Zynga files a countersuit against Electronic Arts after the latter alleged that Zynga copied its game ideas. Zynga claims that EA violated copyright of their game, The Ville. The social network game maker also said that EA’s move to take legal action was “”anticompetitive and unlawful business practices.”
Reggie Davis, general counsel of Zynga said: “Today we responded to EA’s claims which we believe have no merit. 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. We look forward to getting back to focusing all our efforts on delighting our players.”
EA commented that Zynga’s recent move is “predictable”, and that it’s meant to divert attention from its usual copycat attitude.
“This is a predictable subterfuge aimed at diverting attention from Zynga’s persistent plagiarism of other artists and studios,” said John Reseburg, an EA spokesman.
” Zynga would be better served trying to hold onto the shrinking number of employees they’ve got, rather than suing to acquire more.”
EA had previously accused Zynga of copying significant characteristics of EA’s The Sims Social. Zynga denied the allegations and demanded a jury trial to settle the case.
Zynga’s demands for a trial by jury reads: “The two games at issue in EA’s Complaint, Zynga’s The Ville and EA’s The Sims Social, belong to a longstanding and well-developed genre known as ‘life simulation’ games. No one, including EA, may lay claim to the exclusive right to develop and release games in that genre, or to employ the common modes of expression and functional elements that must of necessity be used in the genre and that have come to characterize it.”
Zynga believes that The Ville continues the company’s tradition of coming up with games similar to YoVille, created in 2008. EA’s The Sims Social was released 3 years after YoVille.
Zynga also criticized EA for its lack of innovation to successfully compete in today’s modern market for social games that can be played on mobiles and internet. EA CEO, John Riccitiello once admitted that Zynga left his company in the dust by saying that Zynga “lapped us three times.”
Zynga mentioned that despite EA’s billion-dollar effort to compete in the social gaming market, it did not become successful. EA also lost talents to gaming leader Zynga in the process. According to Zynga, EA tried to check the loss of talent by engaging in “anti-competitive and unlawful scheme to stop Zynga from hiring its employees and to restrain the mobility of EA employees in violation of the spirit of the antitrust laws and California public policy.”
While Zynga has managed to lure employees of EA away, the firm has also witnessed its own exodus of employees. The wave of departures came at the time when Zynga’s stocks dived about 68% last year’ s initial public offering.