Not being properly educated on the legal matters, it is only rational to stay away from doing a commentary on who is at fault and to what extent.
There are, however, a few things that we can actually discuss while we are on the issue and that is the possible aftermath if either of the two parties wins the case.
Let us first take a look at what may follow the triumph of EA. By successfully proving that Zynga has indeed copied their ideas and modified it a little before presenting it as their own, then that may lead to a number of other lawsuits being filed, some even targeting EA itself.
EA and Activision have been going head-to-head with their Medal of Honor and Call of Duty franchises respectively since nearly a decade. Both the games have been described as pretty similar, especially by gamers who are not into either of the two. I, for instance, cannot differentiate between the two, though I do know they both feature different weapons and now even the eras are different, though that was not the case initially. The question will arise whether the two games are similar. In fact, it may even go as far as bringing the World War or modern day-era first-person shooter (fps) into question.
A victory for EA may also encourage Nintendo to take Sony to court with the allegation that ‘PlayStation All-Stars’ is a clone of its ‘Super Smash Bros.’ In fact, the snowball may already be rolling down the hill as we speak.
Let us not even get into all the racing games that strongly resemble each other. Will EA rise against other companies, or will other companies raise a finger at the makers of the renowned Need for Speed franchise.
Things will definitely become really ‘exciting’ in the gaming industry lest EA manages to walk away victorious from the case.
However, let us look at what would happen if Zynga wins.
The San Francisco-based social games powerhouse has been accused of cloning other games and basing its success on this practice. So far, things have gone well because there has hardly been a studio that has had enough resources to take a firm stand, until now. If Zynga manages to beat EA and prove that the elements in ‘The Ville’ are not as similar to ‘The Sims Social’ as being implied, then it may push back the boundary of what does qualify as protected creativity and what does not in the case of video games.
It will also give other companies a reason to stop pushing their creative teams to come up with a unique idea and instead simply pick up something that exists and present that in a refined form.
The second scenario definitely favours the consumers as they will have a wider range of quality to choose from. However, it will definitely be unfair with the studio that came up with the idea originally.
A lack of protection to what companies consider as innovative ideas may lead to a strong decline in creativity and thus originality.
The repercussions of the copyright infringement lawsuit filed by EA against Zynga are indeed disturbing. One can only hope that regardless of who emerges triumphant, the verdict does not take its toll on the overall gaming industry.
Disclaimer: the views and opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the editorial policy of news.wishfree.com