

          1) You cannot copyright the rules to a game. A US government website sums it up pretty well:

          “Copyright does not protect the idea for a game, its name or title, or the method or methods for playing it. Nor does copyright protect any idea, system, method, device, or trademark material involved in developing, merchandising, or playing a game. Once a game has been made public, nothing in the copyright law prevents others from developing another game based on similar principles. Copyright protects only the particular manner of an author’s expression in literary, artistic, or musical form.”

          2. Despite all the other allegations in the complaint about Zygna being unoriginal, etc, this case is not about them copying competitor’s games generally. This case is about “animation sequences, visual arrangements, characters’ motions andactions, and other unique audio-visual elements “. NOT THE GAME ITSELF. Just the sounds, graphics, and animations. See http://www.scribd.com/doc/101954002/EA-v-Zynga-Complaint-Final

      • AngoraFish says:

        I can’t see a copyright claim getting up. The best they could try on as far as I can tell is “passing off”, that is, the games are so similar that a reasonable person might be confused into thinking that they are playing the EA version when in fact they are playing the Zynga version, but even that’s a stretch. The software world is full of near identical side scrollers, platformers, shooters, word processors, etc. The ability to ‘reverse engineer’ is a well established legal option to software companies, so long as they simply aren’t disassembling the code and rehashing it.

        • skittles says:

          There is actually a possible chance. If EA can prove Zynga copies as a business practice, they could go for a copyright claim because Zynga is shown to wilfully copy their competitors. If the game mechanics are as similar as the art design they will have a strong case. It will completely depend on how much ‘new’ things Zynga can show it added to the game. It is somewhat different for shooters and other things because even though you say they are clones when you get to the depths of it they are often quite different, it terms of art style, gameplay focus etc. This case will depend primarily I believe on how closely the game mechanics are cloned in Zynga’s game.

          • Captain Joyless says:

            You are wrong about pretty much everything you just said. You are not trained in the law and have not learned how to properly assess what the issues are here.

          • Milky1985 says:

            Joyless if your going to say that someone is wrong you kinda have to tell people what the “correct” information or facts are. Anyone can say “your wrong”, but if you can’t inform them of why they will just carry on. Lets be honest sometimes if you can’t say why they are wrong, then its a sign that maybe just maybe they are on the right side of things.

            Just saying “your wrong” is the playground mentality.

            “your wrong nanaananana i’m not listening”

          • wcanyon says:

            @CaptainJoyless: no you are wrong.

            (see how that works? it’s easy!)

      • Shuck says:

        “Games in other genres… copy… elements from each other.”
        It’s true, and while in general I’m leery of the idea of copyright battles over gameplay similarities, Zynga has been absolutely shameless about creating clones. And these aren’t just similar – they’re the same game with graphics that sometimes stylistically vary only slightly from the original – but identical theme, setting, UI and mechanics. The worst thing, however, is that the dynamics of their copying are the reverse of traditional game clones where small developers tried to ride the coattails of successful developers with hit games. Zynga takes promising games by small developers who are building an audience and then quickly clones the game and makes use of their huge existing player network to populate their clone. Not only do they get hundreds or even thousands of times as many players, but they usually kill the original, too, choking off the supply of potential players for it.

      • zergl says:

        If, to stick with your example, shooters were as blatantly cloning/copying as Zynga does, you’d end up with a texture swapped HL2 with absolutely identical levels and story where the only noteworthy difference is that the protagonist is called Borden Breemon who wields a Newtonian Manipulator.

        • thebigJ_A says:

          I’d play that. :P

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          Hardlylikely says:

          If the copying party used the proceeds to actually complete the adventures of NotGordon millions would support them, at this point.

      • Contrafibularity says:

        Come on now, I’m as progressive as they come on the subject of intellectual property (proud to be a pirate, not that I don’t spend at least 300€ on games every year, those that are worth it, and don’t omit a demo version solely to trick me into buying hyped up crap) and I’ll happily sign the Remix Manifesto (even though it’s not that greatly worded and the music in that docu sucks) but game cloning is an abysmal practice. It’s even worse than selling freeware imho.

        Remember back in school, you didn’t have time to finish one of your essays, so you went online, downloaded something and re-typed the lot hoping you wouldn’t get caught? And then you (hopefully) felt somewhat guilty about doing so and never did it again? Okay, now imagine there are companies which have adopted this as a business model, and don’t feel anything about anything, because their bank account balance tells them not to.

        I’m not saying EA is a great company, and it comes across as slightly hypocritical that they pretend they’re doing this to defend the principle of innovation, but this is clearly game cloning, and that’s a horrible thing no one should encourage under any circumstances, even when it seems like karma at work.

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          Aerothorn says:

          “Remember back in school, you didn’t have time to finish one of your essays, so you went online, downloaded something and re-typed the lot hoping you wouldn’t get caught?”

          Uh…no? I’m not sure this practice is as universal as you think it is.

          • Ragnar says:

            Haha. I too read that part and thought, “Wait, wait, what?!?” When I went to school and didn’t finish an essay on time, you turned it in late.

            Oh god. Is… is this what getting old feels like? Am I suddenly going to find myself rocking in my rocking chair on the porch, going, “Back in my day, we didn’t download essays off the internet. We had to write them by hand on a computer. And before that, on a word processor!”

          • Enso says:

            If you missed the wonders of herpderpedia you still probably won’t be shocked by the number of people who announced they would fail their courses because Wikipedia was down. https://twitter.com/herpderpedia

        • Eddy9000 says:

          There was a functioning internet when you were at school? God I feel really old now.

    • StingingVelvet says:

      Indeed. I remember way back when seeing Words With Friends for the first time and saying “how can they get away with blatantly copying Scrabble like this?” And then it went on and on and on.

      • Gnoupi says:

        “Words with friends” had at least the decency to add something new (asynchronous play with your friends) to the existing scrabble games.

        But in general, Zynga’s policy is “Buy what is popular. If you can’t buy, copy it”. See for example Tiny tower, on iOS: http://toucharcade.com/2012/01/24/zynga-shamelessly-rips-off-tiny-tower-with-canadian-release-of-dream-heights/

        • Shuck says:

          It’s telling that even the minor originality of “Words” doesn’t come from Zynga – they bought the company after it was developed.

      • Captain Joyless says:

        “Get away with it”? It’s perfectly legal. You cannot copyright the rules to a game. When you release a game, NOTHING prevents a competitor from releasing a game with exactly the same rules and mechanics, as long as they don’t copy the graphics, sounds, music, animations, etc.

        • Milky1985 says:

          Which is why EA are claiming that they copied the animations and effects Mr Zynga staff member

        • Ragnar says:

          Would art design fall under graphics? Because they clearly copied the art design.

    • mondomau says:

      “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”

      Protect them until we can buy them up and churn out worthless iterative sequels, that is. Boom! Amirite?

      EDIT: Whoops. Not supposed to be a reply to anyone in particular.

    • abandonhope says:

      Indeed. Next time there’s an EA title I want that I wouldn’t have otherwise purchased because of EA, I’ll be a little more likely to buy it. Zynga’s business practices make EA look like Mojang.

      • CrookedLittleVein says:

        The same Mojang that basically ripped off Infiniminer?

        :D

        • abandonhope says:

          Cute, but the topic at hand is outright clones, not acknowledged, open-source influences that were ultimately abandoned.

        • Gnoupi says:

          The same ones, I believe, yes.

          I guess it’s a lesson for all of us: don’t come up with ideas, it’s too high risk and time consuming. Instead, watch other people’s ideas, and when you spot one interesting, quickly work to copy it and deliver it to people.

          Then, profit.

          • Midroc says:

            The most successful inventions are often those inspired or copied by others, then improved and refined. That’s a really common thing and most mainstream products are a result of that. I’m not defending Zynga though, they add nothing to the original idea.

        • TechnicalBen says:

          No, not like Minecraft. Why? Because minecraft is not just a new skin but new gameplay and settings. It was similar in the way “all FPSs are similar”. So, yes all block games are similar (the actual true first 3dblock game was made for DOS way back IIRC). So neither Infiniminer or Minecraft can take that crown,

          Zynga though don’t seem to deviate far enough from the original source most of the time. It’s sad, because usually a change in art style or 1 gameplay feature is all that is needed. Things that should come naturally to those working on the art and gameplay.

          • CrookedLittleVein says:

            Can’t even tell a joke on here without people going SERIOUSFACE any more. Though I suppose there is a kernel of truth in my comment, insofar as I take issue with the pedestal some seem to put Mojang on.

    • Navagon says:

      When EA go on the legal offensive against other companies (especially Activision and Langdell) I often find myself siding with them. If they’d only stop treating their customers like shit I might actually like them.

    • int says:

      I am with EA on this one.

  2. Beelzebud says:

    Here’s hoping this launches an expensive legal shit-storm, that leaves both companies in financial ruin.

    • Metonymy says:

      I was just about to say, lets hope the lawyers win big this time.

      • Geen says:

        Yeah, I don’t really care who wins, I’m rooting for the expensive lawyers and counter-sueing.

        • Droopy The Dog says:

          I dunno, I’m kinda hoping the big van of money gets lost on the way to the lawyers too. I’d hate to see them retiring on the crazy fees from this either, they really won’t have earned it.

          • Aedrill says:

            So what, we’re counting on Ocean’s Eleven here?

