Jimquisition: EA versus Zynga - The Lesser of Two Evils

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ElPatron:

Signa:
The worst part of this is that by suing Zynga, EA is saying they own the entire sim genre.

No, just the intellectual properties EA owns.

You're free to make any social sim you want, but if the game is just a re-skin it doesn't matter how much of the game was written from scratch.

I can't just grab a load of cameras and then start remaking all the popular films to introduce them as my creation. I can write a book in a magic castle, I just can't call my character Harry Potter and give him a fore-head scar.

That's not at all what The Ville was though (or so what I'm assuming from the comparison screens I saw). The Ville was basically 50 Shade of Gray in your analogy. It's derived from a copyrighted work, but the important things were changed so that it doesn't count as a product of that work.

I'd compare it to you writing an essay about something, and I'd take that essay and rewrite it point for point in the same order, but using my own words. Remaking Harry Potter like that is saying I could retype your essay up into my own word document, and then use comic sans before submitting it as my own work.

Let them kill each other I say, grab your popcorn and don't pick sides.

I couldn't work out if that was an impression of Bane or Sean Connery... oh wait...

"EA versus Zynga - The Lesser of Two Evils"

Lesser of Two Evils? So we're going to talk about Zynga today, right?

"People are picking sides, and while many have chosen to root for the lesser evil, they may be confused as to which one that actually is.

Easy mistake to make, to be honest. It's hard to tell."

I'm pretty sure I got it right. Maybe I should stop thinking about it and click play. Yeah, I'm going to do that.

...

I knew it! ^_^

After all, Zynga's never done half the shit to me that EA has. All Zynga's done is put out crappy games for a crappy website I don't use. EA tries to fuck me up the bum with each product I buy from them. Far more evil to me.

I will NEVER understand this inane thought process among gamers where a publisher who puts out good games = great publisher no matter what kind of shitty business practices they partake in, and publisher who puts out bad games = horrible publisher no matter what kind of shitty business practices they don't partake in. Reading garbage like this:

The feedback following our Game of the Year piece is as expected where opinions are involved, but the one piece of feedback that is frankly quite staggeringly short-sighted is the hate for EA. Dear internet, this is 2011 and EA hasn't been the games industry's proverbial devil for quite a few years now. Out of the fourteen 90+ titles this year, EA had a hand in - either development-wise, or publishing-wise - six of them. That's nearly 50% of the triple-A titles that they've helped put out in the shops. Hell, out of the twenty-nine 80+ games as well, they had five of those too. People really are stuck in their ways.

http://www.xbox360achievements.org/news-2480-A-2011-Retrospective--Going-From-Strength-to-Strength.html

will always continue to baffle me every time.

Fuck EA. Zynga does deserve to get crushed for blatantly copying EA's game, that's how laws work, but still, fuck EA. They aren't doing this because they care about you or because they care about gaming, they're doing this because they care about EA.

Signa:
That's not at all what The Ville was though (or so what I'm assuming from the comparison screens I saw). The Ville was basically 50 Shade of Gray in your analogy.

No, because the only thing 50 Shades of Gray has in common with Twilight is absolutely nothing. It was meant to be a fanfiction with the characters from Twilight but it's *not* Twilight, and it deviated from it's parent universe when the names were changed.

Zynga doesn't even bother changing their games too much. Remember the Tiny Tower incident? They photocopy games.

You wouldn't like if I did what Zynga is doing to your creations and make money of them.

Thanks for bringing up EA's lack of involvement against SOPA and PIPA, Jim. A lot of people forget about that. Now, EA wasn't the only big name publisher hanging out on the sidelines, but you don't get to do something like that and then come back and claim you're a 'company of the people', as it were.

The big name publishers certainly do not have gamers best interests at heart. They don't care about us. We're numbers to them, and for that matter, so are their developers. This law-suit is more about EA getting to beat it's proverbial chest over and already beaten company.

The usual brilliance. When does excellence become an expectation? When Jim shoes up.

Also, your points made sense...I hate both companies anywya.

I pretty much agree with the rant (as usual) but special mention has to go to that Bane impersonation, it was honestly beyond awesome!

YES, all of that. Good job.

FalloutJack:
That's an insult to the Joker there, Jim. The Joker has style, whereas we know that EA does not. So, find us a flat, boring, stereotypical villain that nobody likes or sympathizes with, and THERE'S YOUR MAN.

How about this guy?

image

Yeah, I know I'm doing it wrong, but my point is that comparing any other villain to EA is going to be an insult to that other villain.

So that's what Jim looks like when he does the Willem Dafoe-voice.

ElPatron:

Signa:
That's not at all what The Ville was though (or so what I'm assuming from the comparison screens I saw). The Ville was basically 50 Shade of Gray in your analogy.

