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Zynga» Forums » General

Subject: Zynga the root of all Evil? rss

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Josh Malbon
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This blows my mind why these people from Zynga are not in prison.

First they create a purposely addictive game, Farmville to rip people off.

Then right before their stock tanks they do a little insider trading to sell off all their shares for a tune of $511,000,000!

Among other games they ripped off now they have this blatant rip off of EA's Sims Social. Just watch a couple of these videos and you can see what blatant copies these are.

[Editted inappropriate comment]







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Luke Stirling
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I have no love for Zynga. There's little doubt in my mind that they are predominantly a clone factory, and their mismanagement of their business combined with senior management cash outs prior to the stock tanking is more than a little ethically dubious.

But all that said, lawsuits claiming copyright infringement in gaming frighten me more. It puts the power of precedent in the hands of a judge who may or may not understand the iterative nature of game design. EA isn't claiming Zynga lifted any code or art assets from The Sims Social, so it comes down to the game feeling too similar. That's a grey area I'm not all that comfortable seeing people poke around in too aggressively.
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On this topic, I highly recommend Malcom Gladwell's essay, Something Borrowed.

Legal precedent in this area could have unintended fallout in the industry, but I'm not too concerned. It's unlikely that the standard for copyright violation will be low / restrictive / easy to misapply. Rather, establishing that is is possible to systematically rip off another game, visually, design-wise, and without substantive additions or alterations - even without stealing the source code - is probably a good thing.

Of course, EA and Zynga going for each other's throats makes a pretty good spectacle.
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There is no doubt they are using existing games as templates.
However working off of existing pieces and using them as inspiration or as a starting point has a rich tradition in all art forms. I'm not sure how these lines would be drawn.
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Adam Slape
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sixthecat wrote:
First they create a purposely addictive game, Farmville to rip people off.


Not sure I agree with your logic here...isn't this the goal of all gaming companies? I may not like this game or their method, but I can't fault them for it.

sixthecat wrote:
Among other games they ripped off now they have this blatant rip off of EA's Sims Social. Just watch a couple of these videos and you can see what blatant copies these are.


Unfortunately (or not), there was a precedent set a long time ago that you could pretty much copy another company's game as long as you create new graphics, rewrite the code, and name it something else. You could look at this as "ripping off," but you could also see it as sort of a self-balancing system. The company that creates the better version (and/or sells it for less money) should still, hypothetically, win out in the end.

I don't mean for this to sound too combative, as I am not a fan of Zynga or their games, but I'm not sure they've done anything wrong in these examples. I don't know enough about the stock market to comment on that other point, but it sounds shady.
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Nick Reed
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paralipsis wrote:
I have no love for Zynga. There's little doubt in my mind that they are predominantly a clone factory, and their mismanagement of their business combined with senior management cash outs prior to the stock tanking is more than a little ethically dubious.

But all that said, lawsuits claiming copyright infringement in gaming frighten me more.

(Mostly) Agree with this.

FarmVille is my lowest rated game here on VGG due to Zynga's rip-off nature, and their past history of endorsing user money scamming. However, trying to enforce design ideas and concepts through copyright infringement lawsuits opens up a lot of possible problems down the road.


That said, I'd love it if Zynga got stung hard at some point.
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Old & Chaotic Evil Bob
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Ncik wrote:
paralipsis wrote:
I have no love for Zynga. There's little doubt in my mind that they are predominantly a clone factory, and their mismanagement of their business combined with senior management cash outs prior to the stock tanking is more than a little ethically dubious.

But all that said, lawsuits claiming copyright infringement in gaming frighten me more.

(Mostly) Agree with this.

FarmVille is my lowest rated game here on VGG due to Zynga's rip-off nature, and their past history of endorsing user money scamming. However, trying to enforce design ideas and concepts through copyright infringement lawsuits opens up a lot of possible problems down the road.


That said, I'd love it if Zynga got stung hard at some point.



it is getting STUNG whistle

click on the 6 month chart
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Nick Reed
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stargate wrote:
it is getting STUNG whistle

click on the 6 month chart

'Tis but a flesh wound!
But, yeah, I spotted that the other week when Facebook stock took another dive. Doesn't seem to be stopping Zynga from pulling exactly the kind of thing noted in the original post though.
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Sithrak - The god who hates you unconditionally
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Zynga » Forums » General
Re: Zynga the root of all Evil?
Ciaran wrote:
sixthecat wrote:
First they create a purposely addictive game, Farmville to rip people off.


Not sure I agree with your logic here...isn't this the goal of all gaming companies? I may not like this game or their method, but I can't fault them for it.


There's a difference between "make a game that people want to play because it's fun" and "make a game that people need to play because they're addicted", the former should (in my opinion) be the aim of game design, the latter is what Zynga aimed for from the start (Which is, by the way, fairly well documented, although it would take me some time to find my sources again, admittedly, it's been a while since I've read up on them)

It's like the difference between "a business should make money by making products people want to buy" and "a business should make money by any means necessary (including screwing people over)"

That being said, both Zynga and EA can go to hell for all I care, although in this particular case I'm inclined to side with EA because they actually, sometimes, on occassion, push the medium forward, by accident, when none of their accountants are watching, while Zynga's only contribution is and always has been "inventing new techniques to part people from as much on their money as possible for as little return as possible", which is an economists wet dream, I'm sure, but even more damaging to the industry (in the long term) than even EA.

Although I WILL credit Zynga with a high ability to increase the general playerbase, fair's fair, after all.
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Железный комиссар
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Pretty much agree with the entirety of this editorial on the suit.
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Gabe Alvaro
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Zynga is not evil because they copy Sims Social, they are evil because of the way they abuse the notion of "game" to make money off of addiction.

I predict one of two outcomes to the EA vs Zynga case. Settlement out of court or EA loses/Zynga wins.
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Luke Stirling
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blindspot wrote:
Zynga is not evil because they copy Sims Social, they are evil because of the way they abuse the notion of "game" to make money off of addiction.

I predict one of two outcomes to the EA vs Zynga case. Settlement out of court or EA loses/Zynga wins.

I dunno. Those RGB profiles seem like something approaching smoking gun evidence to me.
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Zubbus O'Really
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Ripoff only works when there are people dumb enough to accept being ripped off. And as for why they are not in prison for The Ville, it would be because EA's Sim Social itself copied a ton of elements from existing "social games", where Zynga is actually a major player. The only things that really matters is both those games suck donkeys.
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