Jimquisition: EA versus Zynga - The Lesser of Two Evils

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Hey now, at least EA isn't Activision.

That poor cat!

And yeah EA basically rape and pillage and eventually execute great development teams (RIP Bullfrog and Westwood), and it'll take a hell of a lot more than suing Zynga to make up for it.

So, people are supporting EA getting a monopoly on the market? They're not just destroying Zynga, they're gonna replace Zynga while possibly -IP theft

That pedophile thing made me laugh hard and that was also a great Bane impersonation. :D

Great points were made and I think you should sue them both!

Rememeber, though kids, even though EA is evil and the incarnation of all that is wrong with the games industry, responsible for the deaths of many of the best developers of all time, you should still totally buy their products if you feel so inclined. I mean, don't voice your support for them in this fight, God don't do that. That is just silly, and you would be wrong to do so. Just buy their stuff. That will send the right message. :D

I thought this was rather obvious, I didn't actually think people would flock to EA's banners, I thought we'd all go "Well I guess EA's doing some remote good...They're still dicks though" And then we'd all go about our business.

Hey! Clip-on Koalas are toys with far more depth than farmville.

I hear things that Zynga has done that may be questionable legally, but why do people have such a hatred towards developers of casual games? I get not liking them or wanting to play them, but wishing for Zynga to go bankrupt simply because they produce facebook games seems ridiculous to me.

I realize that Zynga does some questionable things legally and they aren't exactly morally correct, but people seem to only hate Zynga because they produce video games that their grand-mothers can enjoy.

That Bane impersonation was a little too good.

There is probably a way to work that into more Jimquisitions.

More Bane.

Please.

That was an astonishingly good Bane.

Additionally the reason we're all rooting for Zynga to lose is that it's nice to see a jerk get hit with things. Like the bullies in an 80's movie or the asshole in a horror film. It doesn't really matter the source, or if they've harmed us personally, it's still nice to watch, vindictively.

You know, I used to defend EA myself for the most part. Mainly because of the whole ME3 ending fiasco that happened a while back.

That was complete and utter denial back then, and I now understand how bad EA is for the game industry.

So EA:

Go fuck yourself.

Also, I mentioned how I didn't recognize the music towards the end of one of your previous videos. It was from Final Fantasy IX! How did I not recognize that? Not only is that the type of music you play in all your videos, but that game is one of my all time favorites. Goddamn how did I let that fly over my head? X(

class action lawsuit all the things!

People seem to forget this is business as usual. Yes game publishers like EA tend to treat their customers with anything but respect, but they are in it for the money. They are just like Apple, and just like Microsoft was throughout the 90s.

As long as people keep buying games EA will live on. The problem with boycotting EA is that they have very deep pockets, so you end up getting a studio shut instead of harming EA economically.

We shouldn't root for either of them, but the potential demise of Zynga is not positive either. Zynga is a small studio that has hit a niche and earned a shitload of money. They are competition, and they are welcome competition.

If people like Zynga exist to spread gaming as a culture to your dad, mom and everyone in between, it will eventually raise awareness of the harsh state of the industry. With awareness comes political interest (i.e. politicians wanting the gamer vote), and maybe then some laws will be passed that protect us from overly intrusive DRM and such.

EA isn't fighting for us, they're fighting to protect their IP. Last I checked, blatant plagiarism is wrong in every other market, and generally grounds for legal action. Zynga has gotten away with this before, because the people they did it to were too small to properly fight back. This is different. Both sides are the giant mutated monsters of their areas, and with either of them down, we can be left to contend with the other with a lot more ease and or focus. If this were King Kong versus Godzilla, it doesn't matter who wins, just that they take each other out, or at least weaken each other enough that a different party can finish the job.

Signa:
The worst part of this is that by suing Zynga, EA is saying they own the entire sim genre. That is not something anyone should fight for.

