Zynga Responds to Plagiarism Accusations

Zynga Responds to Plagiarism Accusations

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Zynga boss Mark Pincus has responded to those pesky plagiarism accusations with a hearty 'I know you are, but what am I?'

"You should be careful not to throw stones when you live in glass towers," said Pincus, when asked about the ever-so-slightly-snarky open letter Zynga received from Tiny Tower developer, Nimblebit, last week. The letter quite politely pointed out that Zynga's upcoming Dream heights is essentially a marginally-less aesthetically-pleasing bootleg of Nimblebit's successful Tiny Tower.

"When you pull the lens back, you saw that their tower game looked similar to five other tower games going all the way back to SimTower in the early 1990s," Pincus continued.

Now, Tiny Tower does resemble OpenbooK's Sim Tower: The Vertical Empire at first-glance, but Nimblebit co-founder Ian Marsh is having none of it.

"It was a smart idea for Mark Pincus and Zynga to try and lump all games with the name 'Tower' together as an actual genre whose games borrow from each other," he said in an interview with Touch Arcade. "Sharing a name or setting does not a genre make."

To be fair, Pincus doesn't really try to deny Nimblebit's accusations, instead he seems to be arguing that raw innovation isn't all it's cracked up to be.

"Google didn't create the first search engine. Apple didn't create the first mp3 player or tablet. And, Facebook didn't create the first social network," said one internal memo penned by Pincus. "But these companies have evolved products and categories in revolutionary ways. They are all internet treasures because they all have specific and broad missions to change the world."

Of course, this design philosophy didn't stop the social-gaming giant from suing Brazilian developer Vostu over a series of blatant rip-offs based on Zynga games.

"Good artists borrow, great artists steal," as the famous saying goes. Who wrote that? Oh wait, it was me.

Source: Joystiq

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So...
It's cool cuz everyone else does it, except when people copy your games?

Hmm, yeah well I'm kind of hoping someone shuts Zynga down soon. These guys have pretty much wallowed in being shady since the very beginnings of their company, I remember reading a lot of articles about them to that effect. When it's done I hope the guys running the company don't manage to walk away from it with anything.

Looking at the situation with Nimblebit and Vostu and their entire attitude that these two differant, but oddly related, cases... it's just plain wrong. I can't believe anyone has that much audacity and manages to get away with it.

Translation:

F*** you, we have money.

He makes some good points there. Doesn't change the fact that he's a douche who screws anyone in order to get money though.

Edit: I just saw the linked article and I must say that he's not one to talk about throwing rocks in glass towers.

Complete the quotation below then Zynga:

"Good artists borrow, great artists steal, ________ artists pirate".

Just so we know where you stand.

You know what, Mark Pincus? Well played. I believe this one is a win for you.

Zynga's only mistake was not ripping off enough other games at the same time. As the wise old saying goes:

Copy one work and it's 'plagiarism'. Copy many, and it's 'research'.

Raithnor:
Translation:

F*** you, we have money.

With the lawsuits they have running right now, this appears to be the most correct statement.

I was interested however to see that many of the adverts in my free version of words with friends were for Tiny Tower.

Though I only started using it around the time of NimbleBit calling shenanigans on Zynga, so it may have always advertised it.

"Boss, someone is claiming we copied their game!"
"Not at all, we're merely innovating on an already established genre"
"Boss, someone is copying our games!"
"Sue their fucking pants off, stealing sons of bitches!"

RoseArch:
"Boss, someone is claiming we copied their game!"
"Not at all, we're merely innovating on an already established genre"
"Boss, someone is copying our games!"
"Sue their fucking pants off, stealing sons of bitches!"

This.

And since that's not a long enough post, seriously....that's just messed up. They're basically not even trying to deny it but know that in the end, no one's really going to care. It'll have to be a huge lawsuit from like all of the people they've stolen from together to finally get anything done.

So basically they're using the "but every one else is doing it" argument.


Who can argue with the great Lobochevsky?

In all seriousness, I honestly don't care 'oo copied 'oo, I'm still waiting for someone to make a proper successor to SimTower; I loved that game back in the day, and it needs a sequel.

"Hey man, it's alright if I pirate game, resell them as my idea and then hurt other developers because I'm successful and have money. But if those pesky normal people do that with my games, then fuck them and sue them because they hurt us poor developers."

