Zynga's creative process a 'photocopier' - EA COO

Peter Moore says his company took offense to production process of rival gaming giant, hopes its litigation will also benefit smaller studios.

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Electronic Arts COO Peter Moore weighed in on his company's suit against social games giant Zynga with a salvo of his own at Gamescom. Moore spoke to Eurogamer at the conference about what led EA to file charges of copyright infringement based on similar Facebook games from the two companies.

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He said his company was "affronted" when it saw Zynga's The Ville, which it alleges in the suit is nearly indistinguishable from EA's The Sims Social. "We're defending our Maxis studio, and we're standing up for the industry," Moore said. "The roots of what we do as an industry is creative ... And when you see somebody, quite frankly, take months replicating what [you took years to create], you're upset."

Moore said EA's significant resources allow it to strike a blow against Zynga's allegedly long-standing practice of cribbing game design. He said the company has received several public and private statements of support, and specifically noted indie developer NimbleBit, which felt its iOS game Tiny Tower was infringed upon by Zynga's Dream Heights.

"We're a creative industry, and your tools should be your mind and the digital tools to create the characters. It shouldn't be a photocopier, and that's what we saw there," Moore said.

Zynga previously responded to the suit with an allegation that EA is guilty of similar misappropriation with Sim City Social and Zynga's CityVille. An intellectual property expert said the case will likely be difficult and very costly, and whichever way it goes, "EA is playing with fire."

Discussion

42 comments
decoy1978
decoy1978

Probably the only time I will side with EA. Video Games are a form of art which rests in creativity. Games take years to create; its an extensive and exhausting effort by people to see their creation come to life and enjoyed by others. Zynga bypasses ALL that hardwork and like those restoration painters gives their supposed "games" a facelift from existing games like Tiny Towers.

 

The developers of that game are not multi-million dollar companies. They do not have a roster of 40 developers. I think at most they have 5-7 employees. And what Zynga did to them was horrific. I hope EA guts them, I hope other companies follow suit and take them to court. I hope Zynga fades to obscurity and resides in Wiki articles

bloody-hell
bloody-hell

Kind of funny when EA talks about creativity and not copying things, especially when you look at the sports and racing titles this company keeps rereleasing every year where the only change is that the numer at the end is being incremented.

 

Whatever they're smoking can't be legal to obtain, I bet after his statements he imagined a crowd of people cheering at him.

 

Keep doing what you're doing, EA ! You never fail to amuse me.

 

Just read this interview with UbiSoft and I already had tears in my eyes from laughing when I came here : http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-08-22-ubisoft-has-endured-a-93-95-percent-piracy-rate-on-pc

 

Oh the bubbles these "AAA" publishers live in .. so far away from reality and rational thinking, yet so entertaining.

aussiemuscle
aussiemuscle

I think Facebook should be along side Zynga as they are the ones publishing so many of these photocopy games. Most of the games on Facebook are direct rip offs of other popular games, like Popcap's Peggle has 3 or 4 duplicates that are EXACTLY the same except for the title.

-Jonce-
-Jonce-

The outcome either way could be a worry. If EA win then does it then mean that any remotely original idea in a game becomes copyrighted 'property'? Taking this idea from a historical point of view would we have ever had Halo or CoD because id Software did the FPS with Wolfenstein first? What about other gaming constants like leveling up or keeping score or 1ups?

 

If Zynga win will it mean a copy/paste future where developers just tweek other popular games, stick a different name on it and shovel it out for half the price?

 

The truth of it will be somewhere inbetween but it makes you think.

Sir_Grakul
Sir_Grakul

I could be mistaken, but I thought you couldn't copyright gameplay. Or has that changed?

Anigmar
Anigmar

I don't like EA ways but they're right this time. It's not that Zynga has similar features, it's copy+paste. They've done it for years and it has to stop. Imagine a world where all games are exactly the same.

sladakrobot
sladakrobot

EA should stop doing this.

Its like in the past when western car technology was copied.

The right thing to do was always to be ahead and make better products.

EA,just make better games and less ppl will care about Zyngas games.

lazycomplife
lazycomplife

LOL Madden isn't photocopying apparently.

svaubel
svaubel

And EA's creative process involves pushing the On button on the 'Re-release-O-Tron' or the 'Sequel-O-Tron'

 

I really dont know who to vote for in this. Seems like EA is just butthurt that Zynga did what they did, but made more money.

 

I find both companies equally evil. EA buying and then destroying small dev houses the moment a game doesnt live up to their insane expectations. And Zynga making the pay to win model more mainstream and since everyone copies success, soon a lot more games are going to be pay to win.

 

Oh hello Diablo 3, didnt see you there.

gamer-clemm
gamer-clemm

Zynga does take other peoples idea though. First Farm Town came out and then FarmVille. I'm for EA.

fightingfish18
fightingfish18

EA has a chance here to do something positive for the industry, which is awesome, let's hope they don't find a way to screw it up.  I'm actually siding with EA here, which shocks me.

Raeldor
Raeldor

Lol.  Harsh, but fair! :D

SLjimbolian
SLjimbolian

I'm telling ya, it should be Hasbro that's more PO'ed with Zynga than EA.  Words With Friends is a complete ripoff of Scrabble.

thom_maytees
thom_maytees

I really could not say what side I should believe or take a stand as both have questionable reputations by gamers.

Kravyn81
Kravyn81

Zynga is shit. I hope EA takes them down. If any company can, it's EA.