You would rather all that casual gamer want for small, amusing timesinks is picked up by companies like Bethesda, SquareEnix, or Infinity Ward/Dice/Treyarch? That instead of letting them focus on the titanic games they do design for the dedicated gamers, they focus their time and effort into making the shiniest and most alluring Skinner boxes? It's a foolish idea to think that social gaming isn't worth it, for there are millions of people willing to put small amounts of cash down at a time rather, and continue to do so over time. There's a reason companies like Rovio and Zynga are doing so well, and it has everything to do with appealing to the market that specifically isn't interested in the hardcore titles.

BehattedWanderer:

Signa:
The worst part of this is that by suing Zynga, EA is saying they own the entire sim genre. That is not something anyone should fight for.

You would rather all that casual gamer want for small, amusing timesinks is picked up by companies like Bethesda, SquareEnix, or Infinity Ward/Dice/Treyarch? That instead of letting them focus on the titanic games they do design for the dedicated gamers, they focus their time and effort into making the shiniest and most alluring Skinner boxes? It's a foolish idea to think that social gaming isn't worth it, for there are millions of people willing to put small amounts of cash down at a time rather, and continue to do so over time. There's a reason companies like Rovio and Zynga are doing so well, and it has everything to do with appealing to the market that specifically isn't interested in the hardcore titles.

Was that meant for me? I don't see how it applies to anything I was saying.

My stance is that a company can't own a genre. Rooting for EA is like rooting for a company to own a whole genre. No one should be fighting for that to happen.

Zynga are dirty fucking plagiarizers, and I'm not defending their products or business practices. What I'm saying is that suing them for making a clone of a game is a slippery slope to go down, because it will lead to other companies suing just to have control over a certain genre.

If this goes through, what is stopping Blizzard from suing Relic for making a top-down real-time-strategy game with the central UI based in the lower 1/3rd of the screen and an active minimap. The games industry has been borrowing elements from each other for as long as I can remember. In fact, it's the reason why certain games start to feel dated or age poorly, because some other game will come along and do it better, thus setting a new standard in interactivity.

Now Zynga is certainly stretching what I'm defending to the breaking point, but I'd prefer to let Zynga get away with it than risk every game to be made in the future on it. Besides, I don't get the impression that Zynga games have a feel of quality. Cloned games aren't going to be better than the original because they are literally carbon copies. If a company can't be bothered to invent their own games, I can't expect them to improve the games they are copying either. The superior product will still sell more as a result.

The very thought of anyone supporting EA regardless of them perhaps having the power to fully inflict Zygna makes me shutter. Both companies are quite bad, but least Zygna knows it's boundaries and doesn't make their practices of business overly unfair like how EA bluntly does it. Not to mention EA has ruined a lot of things...

*holds a frame of Dead Space* ... and they will continue to run things into the ground until they're milked to death. I mean, who tells people that unless a game (franchise along it) sells over 5 million copies, that they'll kill off a series? Who does that? .... EA does, and I am highly upset with them at the moment especially how they're turning Dead Space 3 into what Jim said, a split mix between Gears of War and Call of Duty (or basically an action shooter with no tensity to go around what so ever, especially with co op involved).

Signa:

BehattedWanderer:

Signa:
The worst part of this is that by suing Zynga, EA is saying they own the entire sim genre. That is not something anyone should fight for.

You would rather all that casual gamer want for small, amusing timesinks is picked up by companies like Bethesda, SquareEnix, or Infinity Ward/Dice/Treyarch? That instead of letting them focus on the titanic games they do design for the dedicated gamers, they focus their time and effort into making the shiniest and most alluring Skinner boxes? It's a foolish idea to think that social gaming isn't worth it, for there are millions of people willing to put small amounts of cash down at a time rather, and continue to do so over time. There's a reason companies like Rovio and Zynga are doing so well, and it has everything to do with appealing to the market that specifically isn't interested in the hardcore titles.

Was that meant for me? I don't see how it applies to anything I was saying.

My stance is that a company can't own a genre. Rooting for EA is like rooting for a company to own a whole genre. No one should be fighting for that to happen.