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            Haphaz77 says:

            Haha. RPS commentators are the best. It would be ideal if EA win the point, but their (and Zynga’s) money ends up in the hands of the smaller developers ripped off which were unable to protect themselves. I’d by another EA game to level out the karma for them too.

          • Shodex says:

            In this stituation, if the lawyers walk away with a huge portion of both company’s money, I’d consider it their reward for helping hurt those two super-evils.

    • Kadayi says:

      Why on earth would you wish thousands of people out of a job?

      • Saldek says:

        A question you might ask yourself, Kadayi.

        You constantly defend companies that lay off people as a business principle. Why does that practice not concern you in equal measure?

        • Kadayi says:

          I expect many people working in the games industry are familiar with the pattern and used to it ( you work on a project for a couple of years with a company and then move on, either to a new project or a new company). Games are media and like TV and films this idea of a steady job for life is not really part of the landscape. If you ever listen to any of Giantbombs E3 podcasts where they get developers in, generally you’ll find that they’ve worked for a number of different companies over the years. It is part and parcel of the nature of the beast. Sure certainly there are unfortunate rug pull situations like with RTW and more recently 38 Studios, but by on large they are the exception rather than the rule.

          • Midroc says:

            Then EA dying isn’t a big deal as you yourself say, the company has run it’s course and the employees move on to other companies in the gaming business.

          • Kadayi says:

            @Midroc

            You need your eyes checked.

      • Premium User Badge

        FriendlyFire says:

        Are you also for the “war on terror” because it creates defense contractor jobs or for the TSA because it create goon jobs?

        The people at those corporations will find a new job, and honestly EA and Zynga aren’t exactly known for their excellent working conditions.

        • Kadayi says:

          You’re making parallels between people who make entertainment media and people who make weapons and kill people? Sense of perspective much?

          • oceanview says:

            you are such a shill. do they pay you for this or are you this thick ?

          • Premium User Badge

            jrodman says:

            There’s a difference between drawing parallels and destructing your fallacies.

            This was the latter.

          • Kadayi says:

            @oceanview

            Your tears of impotent rage are the sweetest nectar. :)

          • Shodex says:

            Congratulations you won the argument, Kadayi. You reduced your brilliantly thought out points to pathetic insults on the level of somebody from 4chan or Reddit.

            Saying “Your tears of impotent rage are the sweetest nectar.” is not an argument towards one side or the other. It’s practically a resignation, implying you’re not actually here to hold your ground and make a point, you just want to be a ponce.

            ‘Tis a shame, I saw such potential in you.

          • Shooop says:

            Since when did he ever have “brilliantly thought out points”? This is Kadyi we’re talking about right?

            The guy’s got his head buried so far into the sand branded EA they have to give him oxygen tanks. His one and only “talking point” is “If you don’t like EA it’s because you’re jumping on a bandwagon!”

          • Milky1985 says:

            No as he admitted with the tears line he is a troll, he does it time and time again.

            You just have to learn to get used to it, or use the block button

      • sinister agent says:

        Of course the East India Company should never have been stopped. They hired so many people.

      • Premium User Badge

        Wisq says:

        I would happily wish thousands of people out of a job if it meant that they would get a less shitty job and do better things for the world.

        Whether there are enough non-shitty useful jobs to account for all the EA employees is another question.

        • Carter says:

          What a wonderfully naive view wishing thousands of completely unrelated people out of employment and ‘That they should find something a little less shitty’ simply because one huge legal team is challenging another huge legal team. I can only assume you don’t have a job to post such jibberish

          • Midroc says:

            He wishes a shitty, industrywrecking company that screws over both its employees and customers, to go under. And as you pal Kadayi says a few posts above, employees in the game and movie industry move between companies all the time.

          • Kadayi says:

            @Midroc

            Industry wrecking? If EA wasn’t around who do you think would be employing these people exactly? Whose going to fund the big AAA game titles? Kickstarter? (LOL) Like it or not the big publishers are the AAA games industry.

          • Carter says:

            @Midroc You completely missed my point, how is wishing thousands of people working at EA either directly for this project in an unrelated role or on a completely different project deserve to lose employment because a very small number of suits made some terrible mistakes in the past with DRM and customer support? Frankly if you think that’s industry wrecking you should look around at other big industries a bit, and people do move to new projects, I know I just did, but as Kadayi said nowhere is large enough to absorb everyone

          • Shodex says:

            EA isn’t some god company. Sure they fund AAA games, whatever “AAA” is supposed to mean these days. Lets look at some if these fantastic games and services EA funds and brings to the table shall we?

            An endless supply of sports games, generic Call of Duty-ish modern shooters, a terribly designed online distribution service. Everything EA has going for it, is just from better companies it bought (Bioware), and those companies always end up shells of their former selves (R.I.P. Origin).

            You’re right, Kickstarter wouldn’t fun Fifa 2013 or Battlefield 7 because I doubt the demand would be that high for it. There are a ton of companies making excellent “AAA’ experiences, and even more indies making games that may lack the high-fidelity and polish of a multi-million dollar investment but are still incredibly fun.

          • Ragnar says:

            I don’t think any of us truly want EA to fail, or the people working there to lose their jobs. New management could turn the company around into something good without leaving thousands of devs unemployed. We can all hope for new management, right?

      • AgamemnonV2 says:

        It’s insane to read the responses you got comparing EA to a mercenary company of soldiers or a 17th century trading company. People are stupid to the tenth degree sometimes. I get the whole “EA is bad” bandwagon, but wishing for EA to go out of business is about on level with wishing for about 21 series of video games to descend into intellectual property hell where smaller companies pick off the rights and either hold onto them for a finite time doing nothing with them or completely bastardize the IP and turn it into a Facebook game (the irony).

        Inspire change, you dolts, not rally for the crash of a mega corporation that has pushed gaming to a very notable and realized reality in the world. It’s a necessary evil. And consider that if it wasn’t here it’d be some other company stepping in to fill its shoes, that’s for sure.

        • sinister agent says:

          People aren’t comparing EA to those companies to suggest their actions are the same. They’re comparing them to illustrate the point that a company doesn’t deserve any special protection from failure just because it employs people.

          Honestly, it’s really not a complicated thing to grasp, and misinterpreting it as some “EA IS AS BAD AS MURDERERS!” stance is more than a little obtuse.

          I don’t actually want EA to go bust – I frankly don’t care about it that much. But the “why would you wish people out of jobs!!” remark was just a deliberate misdirection so unbearably smug and underhanded that it warranted calling out.

          • Kadayi says:

            “People aren’t comparing EA to those companies to suggest their actions are the same. They’re comparing them to illustrate the point that a company doesn’t deserve any special protection from failure just because it employs people.”

            LOL. How can you even look at yourself with a straight face in the mirror Agent? You’re entirely culpable of what AgamemnonV2 said.

            @AgamemnonV2

            It’s a madness tbh.

    • AlienMind says:

      +1

    • adonf says:

      Or, as my grandma used to say about the Israel-Palestine war: “It’s a war where the guns are always pointed to the right side.”

      • BurningPet says:

        I guess you have a typo in your nick with that missing L? block worthy indeed

        • Hmm-Hmm. says:

          It really depends on what he meant by that. But yeah, I suppose it could be could be interpreted like you seem to have.

          • BurningPet says:

            What other meaning can it have in this context? none.

          • Premium User Badge

            equatorian says:

            Well, you can say that he meant both sides are shitty assholes, race not involved. I’m not sure if it really applies to this war since there’s a shit-ton of factors and sad stories involved for both sides, but it’s not inconceivable that someone sufficiently cynical might see it that way.

          • adonf says:

            Oh I don’t agree with her at all, it’s just that I love this quote because old people can be so outrageously racist that it becomes funny. And also I believe it fits here since it’s bad guys against bad guys. Maybe that wasn’t too clear in my original post. Context…

            And no there’s no typo in my name, I’ve had this nickname since uni and that was way before the person you’re referring to became famous.

          • SiHy_ says:

            You were at university before World War 2? I think you’re showing your age there.

          • Premium User Badge

            equatorian says:

            The problem is, it’s not the sort of war where people are comfortable with pegging both or either sides as bad guys, and it’s not hard to see why, even if they aren’t necessarily ‘good’ either. Surely you can see where application can be iffy.

      • Kadayi says:

        It’s a war? Last time I checked it was the longest ongoing military occupation in recent history.

  3. Ross Mills says:

    The similarities between CityVille and Simcity Social are mostly the underlying “Build a city building by building” concept, and collecting rent/goods which appears after time. There’s a fair amount that SCS does that’s a little more unique (comparatively)

    The Ville is pretty much a straight-up rehash of The Sims Social, and the characters even go so far as to speak “Fake Simlish” (Zynglish?)

    Frankly, aside from the giant heads in The Ville, I couldn’t tell which game was which from a couple of the screenshots, which I’m guessing is the primary legal precedent behind this.

    • QuasiBelgium says:

      They did use the slogan “More City, Less Ville” when they announced SimCity Social (which is a rape of the franchise, really).

    • simonh says:

      They even both shower in swimwear! What I don’t get is why Zynga has to copy even such incidental details, obviously they’re not what the success of those games hinges on.

      Honestly, I don’t give many fucks about freedom and whatever, as long as Zynga is punished.

      • The Random One says:

        I would say Zynga copies everything wholesale because they cannot tell why exactly a game is popular and are terrified any changes they make will cause the game to not do as well.

