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EA And Zynga's Legal Battle Ends With A Whimper

Lawsuits are nasty business. Accusations fly like hot lead, and all that’s left afterwards are the coldest of feelings. Oh, and sometimes millions of dollars in legal fees. Those too. I suppose, however, that it helps slightly when both parties involved are regularly accused of being soulless behemoths bereft of all feelings except slobber-soaked money lust. So it was when EA and Zynga came to verbal blows over The Ville’s more-than-passing resemblance to The Sims Social, and oh my, did things ever get heated. EA claimed to be “taking a stand” against Zynga’s allegedly frequent copycatting, and the now-deflating social zeppelin fired back with barbs like this one: “The truth is that despite years of trying to compete, and spending more than a billion dollars on acquisitions, EA has not been able to successfully compete in the social gaming space and was losing talent, particularly to social gaming leader Zynga.”

Now, however, it’s all over. And the fireworks? They are sadly few.

A court filing by the US District Court of Northern California (via All Things Digital) tells the tale, though there’s really very little tale to tell. Seriously. Here’s the whole thing:

“EA and Zynga have resolved their respective claims and have reached a settlement of their litigation in the Northern District of California.”

Which tells us very little, other than the fact that EA and Zynga won’t be taking their war of words to court. If, however, you read between the lines, it’s not hard to surmise that a little (or a whole, whole lot) of money probably changed hands. I doubt, after all, that accusations of blatant theft were easily written off as a simple misunderstanding.

It is a bit strange to consider this whole thing in hindsight, though. A year ago, this would have been positively monumental news. Now it’s just kind of… there. Zynga’s bleeding cash and key employees, and its suspiciously sticky fingers have taken a backseat to, well… hm. You know that moment just before a freshly chopped tree splinters and tips over? That.

I’ve reached out to both EA and Zynga for more info, but – as is typically the case with these things – I doubt we’ll find out much more in the foreseeable future.

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Nathan Grayson

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