No, because the only thing 50 Shades of Gray has in common with Twilight is absolutely nothing. It was meant to be a fanfiction with the characters from Twilight but it's *not* Twilight, and it deviated from it's parent universe when the names were changed.

Zynga doesn't even bother changing their games too much. Remember the Tiny Tower incident? They photocopy games.

You wouldn't like if I did what Zynga is doing to your creations and make money of them.

No I wouldn't, but I wouldn't sue either. I'd be making a superior product because I'd actually be making it with my own imagination, and not just struggling to keep up because I was copying someone else.

I think my argument would change if Zynga started copying more complex games, because then you could see actual cloned level designs. But they are copying very simple games where the only gameplay variations are the actual game mechanics. You shouldn't have the ability to own a game mechanic, which is ultimately what EA is suing Zynga for. In the case of The Ville, I saw house building, and sim(ville?) creating. Both are merely gameplay features, and how your character moves through the house is part of the mechanics. EA doesn't own those, and shouldn't ever own them.

Signa:
I think my argument would change if Zynga started copying more complex games, because then you could see actual cloned level designs. But they are copying very simple games where the only gameplay variations are the actual game mechanics. You shouldn't have the ability to own a game mechanic, which is ultimately what EA is suing Zynga for. In the case of The Ville, I saw house building, and sim(ville?) creating. Both are merely gameplay features, and how your character moves through the house is part of the mechanics. EA doesn't own those, and shouldn't ever own them.

Tiny Tower. They made a carbon copy of the premise and core mechanics and called it Dream Heights.

The only differences are the social aspect of Dream Heights and some visuals.

And it's easy for you to talk because there is a chance you do not live off your creations. No matter how much I megaloathe the company, those EA employees kind of deserve their money. A job in the gaming industry isn't exactly the most stable thing in the world, specially if you work for EA.

I can't just reverse-engineer a product from another student and present it as mine. How would you feel if your college project was stolen, costing you a master's degree?

ElPatron:

Signa:
I think my argument would change if Zynga started copying more complex games, because then you could see actual cloned level designs. But they are copying very simple games where the only gameplay variations are the actual game mechanics. You shouldn't have the ability to own a game mechanic, which is ultimately what EA is suing Zynga for. In the case of The Ville, I saw house building, and sim(ville?) creating. Both are merely gameplay features, and how your character moves through the house is part of the mechanics. EA doesn't own those, and shouldn't ever own them.

Tiny Tower. They made a carbon copy of the premise and core mechanics and called it Dream Heights.

The only differences are the social aspect of Dream Heights and some visuals.

And it's easy for you to talk because there is a chance you do not live off your creations. No matter how much I megaloathe the company, those EA employees kind of deserve their money. A job in the gaming industry isn't exactly the most stable thing in the world, specially if you work for EA.

I can't just reverse-engineer a product from another student and present it as mine. How would you feel if your college project was stolen, costing you a master's degree?

Yes, I know about Tiny Tower. It was a blatant rippoff too. Still, if someone who wasn't Zynga wanted to make a game like Tiny Tower, they damn well should be allowed to. I'd expect them to bring their A-game to the table, and add a few new features, and not make the UI look like a reskin of the old game, but they should be legally allowed. EA suing Zygna could mean that other companies who feel their product is receiving clones could hope to sue and win, crushing any attempt at innovating the genre. I wouldn't support Activision suing EA for making Battlefield 3 too close to Modern Warfare.

FalloutJack:
I just wanna go on record: That's an insult to the Joker there, Jim. The Joker has style, whereas we know that EA does not. So, find us a flat, boring, stereotypical villain that nobody likes or sympathizes with, and THERE'S YOUR MAN.

So...Lex Luthor then? *Ba-dum-tish*

mjc0961:
-AGH!-

Curse you and your logic! What are you doing on the internet?!

I love this quote from a facebook user named "Uffe Illum"

"The pattern has repeated itself more times than you can fathom. Game companies rise, evolve, advance, and at the apex of their glory, they are extinguished. Bioware is not the first. By utilizing our funding, game companies develop along the paths we desire. They exist because we allow it, and they will end because we demand it."

sums up my thoughts perfectly

Ugh. "This company is evil." "No, this company is more evil."

More than the complaints about DLC or a game's story, this is the one that grinds me the most. I mean my god, how much of a child do you have to be to think some CEO is sitting up there in Castle Greyskull cackling about "how can we make people who buy our products more miserable?"

This is purely a gamer/computer tech phenomenon. In no other industry do you hear about people saying how evil one company is over another. Some companies have a reputation as lazy or thieving, but no one talks about them being evil unless they're a hippie or counter-culture.

Signa:
Still, if someone who wasn't Zynga wanted to make a game like Tiny Tower, they damn well should be allowed to. I'd expect them to bring their A-game to the table, and add a few new features, and not make the UI look like a reskin of the old game, but they should be legally allowed

Guess what? They are.

