Zynga exec says all devs copy each other, amid copycat claims

By Dave Cook
11 March 2013 14:13 GMT

Zynga New York head Dan Porter has published an open letter regarding claims that the studio copies other people’s titles. Porter downplayed the claim by suggesting that everyone copies each other.

The letter was in response to a recent discussion help by Porter, that he claims was misconstrued by the press to say that he endorsed Zynga’s alleged copying of ideas. This was not the case, he argues.

“Some of you have seen in the press that I supposedly said Zynga copies games”, Porter began. “I was very surprised when the article came out because it was a misrepresentation of what I said at a small talk about the future of gaming and where I talked mostly about wearable gaming and ramification of everyday events.”

He went on to say, “What I actually said was that all games are derived from other games, that this has been happening long before Zynga, and that the debate about originality in games is vastly overblown and misses the mark.

“Before making Draw Something we ran OMGPOP for four years and made lots of games that were inspired by games we loved and we emulated the mechanics from games with great UI. This is no great revelation.”

The ‘genius’ he spoke of is how Zynga takes ideas and turns them into a sustainable, social business, “There is great stuff in the pipeline. I really do believe that Zynga is the best in the world at creating and socializing games, and running the as a service that people love. Ultimately that is the huge factor in what makes Zynga a sustaining company.”

Porter made it clear that he has since spoken with the reporter in question and explained Zynga’s true intent. “So when I spoke to this group,” he concluded, “I told them what I truly believe: the debate over copying games is a distraction if you are trying to figure out the future of social games; what matters is the ability to run those games as a service.

“But I also know that is a nuanced point and isn’t quite as sexy a headline. I should know better. Lesson learned. Sometimes it is truly better to say nothing at all.”

Over to you friends. Does Zynga copy games, or are all games derived from others. Let us know below.

Meanwhile, Zynga and EA have recently ‘downed-swords’ over a legal dispute concerning similarities between Zynga’s TheVille and EA’s The Sims Social. Peter Moore said that the case was a win for EA and that they were “Standing up for the industry”.

Here’s our full coverage over the messy ordeal:

Thanks Eurogamer.

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