There’s a fight brewing in social media gaming land: Electronic Arts is steamed at Zynga over its new “The Ville” game, which EA claims is a total ripoff of “The Sims Social,” both games that are played on Facebook. EA is suing, claiming The Ville is an “unmistakable” copy of The Sims Social. Both do have characters that are you know, people, who do things like build homes and put fancy virtual stuff in them.
USA Today says the complaint filed in a U.S. District Court in California has EA alleging that The Ville needs to back up off The Sims Social territory.
EA’s general manager for the creators of The Sims Social says:
“The similarities go well beyond any superficial resemblance. 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.”
Zynga is far from ready to back down from its virtual people doing virtual things, replying in a statement from its general counsel that EA’s claims are poppycock. Zynga’s general counsel responded with:
“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. It’s also ironic that EA brings this suit shortly after launching SimCity Social which bears an uncanny resemblance to Zynga’s CityVille game.”
Sims Social hit Facebook last August, whereas The Ville is new to the scene as of June. Both allow players to create avatars and share their doings with friends. If you’ve played one or both, go ahead and weigh in via the comments.
EA sues Zynga for copyright infringement [USA Today]