A former employee of FarmVille maker Zynga has recalled how he was told expressly by the company's boss to steal other people's ideas.

The source, speaking to SF Weekly, remembered Zynga founder Mark Pincus' exact words:

"I don't f***ing want innovation," he allegedly said. "You're not smarter than your competitor. Just copy what they do and do it until you get their numbers."

The former employee went on to reveal Zynga's unofficial company motto of "Do Evil": an adaptation of Google's "Don't Be Evil".

"I would venture to say it is one of the most evil places I've run into, from a culture perspective and in its business approach," the source said. "I've tried my best to make sure that friends don't let friends work at Zynga."

FarmVille, Zynga's flagship Facebook game, once attracted a gargantuan 84 million users a month. Zynga also owns FishVille, PetVille, Cafe World and Mafia Wars.

Zynga declined request for comment.

Ellie Gibson put on her gardening gloves for Eurogamer earlier this year to investigate the FarmVille phenomenon.

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Robert Purchese

Robert Purchese

Senior Staff Writer

Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.