Zynga Accused Twice of Copying Game Ideas

Last month social gaming company announced that it would launch a new Facebook Bingo application. The game has been made available to a limited number of players as a test and Zynga plans on offering the game to everyone this month. Internet bingo has been a big hit on Facebook and has attracted millions of players from around the world. Unfortunately Zynga has been accused of copying the work of other game developers. Buffalo Studios says that Zynga copied the company’s flagship game Bingo Blitz. In an infographic Buffalo Studios stated “Hello, Zynga, We are moved that your new game was so inspired by our innovative product, Bingo Blitz. Bingo Blitz has been growing throughout the past year and has obviously earned the attention of titanic forces in the industry. You’ve obviously played our game, Bingo Blitz, a lot, along with over one million other Daily Active Users.”

Inserted throughout the text are images detailing the similarities between Zynga Bingo and Bingo Blitz. The images show similarities of both bingo boards and how both games use update power-ups and other details. Bingo Blitz has been a popular Facebook game with over 1 million daily users and has been “liked” nearly 2.5 million times. Buffalo studios describes the game as a “fast-paced, high-action, new game of — B – I – N – G – GO.” What gives credence to Buffalo Studios claim is that a second company has accused Zynga of copying their Facebook game. Last week gaming company NimbleBit said that Zynga copied their popular game Tiny Tower. Zynga’s game called Dream Heights bears a striking resemblance to Nimplebit’s game Tiny Tower.

NimbleBit posted a sarcastic infographic that read “We wanted to thank you guys for being such big fans of our iPhone game of the year, Tiny Tower. Good luck with your game. We are looking forward to inspiring you with our future games!” Mark Pincus, chief executive of Zynga denies that the company copied any games. Pincus said that Buffalo Studios actually copied Zynga’s idea for their online bingo game. Pincus told interviewers “It was a little ironic to look at Bingo Blitz. Pull that lens back. Look at our game Poker Blitz (comparisons below), and then Bingo Blitz, you see striking similarities in those pictures” and added “You can go back to (Zynga’s) FarmVille. Look at Farm Town and say, ‘Those pictures are troubling. They look too similar.’ But you pull the lens back again, and you see Farm Town next to My Farm, and next to Happy Farm, and next to (Zynga’s) YoVille. What you see is a series of games innovating on top of each other. You see Farm Town had a very similar avatar to YoVille.”So far it is not clear whether a legal battle is in the offing.