EA have filed a lawsuit against Zynga for copyright infringement. The suit is on behalf of Maxis, over “unmistakable” similarities between The Sims Social and Zynga’s The Ville, and it seems the publisher hopes to set a precedent. Says Maxis general manager Lucy Bradshaw: “This is a case of principle”.
"The similarities go well beyond any superficial resemblance," said Bradshaw.
"Zynga's design choices, animations, visual arrangements and character motions and actions have been directly lifted from The Sims Social. The copying was so comprehensive that the two games are, to an uninitiated observer, largely indistinguishable. Scores of media and bloggers commented on the blatant mimicry."
Bradshaw claims that the suit is a matter of principle for EA, channelling Braveheart for the remainder of her statement: “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. 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."
EA, games industry underdog champion! It’s a scenario unlikely enough that it might just work.