  4. Real Horrorshow says:

    Looks like the deserve to get sued. I hope EA wins (I can’t believe I said that).

    • rockman29 says:

      Me too… sometimes we forget there are much greater evils in the industry than EA.

    • NightShift says:

      I both hope of them fail and end up bankrupt or in a legal mess.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Don’t forget EA were also the ones to bring the big guns to Langdell over “Edge”.

      At least someone in their legal department is doing some good.

    • Skabooga says:

      As many legal implications and precedents as there are that could be set by this case, I’m just short-sighted enough to cheer on EA in this case if it means Zynga gets what is coming to them. Zynga strikes me as the type of company that just barely treads on the right side of the letter of the law while completely breaking the spirit thereof, like some sort of greasy weasel.

    • Dinger says:

      Facebook, in its recent filing, announced that 10% of its total revenue comes through Zynga. This is about more than just two game companies.

  5. z310 says:

    This lawsuit is a win/win situation. With all of EA’s evil shenanigans these past couple years, and Zynga’s own evil shenanigans, (CEO bragged once about how being an evil company) I feel like these two deserve each other.

    Here’s to a long drawn out legal battle!

    • Lemming says:

      Careful what you wish for. What if the outcome of this is EA winning, and out of settlement are permitted to buy out Zynga altogether so they form one giant pulsating cancer of game development? *shudders*

  6. SiHy_ says:

    Feels strange to be on the side of EA but when someone’s right, they’re right. Good luck EA, take Zynga down a peg or two.

    • Stromko says:

      They do actually stand to gain from this. Their game will do a lot better if they can get The Ville knocked out, and dissuade other competitors from stealing their ideas, not to mention money received in damages. Just for starting the case, they’re generating goodwill for going after a company more evil than themselves, and getting more publicity for both brands.

  7. Ignorant Texan says:

    Damn you, EA. First Langdel, now this. Will you do us all a favor and remain completely evil?

    • EPICTHEFAIL says:

      Not to mention actually doing some good things for ME3, making a free BioWare MMO, doing a ridiculous sale on classic titles… I`m having a hard time maintaining my hatred of these guys.

  8. Premium User Badge

    felisc says:

    “and in the red corner, weighing 20982309 pounds…”

  9. ResonanceCascade says:

    Glad to see that Zynga is continuing to earn every penny of their ever-declining stock price.

  10. jikavak says:

    EAFACE?

    • Vorphalack says:

      WARVILLE!

      Where the only way to communicate is through litigation, facts don’t matter, and everyone else is wrong.

  11. wisnoskij says:

    Of course they are similar, they copy things from real life.
    There is nothing in these pictures that points to any similarities above those needed for a family simulator.

    • FataMorganaPseudonym says:

      You’re joking, right?

    • Sheng-ji says:

      Are you trying to say that you don’t think that they copied the game? Because even Zynga’s CEO says he copies games. The two games are like reskins of one another, hell, I bet the save of one could be gotten to work in the other! Check out the full text, one tiny part of the full list of “similarities” is the personality types – while they are all called different things, the personality types essentially match:

      Jock – Athlete
      Artist – Creative
      Charmer – Romantic
      Partier – Socialite
      Mogul – Tycoon
      Scoundrel – Villain

      And before you cry “This is a family simulator, those are basic personality types, of course the are replicated” here’s the personality types for another family simulator currently on the market:

      Neatness
      Outgoingness
      Activeness
      Playfulness
      Niceness

      Notice how they don’t directly match, because the game was not copied. Unlike Zynga’s version. Which was.

      • AngoraFish says:

        Six skin tones, six identical RGB values

        • TechnicalBen says:

          This. I don’t know how much of the above pictures are “setups”, but the actual clothing and furniture match exactly. If you picked up the Argos catalog, you’d not get 2 matching chairs or sofas from the two games artists drawn. But above the colour, trim and style to everything matches. Which does smell fishy.

  12. Premium User Badge

    RedViv says:

    And that’s how EA being such a monstrous money-based hydra, with some heads of profit and some good intentions, can actually be a good thing.

    • sinister agent says:

      Yep. I’m as cynical as anyone, but it’s easy to believe there’s sincerity in EA’s statements here. I get the impression they’re genuinely disgusted with Zynga’s practices.

    • Aedrill says:

      “Part of that power which would
      Do evil constantly and constantly does good.”

  13. Reapy says:

    Yeah, Odd to be in the EA corner…zynga are kind of scumbags using their $$ to bully indies around and blatantly rip off original concepts. Unfortunately though I think it would set a dangerous precedence to be able to punish similar gameplay designs. Maybe if it was stringent enough, but still, what’s to stop say ID from suing the pants off every major game developer who creates a FPS.

    Don’t really know where to stand on this one, except Zynga are pretty much assholes in how they do business. While the code/art may be easy to reproduce, the original idea and design is difficult and valuable. I would be much happier if zynga’s model was to buy out the games/companies they want to copy, but obviously copying them is cheaper and more profitable for them.

    Still, hope it at least makes some legal point, though I doubt it will.

    • Premium User Badge

      AmateurScience says:

      ‘They then list previous alleged incidents, including Mafia Wars and Mob Wars, FarmVille and FarmTown, Cafe World and Restaurant City, FishVille and Happy Aquarium, PetVille and Pet Society, Zynga Bingo and Bingo Blitz, and Tiny Tower and Dream Heights.’

      There is a whole foetid underclass of social ‘games’ out there that I am completely unaware of it would seem…

      Edit: oops reply fail. Too tired to correct it. Bed time.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      Ah, but most other FPSs are quite different from the original ones. From Deus Ex to No One Lives Forever to Max Payne to Borderlands, most of them have a very different setting, tone and story. Sometimes they even add to the mechanics. You could make a case for the CODalikes, I suppose, but I wouldn’t mind if they’d sue each other into oblivion. :)

      • EPICTHEFAIL says:

        Though that would mean Blacklight has to die as well. And that`s sad.

  14. Meat Circus says:

    What I don’t get is how the EVIL SCUM ZYNGA seriously think they have a leg to stand on?

    Still, it’ll be nice to see Zynga’s sociopath of a boss, and every fucktard that pumped money into EVIL SCUM ZYNGA losing everything.

    Pour encourager les autres.

    • Corporate Dog says:

      It’s not exactly a slam dunk for EA, though. This article on board games and copyright law lays it out fairly well:

      http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/493249/mythbusting-game-design-and-copyright-trademarks-a

      Game rules and systems can’t be copyrighted. Only specific expressions of those rules or systems can be copyrighted. EA might be able to make an argument that their “look and feel” represents a specific pictoral expression that Zynga stole, but I don’t know if that aspect of copyright law has ever been flexed against user interfaces, and similar-but-not-exact graphics.

      Our copyright laws are crap in the US. All it takes is a fistful of Disney dollars waved in the face of a Senator to ensure that corporations keep their rights in perpetuity, and then you have backwards situations like THIS, where Zynga’s too-close-for-coincidence game clones are legal. I’ll admit it’s a little bit of a fine line… the same laws that allow Zynga to get away with their particular business model, are the same laws that would allow me to write a Pac Man clone in my spare time, if I wanted to.

      But believe me, I wont shed a tear if EA finds a way to make their case stick.

      • TechnicalBen says:

        I guess that’s true, which is why EA are going for the Art and “style”. Darn, I hate Apples claims over that (because franky at TV, Tab or Phone only gets to be square with round corners), but here it is easily avoidable, so there is little excuse not to innovate.

        • Corporate Dog says:

          Apple’s claims are over patents, though. Not covered by the same laws, but every bit as ridiculous when it comes to software.

          It’s my opinion that software should be covered by copyright laws (for specific expressions of functionality in code) but NOT patent laws.

          Genie’s out of the bottle on that one, though. Patent law didn’t move fast enough to modernize itself, and now any idiot with spare time on his hands, can patent “a method for clicking a button and viewing images of cats with funny captions”.

  15. thecjm says:

    The most damning claim from this Joystiq article is that in the character creation screen, The Ville uses the same 8 skin tones as The Sims Social, down to the RGB values.

    They’d be hard pressed to claim that is a coincidence or general game design principle.

  16. rustybroomhandle says:

    Rip-off maybe, but ultimately why even bother with a law suit – so many games are similar to so many others. :/

    Loosely related – in the 80s, there was a Super Mario Brothers knock-off called Great Giana Sisters. Nintendo lawyered it off the shelf, but later allowed a Giana game on the DS. Now there’s a Kickstarter to bring the character back in a new game.

    It looks fargin gorgeous!
    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/project-giana/project-giana

    • Lupinstein says:

      I firmly believe that it’s to make EA look better by taking legal action against a company that eats indie developers.

    • volcano_fl says:

      This “switching between two worlds” thing is a lot like Eversion.

    • Sidion says:

      But you realize Nintendo achieved it’s target goal. It removed a competitor who’d tried to steal it’s game with a slightly altered skin. The game vanished, coming back 10+ years later as a DS game, and getting a kickstarter page is hardly a failure for Nintendo. Especially now that it’s so obscure it is almost guaranteed not to harm the Mario IP.

    • rustybroomhandle says:

      Note: This was Rainbow Arts, not Electronic Arts.