Zynga are dirty fucking plagiarizers, and I'm not defending their products or business practices. What I'm saying is that suing them for making a clone of a game is a slippery slope to go down, because it will lead to other companies suing just to have control over a certain genre.

If this goes through, what is stopping Blizzard from suing Relic for making a top-down real-time-strategy game with the central UI based in the lower 1/3rd of the screen and an active minimap. The games industry has been borrowing elements from each other for as long as I can remember. In fact, it's the reason why certain games start to feel dated or age poorly, because some other game will come along and do it better, thus setting a new standard in interactivity.

Now Zynga is certainly stretching what I'm defending to the breaking point, but I'd prefer to let Zynga get away with it than risk every game to be made in the future on it. Besides, I don't get the impression that Zynga games have a feel of quality. Cloned games aren't going to be better than the original because they are literally carbon copies. If a company can't be bothered to invent their own games, I can't expect them to improve the games they are copying either. The superior product will still sell more as a result.

Your argument hinges on the idea that Zynga is merely copying--a fairly acceptable practice. In this case, and in several others, images, sounds, and code were copied wholesale, with barely any changes. Zynga isn't ripping off or borrowing ideas, they are stealing them and rebranding them. Were this the world of overpriced "luxury" handbags, there would be police raids confiscating the forgeries and arresting any persons found in the vicinity of them. Zynga has been stealing components of other games and calling them their own. When identical items, interactions, sounds, color patterns, and even code snippets are found in their games, there's a legitimate case. This isn't the same as two shooters having similar aspects, or two dungeon crawlers working with the same premise and mechanics, this is theft. Early on, their games were mostly of their own design. The longer they've been around, though, the more they steal. A quick search for them in the news shows quite a few counterfeiting and plagiarism charges, and the accusations get more and more serious with each one. And with all their financial trouble of late, they finally did it to the wrong party.

I've no particular love for EA, but I've less love for Zynga. Better to have the uncaring investors that only greenlight the guaranteed moneymakers than the thieves that would leave us with nothing.

Huh, well I wasn't even paying attention to that conflict anyway, I guess I'll continue to do so.

Huh, kinda suprised no one "said" this before.

Well, here i go.

In my eyes i think Jim analogy with the 2 pedophiles works very well in this situation but the biggest thing it seems EA is doing is going the "Apple" way of profit.

SUE EVERYBODY, and WIN ALL THE MONEY.

Yeah they are going that way, wouldn't surprise me that in a few years (or months) they will sue a small company for making a game in space with laser guns.

Scrumpmonkey:
Oh God, Jim's uncanny Bane impression made me lose my shit XD Bravo Jim, that was amazing.

"This games industry... will... endure..."

On a more serious note; **Ahem**.
People hated and feared Zynga not because what they were doing effecting them directly, but for the example and power they were wielding over the rest of the 'business' side of the industry. Companies like EA lost their shit and panic-bought people like Playfish and Activision is still saying that 'anything is on the table' when it comes to mobile/social games. The big publishers were actively re-tooling themselves to focus on social gaming and would likely drag a lot of their talented development staff with them.

Social gaming is (it's fast becoming a 'was') a massive yet unattainable cash-cow miracle for the big publishers. It is their wet dream. They can rake in millions of dollars without doing what they fear most; having a single creative thought. Zynga's downfall is so important because it shows that the social gaming 'miracle' was merely a bubble and that the frankly illegal business practices they employed are not viable for the empty suites over at EA and Activision to emulate.

Social gaming was the future. That horrible distopian future has now turned mostly to shit. People are glad it has turned to shit. BUT all of this happened without EA and before this legal action. EA is just piling in to look like a good guy and its pretty pathetic.

Nah, it's an alternate goal. Some nifty PR and Zynga cash is just icing. What they're really going for is seeing if a lawsuit can be made over "Stolen Game Mechanics". If it can, think of the precedent that they will be setting. Though in all likelyhood it will fail, there's always the chance that EA will come out of this with a set of huge grins and dollar sign eyes.

