EA (Electronic Arts), Developers of The Sim’s Social, Sues Zynga for Copyright Infringement with The VilleSat ,04/08/2012
The Ville is Zynga’s own version of The Sim’s Social , a Sims branded game with the social networking spin, but EA claims the similarities are too vast, and that it may even confuse unknowing gamers who mistake it for the exact same game. Lucy Bradshaw, General Manager of Maxis (the subsidiary that produces Sims games) explains, “The copying was so comprehensive that the two games are, to an uninitiated observeer, largely indistinguishable. Zynga’s design choices, animations, visual arrangements, and character motions have been directly lifted from The Sims Social.” Zynga’s general counsel Reggie Davis has since responded in a statement claiming, “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,” and he continued stating that, “It’s also ironic that EA brings this suit shortly after launching SimCity Social which bears an uncanny resemblance to Zynga’s CityVille game.”
It isn’t the first time that Zynga’s been under fire for the same copycat scenario or been sued by other gaming studios. Zynga has been known to take existing competitor games, replicate the concept, and of course add their own Zynga touch (for a slideshow of similar games check out Mashable here). Many would be surprised to learn that FarmVille itself was not the very first virtual farming social networking game. The idea of FarmVille is said to be largely borrowed from predecessor virtual farming game Farm Town. However, it’s evident that Farm Town never had the same success as FarmVille. Despite copyright infringement allegations, still millions flock to Zynga’s games which almost always exceed their competitors’ games. There’s clearly something in the Zynga gaming recipe that appeals to a larger audience and helps contribute to the longevity of its gaming repertoire.
Appdata.com breaks the numbers down for top Facebook apps and you can see the shootout below in which The Ville is winning over gamers in just a short period of time since its release date on July 26, 2012. This is no real surprise as the enormous following of existing Zynga gamers are heavily marketed to try out new games in cross-promotions where they can earn free incentives in games they already play for trying out and leveling-up in new games such as The Ville. For example, FarmVille Freaks can take advantage of an ongoing FarmVille & The Ville cross-promotion where they can earn free Unwithers and Instant Grow for FarmVille when they level-up in the The Ville.
Check out The Ville’s current users versus the The Sims Social below, and we’ve thrown in the numbers for FarmVille for fun so you can see where your favorite farming game currently ranks. We’ve seen it fluctuate on the App Leaderboards over the past three years, but it still maintains a stronghold as one of the top Facebook apps with the one of the highest DAU (Daily Active Users).
Facebook App Leaderboards (August 2012)
Top App (MAU Monthly Active Users) DAU (Daily Active Users)
The Ville – 40.3 million The Ville – 7.2 million
The Sims Social – 16.5 million The Sims Social – 2.9
FarmVille – 27.5 million FarmVille – 11.8 million
The Sims Social – August 9, 2011
The Ville – July 26, 2012
How many of you FarmVille Freaks are part-time The Ville or The Sim’s Social players and what do you think about this lawsuit?