AyatollaofRnR
AyatollaofRnR

At least gameloft try and disguise it when they copy other people.

Slyster1181
Slyster1181

This is funny coming from the company that bought the NFL License to keep 2K and other companies from making football games.

edgecrusherO0
edgecrusherO0

You mean like how many of EA's franchises are just photocopies of themselves? :P

 

Oh EA, your hypocrisy shall never cease to generate lulz.

 

Are you still going to talk about how Zynga has a great development model you're looking to copy? Still looking to out-Zynga Zynga? I'm sure that will work out well for you : )

KumaTenshi29
KumaTenshi29

Yes, both of you keep suing each other until you're both broke and gone, hahahahaha!

jrabbit99
jrabbit99

I just hope the whole suite gets dropped. I don't want to see it go either way.

Dr_Corndog
Dr_Corndog

Is it even right to call Zynga a developer? That makes it sound like you create something of your own.

redskinStu
redskinStu

Who the f*ck cares about Facebook games?

Falru
Falru

I hope the judge just slams his hammer down and declares "You're both fucking dumb!" and sentences both CEO's to indefinite house arrest.

 

I can dream, can't I?

Cait
Cait

This game isn't any different than the typical FACEBOOK game, you create a character, you do missions and you buy stuff for your house.  Sometimes you control your characters, other times not, and you always visit neighbors, doing stuff at their house.  There's only so many ways of doing this, now I don't like either, EA or Zynga, but to me, they're (EA) is trying to take over Facebook.  Only now, I think now, they're using the court system to do it.  (>_<) I think EA and Zynga deserve each other as rivals, it might set them both straight.

UnwantedSpam
UnwantedSpam

Oh, so you JUST figured out that Zynga is a shameless copycat?

 

That company needs to die, and everyone involved in Zynga's affairs needs to lose their jobs. Not that EA is any better, but EA looks like fuckin' Bob Ross when compared to Zynga.

MJ12-Conspiracy
MJ12-Conspiracy

I honestly hope both crash and burn.....

neither side deserves the win on this, both are about as creatively bankrupt as a.....well photocopier to put it bluntly. [and sarcastically]

 

strayfies
strayfies

Heh yeah I like accusations too.  Power to the players, Challenge Everything to the MAX *high fives all around*

SolidTy
SolidTy

This will be kind of fun to watch play out.

DarkSaber2k
DarkSaber2k

Rich coming from a company that has made a long and storied career out of photocopying their own games.

nurnberg
nurnberg

Thank God we have EA saving the industry, and offering us original, never-seen-before gameplay like Madden and Battlefield.

Enundr
Enundr

 @Sir_Grakul from EAs point of view , only theyre allowed to do it it seems , anyone else beware.

Enundr
Enundr

 @Anigmar you mean how almost all games are getting the same CoD formula for MP in a sense , and in the end doesnt work for that  type of game? were already in that world trying to do that Anigmar....sad to say. only diff is , that most of them fail or dont have a long shelf life because they tried to copy the formula. i believe the latest one i saw was Future Soldier , noob tubes EVERWHERE? nothing tactical about that. sort of a reason why EA would even do this? for the $$ cause someone copied them and it worked i guess (i dont play any of their stuff either).  though i still say its a horrible idea to try to copy another game (whether formula or just whole design) , alot of games dont pull it off well.

blackothh
blackothh

 @sladakrobot i bet they will try to sue gamers for not buying their products before they make better games

Enundr
Enundr

 @sladakrobot lol EA make better games? dont see that happening. i think all they try to focus on is graphics at this point , not how great a game can be from content (story , combat , etc).

edgecrusherO0
edgecrusherO0

 @gamer-clemm So do 90% of the other mobile and social developers, Zynga just did a better job of it than they did (although now they're hurting, kinda poetic justice).

edgecrusherO0
edgecrusherO0

 @Kravyn81 EA: Almost universally trash talked, except when they're going after Zynga. Then they're heroes.

 

MAKES TOTAL SENSE

 

Because it's not like Acitivision, Ubisoft, Sony, Microsoft, or one of a number of other major publishers could just as easily go after Zynga for one thing or another with the kind of money they have. Shouldn't be too hard for them to patent troll as well.

ColdfireTrilogy
ColdfireTrilogy

 @nurnberg I remember when EA helped publish DICE's Battlefield 1942... and it was original and it WAS never before seen or even thought possible that 64 people could be banging it up in 2002.  EA isnt the demon everyone attributes them to.  Sure there are a lot of stale IPs in their portfolio but as a whole it has gone a long way in establishing unique games and taking risks.  Zanga has had very little to no creativity in their blatant cash grabs using extremely ... nigh, eerily identical games created solely for extorting an already established gaming niche.  This suit is over just one fine example.

Anigmar
Anigmar

 @Enundr As you say we're there already, but at least they are 20% different. Let's take COD as you proposed vs BF. Same genre, same basic gameplay... Differences are minor but exist (destructable environments, vehicles...). The problem with Zynga is it's almost exact copy and it's the way they've always rolled. You can copy concept, some mechanics... but not even the colours and graphics. That's plain plagiarism. I'm with you though, we need fresh ideas and developers should put their efforts in that, not in technology.

aussiemuscle
aussiemuscle

 @codeman101360 That video is really funny, but since when is profit undeserved? (if not attained illegally). All's fair in Love and Business. If people are stupid enough to throw their money at EA, why should they change their ways?