I for one was really pissed when Zynga bought out Draw Something and messed with it.

Koalas are not bears, it's a common misnomer. Yeah that was a weird thing to take away...anyway fuck em' both, thank god for Jim.

Yes, but Zynga goads young kids into spending countless amounts of their parent's money to buy items that have no real entertainment or tangible value. I've heard of parents who were left with thousands of dollars of debt because their son was playing Fishville on his parent's iPhone. Sure, those are really stupid parents, but it's still worse than giving a Mass Effect a crap ending or whatever.

Also, I'm tired of Cafe World notifications.

BehattedWanderer:

I've no particular love for EA, but I've less love for Zynga. Better to have the uncaring investors that only greenlight the guaranteed moneymakers than the thieves that would leave us with nothing.

Would you mind expanding on that part? I don't see how Zynga is leaving us consumers (or EA for that matter) with "nothing." If they are copying a product, it's going to be a cheap knock-off, akin to something the Chinese makes. If anything, this will push EA to step up their game and make their products better, so as to bring in more customers. Criminals like Zynga can only push real developers to innovate, instead of being stagnant and content with the bare minimum.

Poeple are glad to support EA against Zynga because the latter is 'teh casualblight on teh hardcore gamingz!'

Sheesh. Been playing games for 30 years. Casual vs Hardcore means nothing to me.

FEichinger:
I'm sorry, but I couldn't stand this episode at all whatsoever. We're supposed to be rooting for Zynga because "They don't affect us directly"?
Zynga winning this case will allow their copycat tactics legally. If they win, it's perfectly fine to go out, look at a game, build a blatant copy of it, and throw it to the market in a quick cash-grab.

we're supposed to root for nobody, and frankly that's exactly where I stand.

Zynga is not a nice company, but the only reason I see in this particular instance that people are bigging up EA this time is OMG ZYNGA CATER TO CASUALS OMG OMG CAN'T HAVE FILTHY CASUALS POLLUTING OUR PRECIOUS GAMING CAUSE THEY DON'T PLAY IT PROPERLY!

Maybe I should finally see the new Batman. I knew he was doing a Bane impression from the mask (and the fact that he'd been talking about Bane 15 seconds earlier. Yay for context clues) but I honestly thought he was doing Churchill. <_<

Actually a pretty good Bane impression...

Signa:

ElPatron:
Snip

My argument was airtight. The fact that you dissected it to one-sentence bits shows

Absolutely nothing. You haven't proven or at least clarified your "airtight" status, and breaking apart arguments makes it easier to keep track of what you're saying. If your belief is that argument should not be stressed individually, fair play to you. But that's not how I roll

You're legally allowed to make a tower building simulator, you're just not allowed to make the exact same tower building sim someone else made. Yet you're trying to pretend that I said that the law protects carbon-copies of games, which I never did.

"Not even the law that you admits exits."

[insert your Jackie Chan image here]

Yeah, I don't even understand what that means.

Signa:
And patents are protected for the same reason IP is too.

Copyright laws =/= patent laws.

You said it, same reason but different laws. You can patent something you haven't even built, Apple even filed patents for lots of non-squared shapes of cell phone batteries. They want the "rectangle with round corners" design to be theirs. That's like trying to copyright action movies with bald/Austrian-born actors to make Arnie and Bruce go out of business - which by the way, can't be done.

irishda:
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.

Last time I checked, videogame companies made games. They don't deal with armed mercenaries or weapons of mass destruction.

They are effectively destroying the industry and forcing it to adapt to their views. Their intentions are evil. This is a pretty lame comparison but there was a Kim Possible (or whatever cartoon) where a guy just wanted $1 from everyone in the world so that he could have millions. It's still extortion and evil, even though I could just pay my share and shut up.

UberNoodle:
Poeple are glad to support EA against Zynga because the latter is 'teh casualblight on teh hardcore gamingz!'