And what you just described was exactly what Zynga did not do, but had the chance to. They are run by a bunch of lazy cash-grabbers that decided to step on EA's property instead of stealing from small indie devs.

Signa:
EA suing Zygna could mean that other companies who feel their product is receiving clones could hope to sue and win, crushing any attempt at innovating the genre.

That sort of reminds me of that Zynga reply where they claimed they were actually creative and innovative.

No, this does not become a precedent for look-a-likes because Zynga doesn't only create look-a-likes - it steals intellectual property.

Signa:
I wouldn't support Activision suing EA for making Battlefield 3 too close to Modern Warfare.

I would, if Battlefield 3 had the same writing as the Modern Warfare campaign, same map design, same create-a-class system, same killstreak system etc etc etc basically the exact same gameplay on a slightly different visual style.

Zynga does not create the Battlefield 3s of Facebook games. They create the "Actual Combat" by making a Modern Warfare clone in disguise.

ElPatron:

Signa:
Still, if someone who wasn't Zynga wanted to make a game like Tiny Tower, they damn well should be allowed to. I'd expect them to bring their A-game to the table, and add a few new features, and not make the UI look like a reskin of the old game, but they should be legally allowed

Guess what? They are.

So what are we arguing here? Are you saying that no one should be allowed to copy something if someone else deems it too close? What about additive updates? Could a game surpass the original, only to have the original make a patch to catch up? Would that be plagiarism, or just improving on an existing product?

Basically, by challenging me as you are, you're making me defend Zynga in an effort to defend my take on the situation. Stop. Zygna is no ally to me, but as you just said, they are legally allowed to what they are doing and I'm defending that right. Lines are too blurry in regards to cases of IP theft, so as long as Zynga built their games from the ground up, using no code what-so-ever from the original product, I can not condemn them. If I do, there will be a case someday where someone does build an original product based off of a concept of another product and they will get sued because that's the thing these companies do if their profits are threatened. Even if it means shutting down superior products because they were too lazy to compete.

irishda:
Some companies have a reputation as lazy or thieving, but no one talks about them being evil unless they're a hippie or counter-culture.

If they deserve it or not, I don't know, but people do call companies "evil".

>Apple
>Microsoft
>Blackwater/Xe/Academi (nothing against contractors and people in the private security business, but Blackwater has all sorts of legal safeguards so that their crimes are not actually their responsability)
>basically any pharmaceutical company, but Bayer takes the prize

To add insult to injury, Bayer has also been part of IG Farben, the conglomerate that basically owned most of the Zyklon-B production. If you don't know what Zyklon-B is, you're in for a good bedtime reading.

So Zingga and EA are "both arrogants wankers". There just no better word for it... wait! yes there is, "cunts".

I think game critics should either be brits or aussies. American English simply has a much more restrictive vocabulary...

ElPatron:

Seriously? is the even real? oh, wait, this is from 1985, never mind...

Signa:
Are you saying that no one should be allowed to copy something if someone else deems it too close?

Not "someone". That's what the courts are for.

Signa:
What about additive updates? Could a game surpass the original, only to have the original make a patch to catch up? Would that be plagiarism, or just improving on an existing product?

If it's exactly the same thing, and that thing is intellectual property (ie. not meaningless stuff such as achievments)

Signa:
Basically, by challenging me as you are, you're making me defend Zynga in an effort to defend my take on the situation.

Guess what? You're not forced to defend Zynga.

Signa:
Stop. Zygna is no ally to me, but as you just said, they are legally allowed to what they are doing and I'm defending that right.

Plagiarism is not a right, and it's not legally allowed.

Signa:
Lines are too blurry in regards to cases of IP theft, so as long as Zynga built their games from the ground up, using no code what-so-ever from the original product, I can not condemn them.

So if I just copy Micheal Jackson's discography but play my own instruments and use my own singer it's okay if I sell it without paying a dime to his family?

If I just build Black Ops 2 from the ground up and called it something else you can't condemn me even if I just ripped off their property?

Signa:
If I do, there will be a case someday where someone does build an original product based off of a concept of another product and they will get sued

No they won't. I'm no lawyer but what you're saying makes no sense. By your logic, if Zynga wins then we all get the right to steal and rip-off any content we like, which simply isn't true.

Signa:
Even if it means shutting down superior products because they were too lazy to compete.

BEEEEP. Wrong answer.

Patent laws are a whole different animal. Apple is a "patent troll", if you have problems with it then you have to criticize the patent laws themselves.

Miniature Willem Dafoe huh? Guy's in three years, he thinks he's Jesus fucking Christ or something.

I must say in light of The Last Temptation that quote from Red is my favourite from Platoon.

ElPatron:
Snip

image
My argument was airtight. The fact that you dissected it to one-sentence bits shows you are just spouting your opinion and not backing it up with anything. Not even the law that you admits exits.