  17. SirKicksalot says:

    Take a look at this, especially at the images:

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/101954002/EA-v-Zynga-Complaint-Final

    This is not a Dante vs Kratos or “but it’s based on real life” situation.

    • Quote Unquote says:

      That wasn’t as difficult a read as I thought it would be… And it makes it pretty clear that Zynga stole the game rather than cloned it. From what I can see, EA should clearly win the case. I just hope that doesn’t lead to suits against people who actually put work into their clones.

      • Alphabet says:

        It’s really well written and witty in a dry way, isn’t it? Not what you expect from lawyerese. I found it entirely convincing – it’s clear that Zynga do steal ideas. But I suppose whether that is enough for a lawsuit hinges on the details of the law and precedent. I’m delighted EA are taking this case. I hope they put Zynga out of business.

        • Premium User Badge

          jrodman says:

          You may feel that ideas are ownable items, but US law does not.

          What US law protects are various forms of implementations. Of course, in this case they appropriated significant portions of the implementation. Which is pretty brazen.

  18. rustybroomhandle says:

    Maybe next up both companies can sue Project Zomboid.

  19. Drake Sigar says:

    Sounds like Zynga have poked the bear one too many times, and now they’re going to get mauled. Oh yeah.

  20. Jimbo says:

    That’s pretty funny considering EA’s entire strategy for the last 5-10 years has amounted to ‘Copy Activision’. I think for their own sake they’d better hope they don’t win this case.

    “Clearly this could get ugly, and good grief, RPS is not stupid enough to take sides in an ongoing legal dispute.”

    That literally never happens.

    • Premium User Badge

      felisc says:

      as much as EA often deserves to have rocks thrown at their windows, in all fairness you can’t say they only “try to copy activision” ! they want their Cod and their Wow sure, but they also have a bit of variety.

      • Jimbo says:

        Like Rock Band.

        • Phantoon says:

          Rock Band added drums and singing. You could make a case that Harmonix was stealing ideas… from itself, since it was majorly responsible for both games.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            Game, Set and Match

          • Jimbo says:

            I don’t think IP law really works like that, hence why they had to sell it as Rock Band and not Guitar Hero: Drumz Edition, despite Harmonix being involved. Who better to employ if the task is effectively ‘Make us Guitar Hero’?

            I do think what Zynga has done here is shitty, but the idea that EA are ‘taking a stand’ on the issue is hilarious to me. They are one of the most blatant me-too companies around. Activision’s famous big three properties for a while were WoW, CoD and Guitar Hero, and EA tried their hardest to mimic all three of them. Granted they weren’t always very good at it, but their business strategy was blatant enough.

            Everybody rips off everybody in gaming, they’re usually just a teensy bit smarter about it than this.

          • Premium User Badge

            RobF says:

            There’s “I’d like a game like that please” and then there’s “I’m taking that game, all of it, and calling it something different”.

            It’s really important to make the difference between stuff that can potentially progress a genre (or take it off to one side for better or for worse) and one that’s the exact same game. One is competing, the other is being a complete and utter total shit.

  21. SuperNashwan says:

    This is extremely dangerous territory for games development as a whole, and I wouldn’t be so quick to root for EA to win this one. They must already know that they’d be extremely lucky to be able to show copyright infringement in a case like this, regardless of how similar the games appear it has to go beyond specific legal limits in specifically protected areas, which games don’t fit neatly into. So EA would probably be looking to in fact extend IP protection to design elements rather than simply graphics or code or writing; it should be immediately obvious why that’s a terrifying idea for the future of the games industry.

    • SirKicksalot says:

      This is why they’ll win: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idiot_in_a_hurry

      • HothMonster says:

        That is for trademark, they are suing over copyright. Not the same.

    • ReV_VAdAUL says:

      Yeah, I really don’t understand why people think EA winning would be a good thing. The very last thing gaming needs is patent trolling over design elements.

      • Sheng-ji says:

        This isn’t a case about design elements though is it. This is basically a reskinned game. Hell, with the number of ex Maxis Employees working in it, it probably is exactly that – you don’t think at least one of those guys smuggled the code out? They certainly “smuggled” the code out in their heads.

        Surely even you can see that Zynga stepped over the line and that a win of this case legitimises that step too far. Then what happens to our industry, will every idea be ripped off within days of being announced? What happens to the creative minds, can they earn a living because the profits from their ideas are being shared with these rip offs?

        No, EA winning this case is the best for the industry and as long as the whip doesn’t snap too far the other way, we should be fine.

        • Phantoon says:

          Except it’s EA, so they’ll take this as far as they can. Remember, if someone has an idea they want, they don’t copy it- they just buy the company. Then kill it.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            So what you are saying, in a nutshell is that you want to see more companies ripping off the talent and less companies buying out the talent and the talent getting the bonuses and employment that comes with a buyout.

        • ReV_VAdAUL says:

          “Surely even you can see”

          Haha ok duder, because I disagree with you I have limited perceptive and cognitive capabilities.

          EA and other big companies will use the precedent this case sets if EA wins to patent troll rival games, which in the case of smaller devs mean they’ll likely be bullied out of existence because they simply wont have the resources to defend themselves. The big companies will use the precedent to snipe at each other and try and prevent the release of games they’re competing with.

          It will be just the same as we’re seeing with Tech companies at the minute, the few big rich companies buying up all the patents they can then using those patents to try and legally hamstring their rivals.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            No, because our views and perceptions are different. Not better or worse different. But there is a venn diagram of things we percieve the same. For example blue, we both see the colour blue the same. Surely even your perception overlaps mine there because I can’t imagine a world in which the sky isn’t blue.

            Geddit.

            I like how you can see the future and you so confidently predict what EA will and won’t do as well. In fact, you couldn’t rustle me up some lottery numbers and tell me who’s going to win the sailing could you?

            You talk about precedent being set as if every court case in the world sets precedent. Newsflash, they don’t. All the precedent a case like this will set is that if a CEO of a company boasts about copying other peoples copyrighted material, while producing products so similar that the entire world says “This is a blatent copy, how do the get away with this” then he either will or won’t win if a claim of copyright infringement is made against him. Surely that’s a good thing?

            And you talk about “big companies” buying up IP – guess what, if you are the person who invented the unique concept that is so valuable, it is up to you whether you want to sell it. No one can force you to sell to these companies against their wills. Every IP bought up is an IP creator who got a paycheck he deemed big enough. Now imagine you invented “thenextbigindiegame”. How would you feel if instead of becoming Notch, you ended up on the breadline and bankrupt because everyone was playing Zynga’s “bigindietitlethatcamenext”, a re-skin of your game. Would that be fair? What if EA came to you and offered you (insert your dream quantity of money here). What would you do? Because I tell you now, I would take that money and sell up for the dream lifestyle. I would sip whiskey from my private yacht and know that my family has financial security and a dream life down to at least my grandchildren. The best education for them, the best life has to offer, hell yes. That’s not a bad thing, my idea obviously earnt me that.

            What if it was Zynga’s CEO who took that from you?

            Also, don’t call me duder. I’m a dudette if anything.

          • ReV_VAdAUL says:

            It is strange you accuse me of predicting the future yet blithely ignore the existent example I gave of the tech industry and the absurd levels of patent trolling going on there.

            In the tech industry small rivals can be squelched with lawsuits they can’t afford to defend against and large companies are moving into the situation of a cartel, with farcical situations like Microsoft making about $25 from every Android handset sold.

            A precedent where lawsuits regarding design elements (a reskinned game is a theft of design elements) can be pursued gives big companies with deep pockets for legals fees an incredible anti-competitive and anti-innovation advantage. Unless big companies don’t want to make profits they will utilise this tool to undermine competition.

            This isn’t predicting the future, this is simple logic.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            Logic would seem to say that because something happens in one industry, it must happen exactly the same in another industry. Your logic anyway.

            Another viewpoint is that in the technology industry, smaller players copy their rivals designs in an attempt to “get away with it” and quite often aren’t small players anymore by the time the courtcase is concluded. Because they copied elements of their rivals designs. Knowing it was wrong.

            What do you do for a living (please be an indie game dev, please be an indie game dev.) so that I can copy your talented hard work and release it as my own?

          • HothMonster says:

            Copyright != patent. Not even slightly.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            Oh Hothmonster, you ruined it for me, I was going to get there just after I had allowed him to demonstrate his ignorance a bit more thoroughly.

          • Consumatopia says:

            Note that it was Sheng-ji who not only tried to predict the future, but declared that it would be impossible for anyone else to imagine any other future (“Surely even you can see…”). Citing the example of another industry, as ReV_VAdAUL does, is not enough to falsify that prediction, but it is enough to make that falsification imaginable.

            In reality, it’s not hard to predict what would happen in Zynga wins–Zynga and other companies would carry on doing business as they already do. Essentially, the status quo. While those companies are certainly annoying and I wouldn’t be sad to see them out of business, I’m not sure how much harm they actually do to the art. Honestly, I’m not sure Mob Wars, FarmTown, Restaurant City, Happy Aquarium, Pet Society, Bingo Blitz or Tiny Tower are worth protecting. I’m not sure why it is that shallowest games that seem to be most vulnerable to this copycatting (possibly because only shallow gamers would be content to play a rip-off games?) but so long as this is the case, I’d prefer not to find out whether or not the “whip snaps too far the other way”.

