Zynga, the company behind FarmVille and CityVille, is suing Votsu, a Brazilian start-up. Vostu has been accused of copyright infringement from Zynga's "key product features, product strategy, branding, mission statement and employee benefits lock, stock and barrel."
According to the paperwork Zynga filed with Northern District of California federal court, “Vostu has brazenly appropriated the copyright-protected aspects of Zynga’s games (as well as almost every other aspect of Zynga’s business) – with scant effort to mask their strategy– and then offered games virtually identical to Zynga’s games to prospective players in the United States and elsewhere.”
To back up their cliams Zynga provided a video comparing their games to Vostu's. The video of PetVille and PetMania show two games that are almost identical.
The lawsuit goes on to detail the extent to which Vostu copied them. Apparently errors in Zynga games that were not supposed to be there were also duplicated.
"For example, in CityVille, the Zynga developers forgot to add the requirement that Community Buildings be connected to a road in order to function within the game – a requirement for all other buildings in the game. The game was released without that requirement, and the bug was never fixed in Zynga’s game. Vostu’s MegaCity replicated this “mistake."
Vostu has responded to Zynga's suit with a statement of their own. They point out that Zynga has been accused of stealing games in the past as well. Those suits have since been settled.
"Zynga has been accused of copying so many games that they’ve sadly lost the ability to recognize games like ours that are chock full of original content and have been independently created. Vostu has 500 brilliant employees working night and day making hand drawings and writing proprietary code for online games that our 35 million users worldwide enjoy. Zynga’s anti-competitive effort to bully us with a frivolous lawsuit — especially when we have some of the same key investors — is pathetic. While Zynga plays games with the legal process we will continue focusing on using our substantial resources to create games that entertain our customers.”
Is it wrong that I hope that this somehow results in both companies going away? If I get one more pumpkin harvesting request I'm going hurt someone.