Video game publisher Electronic Arts Inc sued Zynga Inc on Friday, accusing the social gaming company of copying key elements of EA’s “The Sims Social” game for Zynga’s own title, “The Ville.”
EA’s lawsuit is the latest in a series of copycat accusations leveled against Zynga, a company that has shrugged off similar litigation in the past as it grew into the dominant publisher of games on Facebook.
In a 40-page filing, the Redwood City, California-based game publisher pointed out numerous game elements it claimed Zynga mimicked in “The Ville,” from personality traits to avatars’ actions, such as conversing and dancing.
In one instance, EA claimed “The Ville” characters included eight personality types, ranging from athlete to villain, that mirrored “The Sims” own jock-to-scoundrel lineup. EA also accused Zynga of using eight identical colors for its characters’ skin-tone palette.
“Zynga’s design choices, animations, visual arrangements and character motions and actions have been directly lifted from ‘The Sims Social,’” Lucy Bradshaw, head of EA’s Maxis label, said in a statement. “The copying was so comprehensive that the two games are, to an uninitiated observer, largely indistinguishable.”