          • Premium User Badge

            elderman says:

            Just to make HothMonster’s point explicit, Consumatopia, because you seem to have missed it, and if you did surely others have too. ReV_VAdAUL’s argument is about patent law, which has nothing to do with the EA vs Zynga copyright case. This makes everything ReV_VAdAUL says here about precedent and patent trolling irrelevant.

            Haven’t read the whole complaint yet, but this case is about the copying of a game in all its expressions, not just about the interface design — which is the purview of the laws governing design patents — about the whole package.

            A pertinent quotation from the complaint:

            Not only does The Ville blatantly mimic the entire framework and style of gameplay in The Sims Social, but it so closely copies the original, creative expression and unique elements of The Sims Social — i.e., the animation sequences, visual arrangements, characters’ motions and actions, and other unique audio-visual elements — that the two games are nearly indistinguishable. The Ville was not an attempt to innovate on a game concept — it was an intentional effort to copy EA’s creative work.

          • Consumatopia says:

            Just to make HothMonster’s point explicit, Consumatopia, because you seem to have missed it, and if you did surely others have too. ReV_VAdAUL’s argument is about patent law, which has nothing to do with the EA vs Zynga copyright case.

            I didn’t miss it. Although ReV_VAdAUL got that wrong, his argument applies more broadly than that. What exactly constitutes “copying of a game in all its expressions” is arguable and a matter of precedent–which makes what ReV_VAdAUL said relevant. Where exactly is the line drawn when something becomes “so close” that it’s “nearly indistinguishable”? Does “Reprisal” copy “Populous”? Does “The Wonderful End of the World” copy “Katamari Damacy”? Does “Spelunky” copy “Spelunker”?

          • Sheng-ji says:

            @Consumatopia – You said: “Note that it was Sheng-ji who not only tried to predict the future, but declared that it would be impossible for anyone else to imagine any other future (“Surely even you can see…”)”

            When I said “Surely even you can see” I went on to talk about things that have already happened, I went on to say “that Zynga stepped over the line”. Notice I was talking about things Zynga had already done. When we talk about things that have already happened, we are talking about the past. Now, the past is the opposite of the future. We can’t know what happens in the future because it hasn’t happened yet but we do know what has happened in the past because it has already happened. I can quite confidently tell you about things that have happened in the past but I can’t tell you what will happen in the future with any degree of certainty. Note when people try to extrapolate what will happen in the future from things that happened in the past, they quite often get things wrong. This is because even with the resources of the met office for example, complicated systems like weather and economics are too complicated to accurately predict. Now I don’t believe anyone here has the resources of the met office or Barclays investment division et al, but do correct me if I am wrong. On the flipside, we do not need to make predictions about the past, we just need to look it up from a trustworthy source. Simples.

            Next class we will learn why Einstein has proven why it is more complicated than that but we will also learn why that isn’t relevant to this example.

            Anyway tomfoolery over, you talk in your last post about a line. Where would you draw that line. If there is no line, what’s to stop me, within a day of it’s release releasing a direct copy of any game for half the price. All I have to do is pay for the talent to reverse engineer it. Or steal it.

            So I think that you would have to agree that there is a line, where would you draw it?

          • Consumatopia says:

            Sheng-ji, here’s what you wrote:

            Surely even you can see that Zynga stepped over the line and that a win of this case legitimises that step too far. Then what happens to our industry, will every idea be ripped off within days of being announced? What happens to the creative minds, can they earn a living because the profits from their ideas are being shared with these rip offs?

            Zynga “stepping over the line” happened in the past, but the line itself seems to be defined by what happens in the future–whether every idea will be ripped off within days, etc. (Otherwise, what defines this “line”? Ethics? Law? Consequences?)

            A good argument can be made for having no line. Sure, it means fewer games would be produced. But world doesn’t necessarily need as many games, songs, movies, novels, etc as it now produces–free access to the back catalog of all produced works might well be more significant than whatever additional new work would result from legal incentives.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            @Consumatopia – Do you actually have some kind of delusional mental health disorder? I’m not joking or trying to insult you, I actually think you don’t grasp reality properly. Seriously, if you have any doubts that you see the world the same way other people do or sometimes you imagine things you think is real and vice versa, if you smoke weed or take LSD, get paranoid, misinterpret things a lot or exaggerate the way things really are, please get yourself checked out. No need to reply about this, I’m not going to respond to anything you say about it, I just think sometimes men put pride before their health – but that is a mistake and especially with fringe case mental health issues can go a long time undetected and destroy any potential you may achieve with simple, safe and discrete medication.

            Now, back to the debate proper: my response

            Imagine if, on the day of the release of the first Harry Potter book, I downloaded it to my kindle, changed the authors name to Yang Sheng-ji and reuploaded it for sale with a different cover and went on to do that with every book that is remotely popular, you are actually saying that there is a good argument to defend that kind of behaviour.

            Let’s hear this good argument then. Defend the above example. Because that is what Zynga do but with games instead of books

          • Consumatopia says:

            The only reason you would produce such unhinged, extended, sarcastic, unprovoked rants like your last two posts is because, deep down, you suspect that you’re wrong. I can’t see how your posts make any sense unless you assume that Zynga’s victory would mean that every idea would be ripped off within days of being announced, creative minds can’t earn a living, etc.

            Note that by having no line, I don’t mean that I would always defend the behavior (indeed, I would never defend anything Zynga scumbags do) but that courts and legislatures need not get involved. SCOTUS recently struck down a law banning people from lying about military service–ethically speaking, I think that’s much worse than lying about writing a book.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            @ Consumatopia – “The only reason” Quite a bold beginning considering you don’t know me.

            “unhinged” – You are the only person acting unhinged.

            “extended” – I am verbose, I agree. That’s not a bad thing in my opinion

            “unprovoked” – You started talking to me, and won’t stop.

            “rant” – Funny definition of the word rant you got going there

            “is because deep down, you suspect that you’re wrong” – I really don’t think I’m wrong on any level of my psyche. I feel it is bang out of order to wholesale copy another persons work. I find it unbelievable that you somehow think it’s OK to behave like that in a civilised society.

            “unless you assume that Zyngas victory would mean that every idea would be ripped off within days of being announced et al” – If a court legitimises that behaviour, I fear (that’s fear, not assumes) that unscrupulous individuals will jump on the band wagon. People like yourself who are unhinged enough not to see the problem with that or people who know it is wrong but know that they will now be able to get away with it.

            “Note that by having no line, I don’t mean that I would always defend the behaviour” You give me the impression that you don’t think that copyright law is very important to you. It’s probably because you have never created anything worth copying, but one day, when you do I really hope you don’t get ripped off by the likes of Zynga.

            You then go off on a tangent about lying about military service, demonstrating your complete ignorance about the differences between criminal and civil law and proving that you really don’t get it. You are a good argument for basic law and legal rights to be taught to 11-16 year olds.

            Yes, I agree that there are far worse things in this world than copyright theft. Like murder. Or lying about military service sure, if you say so. (Personally I don’t like the idea that a head of state would potentially force someone into a position where they have to kill another human being or be killed and don’t have a problem with people lying to escape that potential horror). But we are not putting ALL the worlds wrongs to right in this thread. Just Zynga. And yes the worst thing they do is copyright theft. No it’s not that bad compared to criminal offences. Yes it is bad enough that it needs dealing with. In my opinion.

            You are not someone who I ever wish to have to speak to again. Let me do us both a huge favour and block you. You should do the same to me, so that you don’t have to read anything I write ever again.

          • Premium User Badge

            elderman says:

            Boy, I have a response post that I wrote last night trapped in moderation limbo. It talks about how good and little harm could come from this suit. Now I just regret participating in this thread at all. The ad hominems are getting pretty ugly.

            Come on folks, calm down.

          • Consumatopia says:

            Whoa, elderman, lets avoid passive tense here. There’s no ad hominem in my posts, and the only thing even remotely insulting is that I pointed out the extreme nature of Sheng-ji’s last couple of posts. Seriously, her last three posts dedicate at least two thirds of their text to pointless verbose insults and sarcasm about Einstein and mental illness. She responded to reason and logic with contempt and rage. Why? “You started talking to me, and won’t stop.” This is a completely one-sided temper-tantrum.

            She’s also completely mischaracterizing what I said–I wrote “SCOTUS recently struck down a law banning people from lying about military service–ethically speaking, I think that’s much worse than lying about writing a book.” Note, ethically speaking not legally speaking. I made no confusion of civil and criminal law, Sheng-ji is blurring the distinction between civil/criminal penalties and what kind of behavior is “OK in a civilized society” or whether I would “defend that kind of behavior”.

            Also note that the “fear/assume” distinction is completely symmetric here–I fear the harm that could result from a broader definition of copyright violation. Copycat games, like them or loathe them, are already here with us, and while they may be annoying, I don’t think they’re one of the industry’s biggest problems.

          • Consumatopia says:

            Also, this misses my point.

            Yes, I agree that there are far worse things in this world than copyright theft. Like murder. Or lying about military service sure, if you say so. (Personally I don’t like the idea that a head of state would potentially force someone into a position where they have to kill another human being or be killed and don’t have a problem with people lying to escape that potential horror). But we are not putting ALL the worlds wrongs to right in this thread. Just Zynga. And yes the worst thing they do is copyright theft. No it’s not that bad compared to criminal offences. Yes it is bad enough that it needs dealing with. In my opinion.

