The gloves are off! Following the widely publicised fallout between EA and Zynga regarding Zynga’s new The Ville online game – where EA issued a lawsuit against Zynga regarding alleged copying of the Sims – Zynga has now issued a countersuit against EA!
Zynga is accusing the videogame publisher of an “unlawful scheme” to prevent it from hiring away EA employees. Zynga also responded to a copyright-infringement lawsuit brought by EA last month, denying that it copied parts of EA’s popular “Sims” franchise for its own life-simulation game “The Ville.”
MarketWatch has posted an online article in which it states:
In a claim filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, Zynga accused EA of undertaking “an anticompetitive and unlawful scheme to stop Zynga from hiring its employees and to restrain the mobility of EA employees in violation of the spirit of the antitrust laws and California public policy.”
Zynga alleges that EA’s lawyers sought an agreement that would prevent it from hiring more employees from EA. This came after high-profile departures such that of as John Schappert, who had been EA’s chief operating officer, leaving to take a similar position at Zynga under Chief Executive Mark Pincus last year. Soon after, Zynga hired another EA exec, Jeff Karp, to be Zynga’s chief marketing officer.
EA spokesman John Reseburg is quoted as saying:
Zynga would be better served trying to hold onto the shrinking number of employees they’ve got, rather than suing to acquire more.
Whoever wins or loses legally, this will probably be a long drawn out affair – with no real winners in the end.
You can read the full MarketWatch article here.
Do you think Zynga did copy The Sims? Do you think Ea is right to try to prevent Zynga ‘poaching’ its staff? Or don’t you really care either way as long as you can carry on playing your favourite Zynga and EA games? Please leave your thoughts in the comment box below. We love to read your feedback!