And patents are protected for the same reason IP is too. Just because there are a different set of laws governing the physical and the non-physical doesn't mean that a company can't sue another based off of bullshit. News flash: they will.

I think gamers(including myself) hate zynga in a more homophobic way, what they do doesn't affect us but we are disgusted by what they do.

I still say EA is the lesser of the two.

By the way, the financial black hole that Zynga is in right now was done on purpose. Crashing the company would make the heads lots and lots of money, and they knew it. And they did.

EA is evil, sure. But I'll gladly take EA over Zynga.

ElPatron:

irishda:
Some companies have a reputation as lazy or thieving, but no one talks about them being evil unless they're a hippie or counter-culture.

If they deserve it or not, I don't know, but people do call companies "evil".

>Apple
>Microsoft
>Blackwater/Xe/Academi (nothing against contractors and people in the private security business, but Blackwater has all sorts of legal safeguards so that their crimes are not actually their responsability)
>basically any pharmaceutical company, but Bayer takes the prize

To add insult to injury, Bayer has also been part of IG Farben, the conglomerate that basically owned most of the Zyklon-B production. If you don't know what Zyklon-B is, you're in for a good bedtime reading.

Fair enough, although it only serves to exemplify my point. These companies are called evil for animal experimentation, killing civilians, using overworked-to-the-point-of-suicide employees in a foreign country, or releasing untested drugs.

Video game companies get called evil cause they charged five dollars to unlock something that was already on the disc, or because they made a game for facebook.

Dat Bane impression!

I would support Jim in sueing EA

I feel that I disagree with Jim's take on how much effect Zynga really has. He's framing this whole thing as if Zynga and EA live in separate vacuums in their respective game development styles, but that is simply not the case. There is absolutely no possible way that Zynga's business practices could not affect EA, or any other developer/publisher for that matter, and to say anything otherwise is just a complete lie. The games industry does not have vacuums within itself, plenty of things are interconnected. Social gaming is much more widespread and impacts us more directly because people use these social networks more than they really actively buy a single game or two.

People hating on Zynga is more than just them making "eeeeeeevill!!!" casual games, it's about their extremely illicit business practices, trouble use of psychology to wring out money from people effectively that whets the appetite of more publishers, and their extremely troubling practice of acquiring data from their consumers that they aren't even aware of them doing it, and thereby encouraging even more social developers to do the same things. And it's the absolute balls they have to come out completely and admit that they do all these practices and not even try to hide what they do, as if they think it's okay for them to do this shit. For godness sake, the higher ups in the company pretty much bailed and got away with millions of money while the company crumbled, leaving their lowly workers to rott. EA, as shitty as they can be, would not do something that shitty (at least....for now...)

Now, I'm not saying EA, or for that matter any other developer out there, doesn't do this stuff also or that they should be ignored in favor of bashing Zynga. Quite frankly, I'm not really one for either side of the whole suit, though I will admit I would love it if Zynga would get a punch to the nuts after all this.

Something I don't think Jim grasped here, is that (most) people weren't really cozying up to EA, they were just glad they were doing what they were doing.

It's less like two pedos fighting in an alley and more like the big playground bully beating up a younger bully. We don't like EA, but we like what they're doing in this instance.

The thing to remember too, is EA doesn't really have anything to gain really by doing this. They're pushing a copyright claim and will probably get money from it, sure, but it doesn't impact their overall success at all. Zynga, meanwhile, needs to be put down. We don't really care who does it, we're going to applaud them either way.

After all, despite what Jim says, we do care about Zynga. It's not because we have something invested in Facebook games, it's because they're a game studio. A really, really shitty game studio. A game studio with the worst possible business and creative ethics. Sure they're small time, but they're still a black stain on the industry we're all invested in.

We don't care who does it; we just want them gone.

Companies, just like people, are never all bad or all good. I hate EA, for all the things everyone else hates them for. But I'd raise a glass to them for this. It won't change my opinion of them, but my opinion of them won't stop me from acknowledging what they're doing needs to be done.

lol, the bane part was awesome.

otherwise, €A is still hated by me. even when i have to say they do a good thing with zynga, i still give a rats ass about €A. and who ever actually believes that €A is good, are simply blind.

It feels like EA and Zynga fight is a win-win situation for the rest of us. No matter who loses, it'll be someone we hate :) One less evil in the world, regardless on how it died, is always good, right?

I never understood why people were cheering for EA. If I'm not mistaken most of the Zynga higher ups already bailed out and this lawsuit is only going to hurt the lower level staff who probably aren't jerkwads. EA has always been the villian in this scenario, they are kicking a company while they're down and then trying to champion themselves while doing it.

just came through my mind now. remember the trailer from the first Avs.P movie?

"whoever wins. we lose".

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