            We aren’t talking about lying to avoid conscription, we’re talking about claiming to the general public (not to the draft board) that you’ve performed service you haven’t. Sheng-ji’s example was that of herself hypothetically putting her own name down as the author of other’s books and re-distributing them. She insisted that I “defend that kind of behaviour.” My point is that I’m not here to defend any kind of behavior–I’m only talking about whether courts should penalize people for it. And, in this case, there’s a kind of behavior that I think most people would find even less defensible that courts refused to allow a legislature to penalize. Yes, there are still civil penalties for fraud, but that requires showing harm, and it’s hard to see how anyone would be harmed by a lie that Yang Sheng-ji or Consumatopia or anyone else created Harry Potter–everyone knows who actually wrote it, nobody would be fooled.

            Of course, there’s still the harm in copying and redistributing the original work. But redistribution (piracy) obviously has benefits as well (otherwise people wouldn’t do it!). Whether these benefits exceed the harm is an argument that’s been well-hashed elsewhere.

          • Premium User Badge

            elderman says:

            Yes, Sheng-ji is completely out of line. Do her a favour and stop arguing with her. Don’t feed the troll.

            I consider

            The only reason you would produce such unhinged, extended, sarcastic, unprovoked rants like your last two posts is because, deep down, you suspect that you’re wrong.

            to be a thinly disguised personal attack. It is dismissing an argument because of the behaviour of the person making it, not the substance of her argument. So it may not be technically ad hominem, but it’s nevertheless uncivil and (look) leads to a further coarsening of the dialogue.

            Don’t know if this is kosher (apologies to the mods if it’s not) but I’ll include a link to the long (1000 word) argument I posted yesterday about this case, that’s stuck in moderation. Sorry about the formatting. Obviously, 18 hours later, I’d tailor it more to address you, Consumatopia, rather than to continue my contradiction of ReV_VAdAUL, but I stand by it generally.

            [edit]By way way, it doesn’t matter whether copycat games are one of the games industry’s biggest problems or one of its smallest problems if a successful suit will have an effect more or less proportional the size problem it addresses. I think this is the case here. EA claims it’s trying to make the churning out of copycat games a more risky activity. Without any personal faith in the company’s press release, I think this does reflect the scope of the suit’s possible effect.[/edit]

          • Consumatopia says:

            I didn’t dismiss Sheng-ji’s legal position, I dismissed her psycho-pharmological advice. And I think that dismissal was well justified.

            I consider patent trolling worth keeping in mind because, in my view, if copyright law applied to game mechanics–the rules of the game–it would come to resemble patents in it’s effects.

            That said, having now read your post and EA’s original complaint, I think I’m moving closer to your point of view–certainly, copying a piece of visual art inside a game should be no different than copying a piece of visual art outside a game. However, while I wouldn’t be upset to see The Ville get taken down, I wouldn’t want to see Dream Heights get shut down–it has a different visual style from Tiny Tower (Tiny Tower having kind of a retro-pixel look, Dream Heights looking like every other Zynga eyesore.) (BTW, NimbleBit still seems to be in business.) The Spelunky/Spelunker comparison was a bit of a joke–more seriously, having played both Reprisal and Populous, they seem at least as similar as the screenshots of Dream Heights and Tiny Tower are. I still think Reprisal was worth making, though.

            So I suppose that means I would want a legal regime that stops The Ville but tolerates Dream Heights. However, I think that leaves Zynga’s business model–and whatever harm it produces–fundamentally intact.

            EDIT: I suspect your post is stuck in moderation because it had so many links and got flagged automatically. It’s certainly substantive and it’s a shame it didn’t make it through.

          • Premium User Badge

            elderman says:

            I consider patent trolling worth keeping in mind because, in my view, if copyright law applied to game mechanics–the rules of the game–it would come to resemble patents in it’s effects.

            Perhaps that’s the reason that they’re explicitly excluded from copyright protection. This seems to be a case where many interested parties can tell that making FPS gameplay (or puzzle rules, or Adventure game mechanics) copyrightable would be absurd.

            I disagree with others that this case is a slam-dunk, by the way. I’m hoping it’ll go to trial and both parties will have to make their best arguments about what makes a game worthy of copyright protection. It’s not a new argument, however. My internet search just uncovered a paper from 1983 (no kidding!) examining the precedents of the application of copyrights to games. I’ve only skimmed it, but its recommendations to a “trier of fact” show why EA has put together its complaint in the way it has. Also, the fact that the law seems to have remained consistent about this for thirty years, reassures me that there’s no danger of game copyright going the way of software patents.

            (e(d(i(t))) And about the lost post, I guess maybe it’ll be passed through on Monday. I could have broken it up, I suppose, but the argument seemed the have blown past by this morning.)

          • Consumatopia says:

            Also, the fact that the law seems to have remained consistent about this for thirty years, reassures me that there’s no danger of game copyright going the way of software patents.

            Actually, software patents are precisely why I have no confidence in the security of such precedents–it was previously held that mathematical formulas and algorithms could not be patented. Yet now software patents can restrict the application of those algorithms in computers.

            Something similar could happen with game mechanics in copyright–the mechanics themselves would be unprotected, but one visual expression could be called a copy of another simply because they had the same underlying mechanics. I don’t think this is so far fetched–that’s basically the complaint about Dream Heights.

  22. BigTimeOwen says:

    Wow. Impressive PR move for EA… and they may actually do some good work in the process. Zynga is a cancer to both the game and mobile development industries and deserves to be stopped.

    Also, I think EA especially understands the value of recycling small amounts of material or ideas for innovation and the creation of new games in the industry. If they push too hard they will diminish the good will they could gain from this lawsuit so I really think that the goal is to simply end the blatant copying that companies like Zynga do.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      Second time today.

      While I don’t disagree with your sentiment, are we really bringing back the “xyz is cancer to abc”

      Because I though that was over and also quite tacky and tasteless.

      • Aedrill says:

        And it’s aimed at your company. It would be nice if you could mention from time to time that you’re EA’s shareholder. It doesn’t matter when you’re using some actual arguments but in a situation like this? I think it’s quite important information.

        • Sheng-ji says:

          I’m also a Zynga shareholder, which kinda ruins your point really. Especially as the time I disclosed that I held EA shares I was going on about how crap I thought Origin was and how I wouldn’t be buying battlefield 3.

          Current value: EA shares in my name £1022.78 Zynga Shares in my name: £1145.01

          Consider yourselves fully informed.

          My finances are separate from my morals, I will invest in anyone who will give me a return. I have no feelings towards any company in my portfolio, people who get involved on a personal level with their investments invariably lose money. So don’t expect me to blindly defend those who I have money invested in. My investments are long term, I invest in companies and people not current situations. When I say long term, I mean 30+ years before I will sell anything. I also buy in many different industries, not just games. A diverse portfolio is healthy.

          I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, do you really think I would waste my time trying to boost the value of my portfolio by posting here… when I do sell my shares, this case will be forgotten by everyone. You don’t have to trust me to understand that me posting here in no way affects the value of EA’s shares or Zynga’s shares. If you think otherwise, you really are stupid.

          Anyway, what the hell are you talking about – I agreed with his sentiments, he said zynga was the cancer. You didn’t know then that I had zynga shares… so you really got the wrong end of the stick, didn’t you.

          I just don’t like this “xyz is the cancer of abc” malarky, which should be obvious to you if you read what I wrote properly. It’s sad that you are so eager to troll me that you remember personal information that I have shared (and a bit creepy) and so quick off the blocks that you actually haven’t read what I wrote properly. Very sad.

          Still, I expect you felt really clever for about 5 or 6 hours. And that’s nice for you.

          • Aedrill says:

            Oh, how snappy, especially the end of your post. I assume you felt very superior for about 2 hours or so. But to the point.

            I don’t really care who you invest into when you’re taking part in a discussion and using reasonable arguments but saying “I though that was over and also quite tacky and tasteless.” is not an argument, it’s simply dismissing. If you think that it’s not worth discussing (and it’s not, comparing software company to cancer is way over the top although I know where he’s coming from) just ignore the post. Otherwise you’re simply part of the flamewar, and it always makes me wonder why would people do that, and it happens that I remember this detail about you. No, it’s not creepy, I’ve just got good memory.

            Also, the fact that you’ve got Zynga shares is completely irrelevant because this thread is not about “EA vs Zynga” it’s about EA only.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            I still feel superior, if I’m honest. In fact since your post, I feel even more superior. And as I press the block button, I feel further superiority.

            By the way, when the OP wrote “Zynga is a cancer on gaming” how was that not about Zynga? That’s a rhetorical question by the way – blocked remember.

            But it is still creepy that you managed to remember something I wrote in the comments 8 months ago. Even if you do have a fantastic memory, having that memory used on me feels creepy. The way you pulled it out completely unprovoked in a weird way was creepy. The fact you wanted to wade in and have a go at me in a completely unrelated way to the discussion that was being had was creepy (How does my shares portfolio relate to my dislike of people devaluing the horrors of cancer to make a point about video games anyway. Rhetorical)

  23. JoeGuy says:

    Can boyfriends sue Zynga for making their gf’s addicts and making them wait 20 mins while all the dishes are F***ing prepared properly!!!

    God is that how girls see us? Playing games pointlessly when we could just get on with it and be doing something else. It all makes sense now…..

    • volcano_fl says:

      But there’s one difference; Team Fortress 2 will never be as pointless as FarmVille.

