EA says it's "standing up for the industry" in battle against Zynga

"Your tools should be your mind, not a photocopier."

EA has said it's "standing up for the industry" with its high-profile lawsuit against Zynga over alleged copyright infringement.

Earlier EA filed a suit against Zynga claiming its Facebook game The Ville was a blatant rip-off of last year's The Sims Social. EA/Maxis label general manager Lucy Bradshaw said at the time: "Zynga's design choices, animations, visual arrangements and character motions and actions have been directly lifted from The Sims Social. The copying was so comprehensive that the two games are, to an uninitiated observer, largely indistinguishable."

"The team that created The Sims Social created things out of their own heads based on something we created a long time ago called The Sims," EA COO Peter Moore told Eurogamer in an interview at Gamescom.

"When we looked at TheVille we felt somewhat affronted by what we saw as copyright infringement. We also feel from an industry perspective that a number of these things have happened before related to Zynga, but there's never been a company that has the wherewithal and the resources to take it to the next level. We do.

"So, we're defending our Maxis studio, and we're standing up for the industry. The roots of what we do as an industry is creative, from the minds of people who sit there and build storylines and characters and mesh it all together and work hard to do it. You take years to do that. And when you see somebody, quite frankly, take months replicating what you've done, you're upset. We were upset. We were upset for Maxis.

"And we've seen enough of it from an industry perspective, with smaller publishers and developers who also put their hands up and said, this is not right, but I don't know what to do about it. We do."

Moore pointed to a tweet by iOS indie dev NimbleBit, whose game Tiny Tower was allegedly cloned by Zynga for its game Dream Heights, as an example of the support EA had received.

Following the news of the lawsuit Nimblebit tweeted: "You have my sword." The official EA Twitter page replied: "You have our shield."

"We got a lot of that and the teams respond to that," Moore said. "And privately we've had a lot of feedback directly to our teams, to Lucy in particular, who's well known in the industry, and she more than anybody has been part of The Sims since the Will Wright days of creating it. She was upset about it. And we decided to do something about it.

"And yes, privately the industry has sent us nice messages of support. We're a creative industry, and your tools should be your mind and the digital tools to create the characters. It shouldn't be a photocopier, and that's what we saw there."

For its part, Zynga has denied any wrongdoing and promised to defend the accusation.

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