Dan Porter, Vice President of Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) has posted on a company blog in defense of a previous comment about Zynga’s fondness for imitation and adaptation. He said that the meaning derived from the statement and the debate over it has been vastly overblown.
In his talks, Porter said that Social game developer copies popular games while designing their own, according to Quartz. But now he is in defensive mode and said that it has been blown out of proportion.
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“What I actually said was that all games are derived from other games, [I said] that this has been happening long before Zynga, and that the debate about originality in games is vastly overblown and misses the mark,” Porter said.
The largest game maker Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) has been facing a number of copyright lawsuits from the competitors. Zynga settled a case recently in which the game maker was accused by EA that it copied ‘The Sims’ and made ‘The Ville’. There have been allegations that the company looks for titles to copy instead of making an effort in developing its own, a 2010 SF Weekly article described it as “repackaging, and then furiously peddling, the ideas of others.”
Following are some of the games that have led to lawsuits and/or settlements:
- ‘The Ville’ is claimed to be taken from EA’s Sim Social’
- Dream Heights is claimed to be taken from Nimblebit’s Tiny Tower
- Farmville is claimed to be taken from Slashkey’s Farm Town
- Mafia Wars is claimed to be taken from David Maestri’s Mob Wars.
Copying or taking inspiration from the games is not a new thing in the game world neither it is considered to be unethical, but the critics of Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) probably took Porter’s statement as more of a confession of guilt than he intended.
“I am sorry that my actions have reflected negatively and generated negative press for the company,” he says. “I’m also sorry if anyone on the game creation side felt that my comments were somehow a discredit to their work.”
Porter told in the blog that he has directly clarified his points to the reporter who posted the original story. Porter also expressed regret along with giving an explanation for his comment. He apologized to Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) for generating “negative press” and explained that the point, which he was trying to make, was neglected. He said he understood the art, science and Special sauce running games as a service only after he started working with Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA). According to Porter, the discussion and debate going over his statement are “distraction” and the important thing is Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA)’s game as a service model.