Zynga has filed a lawsuit against Brazilian social gaming start up Vostu for “blatant infringement of our creative works”.
“Let’s be clear – it is one thing to be inspired by Zynga games, but it is entirely different to copy all of our key product features, product strategy, branding, mission statement and employee benefits lock, stock and barrel,” general counsel Reggie Davis said in a statement, as reported by TechCrunch.
“… Blatant infringement of our creative works is not an acceptable business strategy – it is a violation of the law.”
According to Zynga, Vostu – which raised $45.9 million in funding from a variety of investors – has “brazenly appropriated the copyright-protected aspects of Zynga’s games (as well as almost every other aspect of Zynga’s business)”.
The cloning is so complete, Zynga alleges, that Vostu’s games even include flaws found in the originals.
“In CityVille, the Zynga developers forgot to add the requirement that Community Buildings be connected to a road in order to function within the game – a requirement for all other buildings in the game.
“The game was released without that requirement, and the bug was never fixed in Zynga’s game. Vostu’s MegaCity replicated this,” the suit claims.
Zynga supplied a compelling video of its own games compared side-by-side with Vosty’s which you can check out below.
In a statement given to BusinessInsider, Vostu spokesperson Davidson Goldin called Zynga’s claims “ridiculous and baseless allegations”.
“Zynga has been accused of copying so many games that they’ve sadly lost the ability to recognize games like ours that are chock full of original content and have been independently created,” a Vostu statement responded.
“Vostu has 500 brilliant employees working night and day making hand drawings and writing proprietary code for online games that our 35 million users worldwide enjoy.
“Zynga’s anti-competitive effort to bully us with a frivolous lawsuit – especially when we have some of the same key investors – is pathetic. While Zynga plays games with the legal process we will continue focusing on using our substantial resources to create games that entertain our customers.”
As Vostu’s statament alludes, Zynga has itself been embroiled in claims of copyright infringement, and has settled all cases.