EA “standing up for the industry” with Zynga copycat suit

By Brenna Hillier
21 August 2012 05:25 GMT

EA is taking a stand other companies don’t have the resources for in its pursuit of copyright infringement claims against Zynga, COO Peter Moore has said.

EA has filed a copyright infringement suit against Zynga over the latter’s offering The Ville, developed under former EA executive John Schappert and bearing striking similarities to EA’s The Sims Social. According to Moore, the suit is about more than just one game.

“When we looked at TheVille we felt somewhat affronted by what we saw as copyright infringement. We also feel from an industry perspective that a number of these things have happened before related to Zynga, but there’s never been a company that has the wherewithal and the resources to take it to the next level. We do,” Moore told Eurogamer at gamescom.

“So, we’re defending our Maxis studio, and we’re standing up for the industry.”

The executive said the roots of what games developers do is creative and takes years of effort.

“And when you see somebody, quite frankly, take months replicating what you’ve done, you’re upset. We were upset. We were upset for Maxis,” he said.

“And we’ve seen enough of it from an industry perspective, with smaller publishers and developers who also put their hands up and said, this is not right, but I don’t know what to do about it. We do.”

Moore said the industry in general has privately sent “nice messages of support” for pursuing the case, as well as some not so private ones; he pointed out a frankly adorable exchange between Nimblebit and EA’s official Twitter accounts a few weeks back. “You have my sword,” the independent developer of the allegedly cloned Tiny Tower said; “You have our shield,” EA replied. Excuse me, having a cute attack.

Zynga has been challenged over copyright infringement cases before but has always settled out of court while denying wrong doing. Analysts don’t seem keen on EA’s chances but the publisher seems adamant it will chase down the ailing Zynga.

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