How can companies like Zynga get away with copying other companies' games?
Electronic Arts is suing Zynga for ripping off EA's The Sims Social to make The Ville. I don't usually give EA a lot of love, but I hope they wipe the floor with Zynga on this one. As a long time gamer, I have been astonished that Zynga has made so much money off of other people's ideas. I played Harvest Moon, a title published by Natsume, at least 15 years ago, and the first time I saw Farmville, I actually thought that Natsume had brought Harvest Moon to Facebook. Nope, it was Zynga ripping off Natsume and developer Marvelous Entertainment. Again and again I see Zynga clones of other developers work. Zinga ripped off NimbleBit's Tiny Tower and released an almost identical game called Dream Heights. Zinga ripped off Psycho Monkey's Mob Wars and released Mafia Wars, which is pretty much the same freakin' game.
Back in my younger days I did a little work in game development, and I can't begin to explain how I would feel if my months, or even years, of work were blatantly copied by a company with enough money to fund an army to duplicate my game in a few weeks. I really feel for the developers that this has happened to, it must be so heartbreaking and frustrating.
What will it take to stop what looks to me like one company blatantly taking the ideas of another and making money off of it? Doesn't copyright law prevent this type of thing? Will EA finally be able to stop Zynga from remaking other companies' games and profiting off them?
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