Zynga has bitten back at Electronic Arts. The Los Angeles Times reports today that the social gaming giant has countersued EA, calling the publisher's August copyright infringement suit baseless and alleging "anticompetitive and unlawful business practices."
"Today we responded to EA’s claims, which we believe have no merit," the San Francisco studio said in a statement. "We also filed a counterclaim which addresses actions by EA we believe to be anticompetitive and unlawful business practices, including legal threats and demands for no-hire agreements."
In a statement to the site, EA senior director of corporate communications John Reseburg strongly denied Zynga's assertions. He also pointed to the exodus of top talent from the company of late, which included former Microsoft executive John Schappert.
"This is a predictable subterfuge aimed at diverting attention from Zynga’s persistent plagiarism of other artists and studios," Reseburg said. "Zynga would be better served trying to hold onto the shrinking number of employees they’ve got, rather than suing to acquire more."
The full text of the complaint can be found at Kotaku.
EA's suit against Zynga--which it calls a matter of principle--alleges that Zynga's The Ville is a ripoff of EA's Sims Social. EA Maxis general manager Lucy Bradshaw said EA was obligated to bring the suit because unlike many other operations that have alleged theft at Zynga's hands, her company "has the financial and corporate resources to stand up and do something about it."