Grey Carter:
"Google didn't create the first search engine. Apple didn't create the first mp3 player or tablet. And, Facebook didn't create the first social network," said one internal memo penned by Pincus. "But these companies have evolved products and categories in revolutionary ways. They are all internet treasures because they all have specific and broad missions to change the world."

He doesn't seem to notice that while these companies made their mark by building on what others did in new and novel ways, Zynga hasn't really done any of that. You can't say that you're flat out copying of games whole hog with no substantive changes is the same as other successful companies building innovating on top of an existing platform. At least not if you want anyone to take you seriously. When Zynga decides to actually start doing that then I probably won't hate them nearly as much.

Raithnor:
Translation:

F*** you, we have money.

Screw the rules, they have money!

I find I like the Escapist more when Grey Carter is tossing T.S. Eliot quotes around.


Who can argue with the great Lobochevsky?

In all seriousness, I honestly don't care 'oo copied 'oo, I'm still waiting for someone to make a proper successor to SimTower; I loved that game back in the day, and it needs a sequel.

"Good artists borrow, great artists steal,"

- And lousy artists copy screen by screen.

The thing that matters is if they added something significant. I don't think reskin counts in this case.

i said it looks kinda like sim tower....

but oh good, has he even seen sim tower? it has the same setting.
their bs on the other hand is a mere reskin.

Remember, kids, stealing is bad when YOU do it, when Zynga does it, it's just building on someone else's idea.

Grey Carter:
"Google didn't create the first search engine. Apple didn't create the first mp3 player or tablet. And, Facebook didn't create the first social network," said one internal memo penned by Pincus. "But these companies have evolved products and categories in revolutionary ways. They are all internet treasures because they all have specific and broad missions to change the world."

Yeah, but the difference is that Google made a better search engine, they didn't just slap a new name on WebCrawler and call it a day.

Denamic:
So...
It's cool cuz everyone else does it, except when people copy your games?

Pretty much the premise for every argument that any major corporation uses. If major corps made money on file-sharing or copyright-infringement (that which one can argue youtube or google actually does), then you can bet that these corps would be for it as well. They only run crying to mommy if it is THEM that actually loses on it.
Asshats, all of them.

Vivi22:

Grey Carter:
"Google didn't create the first search engine. Apple didn't create the first mp3 player or tablet. And, Facebook didn't create the first social network," said one internal memo penned by Pincus. "But these companies have evolved products and categories in revolutionary ways. They are all internet treasures because they all have specific and broad missions to change the world."

He doesn't seem to notice that while these companies made their mark by building on what others did in new and novel ways, Zynga hasn't really done any of that. You can't say that you're flat out copying of games whole hog with no substantive changes is the same as other successful companies building innovating on top of an existing platform. At least not if you want anyone to take you seriously. When Zynga decides to actually start doing that then I probably won't hate them nearly as much.

He's a talentless hack, its not that he doesn't seem to notice, its that he doesn't give a shit about it. He's admitted to scamming people over and over with his games because it makes him money. He has a pile of cash he just throws around in case anyone starts trying to push them around with a lawsuit.

Which is why I wouldn't care if a fist-shaped and sized piece of space rock came hurtling through the atmosphere and nailed him right in the cajones, with a sack-shaped meteor following right after to give him a universe tea-bag.

cursedseishi:
He's a talentless hack, its not that he doesn't seem to notice, its that he doesn't give a shit about it. He's admitted to scamming people over and over with his games because it makes him money. He has a pile of cash he just throws around in case anyone starts trying to push them around with a lawsuit.

Which is why I wouldn't care if a fist-shaped and sized piece of space rock came hurtling through the atmosphere and nailed him right in the cajones, with a sack-shaped meteor following right after to give him a universe tea-bag.

True. It probably would have been better for to say that he hopes the rest of us don't notice that those companies actually built on the creations of others to give us something new/better.

Grey Carter:
SNIP

This is basically tantamount to him admitted that Zynga ripped off their game. Once again a beautiful marketing move from Zynga

Ah Zynga.
You continue to play god in your respective market.
So, it's OK to rip off another work...as long as it's you who is doing it.
But nobody is allowed to step on your toes, right?

I'm rather sad that THIS is the kind of company that will make it to the top; not because their products are good (quite the opposite; every Zynga game I've seen uses Grind as its primary metric for money while providing little in terms of actual gameplay), but because they can flex their market muscle to crush everyone else once established.

Gee...where have I seen THAT before?

Zynga reminds me of those Internet tough guys who use the art of semantics to be evasive and 'win' arguments by obscuring them (aka bullshit)

 

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