    • Spinks says:

      Cos random sexism is what this thread really needed. Nice job.

  24. lordcooper says:

    It’s great because I’ll be happy no matter which one of these companies loses loads and loads of money in court.

  25. loquee says:

    Ahh sweet, like Vader killing the Emporer … only different.
    Maybe like in an alternative star wars reality where jarjar became an evil sith emporer and brave darth jabba puts an end to his reign.

    • Sheng-ji says:

      If only Vader killed some kind of scummy bottomfeeding thief. Then the analogy would be perfect.

      Oh wait, Jar Jar is the better analogy all round ;)

  26. Heresiarch says:

    Normally, I would hate on anything EA does as I can’t stand their business practices, such as viewing their games as “plaforms” for which they can sell massive amounts of DLC, online passes and other bullshit. But in this case, I will be cheering for EA (Man, does it feel weird typing that) and hope that they can put Zynga in there place.

  27. omnom says:

    For all the money Zynga has they still produce cheap rip-off’s.

  28. Greggh says:

    Crikey! That’s awful!!

  29. Slinkyboy says:

    Take a stand? Fuck EA. Nobody gives a fuck about EA anymore. I wish more people would boycott those bastards.

    • Shooop says:

      Modern gamers are basically ADD-addled kleptomania-suffering addicts. If it’s new, shinny, and has violent explosions, they must have it.

  30. MacTheGeek says:

    Best possible outcome: The case is settled out of court, and Zynga’s head game designer Brian Reynolds is forced to resign in disgrace, where his only path to redemption will be to return to Firaxis and create Alpha Centauri II.

  31. ts061282 says:

    Looking at these pictures, the insane waste of human resources, I think this is the ultimate argument against market capitalism.

    However, large amoral corporations suing each other can only be good. Especially for lawyers.

  32. Sheng-ji says:

    Wrong place

  33. Urthman says:

    This is really slimy behavior on Zynga’s part, but a successful lawsuit here would be a disastrous precedent that could have a chilling effect on the indie game development scene.

    • Premium User Badge

      drewski says:

      I’ve never played an indie game that was anything like a clone of a more successful title. Why would indie game developers steal ideas when the whole point of being indie is that you get to, y’know, develop your own ideas?

      • LionsPhil says:

        I think the concern is it slippery-sloping to software-style patents on game design elements, and before you know it Bethsda are suing the Bastion developers because one-mouse-button-per-weapon-in-each-hand is totally ripped off from Skyrim.

        More generally, as eager as people can be to call things rip-offs of Minecraft/Dwarf Fortress, we’d be in a poorer world if people couldn’t try to do X-but-better. In particular, anyone trying to do a more usable DF is already facing a nigh-insurmountable task in just trying to recapture that much head-crushing depth.

  34. sinister agent says:

    It really makes me laugh when common con artists let their success go to their heads, and decide to target the local Duke like they would target any peon. I mean, seriously, was there not one person in that office who said “is it really a good idea to rip off the people whose lawyers could sue the air out of our lungs for sport?”?

    Any indie devs who might be reading: If you ever have trouble with some piece of shit stealing your work or abusing the law or whatever, just stall them, and figure out a way to get them to try their schtick on EA. They all do it sooner or later. It’s like a rite of passage for unscrupulous shitbags to try ripping off EA and end up smeared across a courtroom wall.

    • Premium User Badge

      equatorian says:

      Well, this isn’t just like screwing with the local Duke. Some dukes can be stupid. This is more like screwing with Vlad Dracul while having a perfectly good idea why they call him Dracula.

      The schadenfreude should be strong with this one.

  35. Heliocentric says:

    It’s like watching a crocodile fight a pack(pride?) of tigers, is it too much to hope it goes terribly for both parties and somehow Dice end up indie?

  36. Shooop says:

    Is it too much to hope for that they both loose billions in a legal slap-fight and it’s declared a draw after both of them go bankrupt?

  37. Solidstate89 says:

    Zynga consistently makes EA and Activision look like patron saints in the gaming industry. I honestly hope they get the shit smacked out of them in their lawsuit. They’ve no problems just ripping off entire games and ideas for their stupid Facebook and Mobile games.

    Not to mention there’s a lawsuit going on right now over possible insider trading. The sooner this company dies, the happier I’ll be.

    • Premium User Badge

      Jackablade says:

      Nah. No matter how bad Zynga are (and don’t get me wrong, those guys are bad news), Activision are still pure, unadulterated villainy.

  38. Cosmo Dium says:

    “An enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

    I’m just chuffed that Zynga has Soren Johnson (Civ 4 lead designer) and Brian Reynolds (Rise of Nations / Alpha Centauri lead designer) on their payroll making who knows what games.

  39. cckerberos says:

    Wouldn’t this court case be relevant?

    http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2012-06/20/tetris-clone-ruling

    • wu wei says:

      That is an awesome article, thank you.

      The judge in that case really seemed to get the difference between slavish cloning and iterative copying.

  40. Berstarke says:

    Yeah. First time commenting and I already have to rant. Not a good start. Great thing it’s against Zynga, though, since they’re pretty caricaturally heinous anyway.

    Ok. I don’t like EA (like some of the games -none of them shooters- but feel more than annoyed by all the executive meddling. Still blame that for ME3, but that’s for a more ranty and most likely kinda silly discussion). But in this case I am 100% supporting the case. The situation here is not regarding a bad company trying to look good by bashing another bad company. The situation is that we have a chance to see Zynga getting the beating of its life just where it hurts the most. And, most important, it opens a lovely precedent, letting the smaller companies crash in like a horde breaking a long siege. Games copying elements from each other is something common and that sucks, yes, but not in the level of absurdity Zynga does. I wouldn’t be suprised if sometime in the future they find out Zynga’s modus operandi is to hack the computers of developers, steal the source code and them just change the audio/graphic assets.

    Maybe it may even combo with that glorious stock catastrophe they faced recently. Zynga is as much as a plague to the industry as Rapelay or Jack Thompson were, in its own twisted style. Go go judicial violence.

  41. Roshin says:

    edit

  42. Premium User Badge

    drewski says:

    Good for EA. Zynga make money from shamelessly copying other peoples’ ideas. It’s about time someone with a big bank balance called them on it.

  43. Dizzard says:

    I don’t really see how both games having a “walls down” mode is that shocking. I mean even if they were both house building games that were completely different….it’s likely they would both still have a walls down mode anyway.

    I do see that Zynga is always copying others though and getting away scot free. So I don’t really care what happens to Zynga, they had this coming.

    • Premium User Badge

      equatorian says:

      If you read the court document someone posted on scribd, you’d see that it’s not how both games have a wall-down mode. Many, many games have wall-down modes and EA is aware of that, it’s be ridiculous.

      No, it’s how the Zynga game’s wall-down mode has the EXACT SAME wall height-to-floor width/wall height-to-people height ratio as EA’s. No other game really does that. Hell, wall-to-people ratios in ACTUAL HOUSES often don’t end up the same, despite widespread architectural rules and so on. Same as using exactly the same six RGB values for skin. And yes, you can have pleasant-looking skin without using the same exactly six values.

    • Tei says:

      Having wall down modes is another feature in other million features copied, that copy the feature and the presentation. I think EA is suing the copying of the presentation. Is not one feature that has ben copied that way, hundreds.

  44. BreadBitten says:

    I look forward to seeing EA/Activision/Blizzard/Bungie’s class action lawsuit against Gameloft next!

  45. Sheza says:

    As much as I dislike EA, I’m with them on this once. Zynga downright clones games and they know it.

    • Kadayi says:

      Indeed, those screenshots are pretty damning. I’m not that fussy about Facebook games, but rip off behaviour like that needs to be addressed.

      • Shooop says:

        Yes because EA didn’t completely rip off CoD for their past few games either.

        Do you work at being this dense?

        • Kadayi says:

          Pretty sure Battlefields been around a while and that MoH came before CoD, but still allow your EA hate to guide you.

          • Shooop says:

            And Medal of Honor 2010 and Battlefield 3 ripped so many ideas directly from the CoD series they weren’t even really MOH or BF games anymore. That’s the point.

            But you still cover your ears and yell “I can’t hear you! Everything you say is wrong!”

            Quiet child. Adults are talking.

        • theleif says:

          You have apparently not played MOH, because if you had you should know that it has vary little in common to COH:MW. One game has a plot that tries to stay somewhere close to reality (if you start with the premise that Rambo was real), the other game has a plot that makes every Bond movie look quaint and realistic. They both have desert environments and they both have US soldiers and evil Arab terrorists, but so have many other games. Not saying one game is better than the other (I didn’t like either if them), just that they are far from carbon copies.

          But hey, don’t let reality get in the way of your EA hate.

          • Shooop says:

            There are no words for the sheer amount of stupidity contained in your post. It’s hard enough to find people who even liked the game in the first place, but your “defense” of it is astonishing in its sheer lack of thought put into it.

            Not once did you even approach the quality of the game itself, which is why some people even played the game. Instead you attempt what may be the most sad attempt at comparing two games’ stories that has ever been posted on the internet to date.

            And I did actually play it. It was as worthless, devoid of originality, character, and interesting gameplay as you could get. But love is blind right? And you’d have to blind to love a yawn-a-minute interactive movie like that.

