Electronic Arts produces critically acclaimed video games and is perhaps best known for its line of sports video games, produced under the label EA Sports. The social gaming company Zynga has risen to similar prominence since its founding in 2007, with an ongoing relationship with Faceabook to produce some simple, yet addictive, applications for social gamers.

But Electronic Arts is making strong allegations against Zynga, claiming the new kids on the block copied a game (“The Sims Social”) from one of EA’s most recognizable franchises (“The Sims”) when they created “The Ville.”

Zynga’s “The Ville” gives players the chance to create an online character and build a virtual home — EA’s “The Social Sims” offers players a very similar experience, where they create an online character that carves out a virtual life.

According to EA officials, “The Ville” utilizes character models, design choices and animations that make the game “largely indistinguishable” from “The Sims Social.”

This isn’t the first time a video game company has accused Zynga of copying their games. Earlier this year, the company NimbleBit mocked Zynga’s “Dream Heights” game for looking very similar to their “Tiny Tower” game.

While this lawsuit is playing out on a much larger scale, often small business can have their ideas stolen by big companies or their smaller competitors. In either scenario, those unique ideas are the lifeblood of a thriving business — and when they are seemingly taken or copied, a business can be crippled. Business owners may think they have no way to prove their idea was wrongfully replicated, but that is where the advice and know-how of an experienced business law attorney can help you.

Source: USA Today, “EA Sports sues Zynga, cites copyright infringement,” Brett Molina, Aug. 3, 2012

  • There are ways to prove your unique concept is, indeed, yours. If you would like to learn more, visit our Hartford business litigation page.