EA’s suit alleges Zynga’s ‘The Ville’ is a clone of its own ‘The Sims Social’
Electronic Arts (EA) has filed a copyright infringement case on behalf of its Maxis Label, which created ‘The Sims Social’. The Sims Social was released on Facebook in August 2011 as an extension of its popular Sims PC game franchise. Zynga’s The Ville came out in June 2012.
In a 40 page filing, EA pointed out numerous game elements it claimed Zynga ripped off in “The Ville,” from personality traits to avatars’ actions, such as conversing and dancing. In another example, EA claimed “The Ville” characters included eight personality types, ranging from athlete to villain, that echoed “The Sims” own jock-to-scoundrel lineup. EA also accused Zynga of using eight identical colors for its characters’ skin-tone palette.
(L) The Sims Social and (R) The Ville
Reginald Davis, Zynga’s general counsel, hit back in response, “It’s unfortunate that EA thought that this was an appropriate response to our game, and clearly demonstrates a lack of understanding of basic copyright principles”.
This is not the first time Zynga has been accused of copying other developer’s games.
It may be remembered that the social gaming giant’s ‘Dream Heights’ bared more than a passing resemblance to indie developer Nimblebit’s iPhone game ‘Tiny Tower’. But this is the first time Zynga has butted heads with a company as large as EA.