          • theleif says:

            I’m at a loss here. How did you come to the conclusion i was defending any of the games? And why would i defend two games I do not even like? You know i did write that i did not liked them, right? I simply pointed out they are not very similar, when you apparently think MOH is a “rip-off” of COD:MW. They are just two modern shooters.
            This has nothing to do with the topic, but if you really need to know I’m sick and tired of Arabs or Russians as the bad guys in every single modern shooter, and I despise the jingoism in these types of games. The “War on Terror” had been a huge tragedy and has so far, after more than a decade of conflict, only destabilised the world even more than it already was. So the making a FPS that glorifies it disturbs me. So, no, I do not like MOH or COD:MW.
            Most people neither love nor hate EA. They just see it as a major game publisher, one that releases some great game, some that sucks, some with a less than stellar ending, and a company that has a generally horrible DLC policy.
            They are not the Great Satan, neither are part of the Axis of Evil.

          • Shooop says:

            Because literally the one thing you talked about in that entire half-hearted attempt at a post was about how one game’s script is like a classic James Bond movie and the other is “more real.”

            Guess what? People play video games to play them, not be told a story. So that’s what you should be comparing – the gameplay. Nobody plays a FPS for story.

            And when you compare CoD, MOH 2010 and BF3′s gameplay, there are only minor differences. And if you insist on bringing story into it, did you compare BF3′s story to Black Ops? This lawsuit is dripping with so much irony and hypocrisy it’s nauseating.

          • theleif says:

            So, let me get this straight. You came to the conclusion I was defending and loving the game because I compared the story in MOH to MW? Oh, that makes sense.
            I haven’t played Black Ops, but reading the plot, the only thing that’s similar to BF3 is that both main characters are telling their story while being interrogated. There are no zombies, russian nazi scientists, brainwashing, secret underwater bases or assassinations of presidents in BF3. So not very similar.
            About gameplay, have you heard of a game called Battlefield 2? BF2 was so very different to BF3 right? And BF2 was not released before MW, right? It did not have unlockable weapons, and class levels, modern weapons, right? No, BF3 was all about copying MW.
            Yeah, right.
            I give up.

  46. JackDandy says:

    Let them sue each other into bankruptcy.

    Couple of absolute shit companies.

  47. Valvarexart says:

    I don’t understand what all this hate towards EA is based on. EA is an investment company that tries to make money. They’re not a charity company there to make all their fans happy-dappy. Sure, they raped some of their franchises but that’s how capitalism works. I listened to some podcasts with some EA employees, and from what I could gather there are a lot of different forces pulling in different directions within EA. There are a lot of nice chums in there, but they might not be allowed to have everything entirely their way because that would not be a secure business model.

    • SiHy_ says:

      Maybe because people generally don’t root for anyone who values making money over everything else (and usually at the expense of everything else). Sure, making money is their business and it’s what they do best but that doesn’t mean we have to like it. An ogre who eats people is still going to be reviled and feared even if it is in its nature to do so.

      • Kadayi says:

        Yeah but SiHy, the vitrol far outweighs the reality. Plain truth of the matter is most of the money EA make gets ploughed back into funding future development. If you want great shareholder return stock in games companies isn’t where the action is at Vs people like Apple for instance.

        I think EA need to curb much of the stupidity like innumerable pre-order bonuses (just have a couple of skews max), and maybe ease up on the franchise turnaround a bit, but I don’t subscribe to this idea that they are the great Satan.

        • Shooop says:

          Comparisons of them to corrupt warmongers are hyperbole yes. But that’s about it. EA is nothing but terrible for gamers and the industry as a whole. At least Zynga is on the decline because people have seen through them.

          EA and Activsion are the worst things that have happened to the industry because they don’t want to make games anymore – they want to woo shareholders.

          • Kadayi says:

            Snoop I don’t agree with everything they do (I’m no fan of myriad pre-order skews, or always online play), but fundamentally on the whole the games they produce are not crimes against humanity as you seem to believe.

          • Shooop says:

            You didn’t read my post at all did you?

            No, no, no nonono. The proper order for replying to someone whether written or oral form is to first read or listen two what they’ve said, and THEN respond. Otherwise you run the risk of making a completely asinine response that makes it very obvious you have no idea what they just said.

            You’ll never be able to communicate with us adults if you don’t master this.

          • Kadayi says:

            I read your post, but it’s the usual ‘worst thing ever blah, blah , blah hate’ so I put it to you this, If activision, EA, Ubisoft and whomever else you want to label as the worst thing that happened to gaming ever this week all disappeared in a puff of smoke overnight, whom exactly do you thinks going to make the big games? Where’s the money going to come from to fund them? Kickstarter might be good for funding a small indie project here and there, but when your monthly wage budget on a AAA these days can easily be in the millions and devs cycles are in years, where’s the backing coming from?

        • Shooop says:

          You didn’t read a thing and it’s obvious. This is your problem, you’ve already decided your position that EA is practically infallible just because they make big budget games anyone who suggests otherwise in you eyes is wrong by default. I wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t even read posts anymore but just read usernames and shrieked, “UNCLEAN!”

          You are truly the most worthless poster on this site. Not because you have positions others don’t agree with, but because you refuse to believe other positions even exist.

          Now go to bed and let adults talk.

    • Shooop says:

      To put it bluntly, they’re a marketing company first and a game publisher second.

      Look at all the vitrol they made about Battlefield vs Call of Duty: They were actively trash-talking their competitor to the point where Activision was the voice of reason and said, “Shouldn’t you be more concerned about making good games?” And in the end the result was a clone of CoD only with really nice graphics.

      If they had spent even a quarter of the effort making a better game instead of building hype, they’d have actually made a superior product. They gave up trying to make better games long ago. Now they’re just aping their competitor who’s found massive success while shouting, “We’re not this guy, so that makes us better by default!”

      • psyk says:

        Devs are the marketing department?

        • Shooop says:

          These days, some of them are.

          The budget for an EA/Activision game is probably 10% development and publishing, and 90% marketing. Because there’s very little quality under the shiny coats of paint they slather their games in. They just take an idea that was successful before and run with it as many times as they possibly can fool people into thinking it’s fresh and exciting.

          • Kadayi says:

            You have some details to back up those assertions?

          • Shooop says:

            http://www.vg247.com/2011/02/06/battlefield-3-designer-you-dont-kill-cod-by-trying-to-be-cod/

            Among other things. But I know your head is too far in the sand to pay attention.

          • theleif says:

            Can you please point to me what in that article asserts anything of what you are accusing EA of doing. There’s, nothing about 90% marketing costs. I’ve read somewhere else that COD:MW2 had development cost of 40-50 million and marketing, distribution and production costs of around 200 mil. Not 90%.
            There’s nothing about low quality, or milking the franchise (something Tippl at Activision has actually said, comparing selling the same detergent for 35 years with the COD franchise).
            On the contrary, the article starts with saying the opposite of what you are claiming: “Kertz said in the Twitter Q&A session that “you don’t kill CoD by trying to be CoD. You kill CoD by making a better shooter.”

          • Kadayi says:

            @theleif

            Snoops a lost cause. He’d be telling you they eat babies if he thought it would make you hate the big publishers as much as him. I find it all quite amusing really. I’m not entirely sure why it’s important that he believes we need to bring them down, there’s an entirely healthy indie market out there that’s happy to service all his gaming hipster requirements. Frankly I don’t play CoD, but I don’t feel that it’s existence is somehow an affront to my sensibilities.

          • Shooop says:

            Reading comprehension is such a valuable skill in these times. I really wonder how you managed to get out of grade school without picking up any!

            For milking the franchises, have you paid any attention at all to what EA’s been doing recently? They’ve even outright said they want to release a BF game every two years, effectively alternating between a MOH and a BF game every year. What does Activision do? They have two studios working on two different games that have the CoD name attached to it and release one a year.

            And the talk of beating CoD is my point about marketing. Instead of making a better game, they talk about making a better one but end up making the same thing with a different name. Where did the money go then? Sure didn’t go to making a better game! Where then?

            http://bf3blog.com/2011/04/battlefield-3-launching-this-november-with-a-100-million-ad-campaign/

            Now do you have something actually meaningful to say for once Leif or are you just going to fumble around your couch for a few minutes and then write another response that has literally nothing to do with what I’ve just wrote?

          • theleif says:

            So an article stating the opposite of what you are saying is proof that what you are saying is true? I’m blow away by your logic.
            Good sir, you have clearly won this debate.

  48. psyk says:

    So zynga are just like this guy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xF2wWg7ZHCY

  49. Premium User Badge

    Erithtotl says:

    I’m far from a Sims fanatic, but looking at those screens, if I saw the Zynga game I’d assume it was a Sims game. It’s pretty blatant cloning.

  50. Suits says:

    Best thing EA has does in quite a while. Evil fighting evil, i like it.

    • Shooop says:

      Hope the hell they loose.

      People can see through Zynga and their cheap non-games. But EA’s million-dollar marketing is too much for gamers to resist.

      • Kadayi says:

        How dare people play games I have no interest in.

        • Shooop says:

          It’s OK, I understand you need games that basically do everything for you Kadayi. I understand. And it’s OK. Not everyone has the mental brain function to figure out when you should follow another NPC to the next part of the level. But some of us do and we’d really like if not every single game that comes out in the future does that same thing because they’re so popular.

          But it’s OK for you. Have a lollipop.