No, because they are dicks exploiting their costumers with their business practices, fiscal, NASDAQ, spreadsheets, etc.

Also they steal from indie developers.

Just wanted to say that was an awesome Bane Impersonation.

ElPatron:

irishda:
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.

Last time I checked, videogame companies made games. They don't deal with armed mercenaries or weapons of mass destruction.

They are effectively destroying the industry and forcing it to adapt to their views. Their intentions are evil. This is a pretty lame comparison but there was a Kim Possible (or whatever cartoon) where a guy just wanted $1 from everyone in the world so that he could have millions. It's still extortion and evil, even though I could just pay my share and shut up.

Last time I checked, Apple just made computers and mp3 players, and Nike just made shoes. Yet that didn't stop them from using sweat shops in China.

And effectively destroying the industry my ass. They're simply doing what businesses do; looking for models that work. Unfortunately, fearless leader Jim Sterling already declared that people should buy games regardless of model, so that effectively kills any sort of change. Asking for money in exchange for product is hardly an example of extortion.

I'm always sick of seeing people complain about DLC costs/online passes, extra costs, etc. No one's forced you to pay for any of them, and your experiences can only be increased through DLC, not lessened. The original product is not in any way taken away from by added extras. If you don't like a business practice, take your business somewhere else.

irishda:
And effectively destroying the industry my ass. They're simply doing what businesses do; looking for models that work.

I don't buy EA for starters, and I have never paid anything for DLC, I only get that content on disc if I buy those complete versions and whatever. But that doesn't magically stop everyone from accepting their business practices with lethargy.

I don't disagree with DLC, and I could agree with online passes. However, EA said those online passes were covering the server maintenance costs, only to later shut down servers belonging to games that had online passes. I'm sorry but the people who paid for online passes and found the multiplayer to be dead were stolen.

Let's not mention the whole shutting down their own devs, buying the competition, "HURR DEAD SPACE 3 MUST SELL 5 MILLION, LET'S APPEAL TO A LARGER AUDIENCE", "HURR BATTLEFIELD MUST BE LIKE MODERN WARFARE", paying for ammunition, Origin, etc.

Yes, they are seeking to destroy what we know and force their domination. They even complain that we get pissy about "change" to justify their actions.

I sure do love me some PodToid crossover. (caught the "Bad Dragon" reference from last week as well, you filthy tramp!)

District Dafoe = Movie of the Century!

On topic, I was starting to develop a kind of respect for EA a couple of years back, when they were taking chances on some legitimately interesting ideas (Brutal Legend, Mirror's Edge, even the first Mass Effect). That was also back before Activision started making Kotick wear a ball gag every time he went out in public, so there were other people attracting my ire.

That said, EA's complete turn-back-around in the last year has convinced me to indefinitely postpone at least 2 purchases that would/should have been big first-day no-brainers for me (Battlefield 3 and Mass Effect 3, specifically) based almost solely on their godawful crooked and needlessly greedy business practices that were attached.

Couldn't really say why, but these sorts of things, especially so close to each other, have wound up playing the role of the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back, IMHO, at least. What's more, while I'm certain my reaction isn't common, I'm equally certain that I'm not alone in starting to put my money where my game-purchasing mouth has been for years.

So, congrats on that, I guess...

They both suck.

My hatred of Zynga is a little different from my dislike of EA and it's practices.
EA buys up developers and lets them die if they do not perform. As far as I know they buy them for a fair price as well. Bioware even went to them I think in part because they could raise capitol easier to make games that way. It always comes with strings attached though. They allow IP to die if they do not perform. In a way it is a monstrous corruption of capitalism. It sucks but does not smack of immorality.

Zynga has this god awful habit of ripping wholesale games and ideas made by small developers, making millions off of their ideas and not paying them a thin dime. In desperation they tried to do this to a publisher that had the power to slap them down. I say slap them the fuck down. EA is no better for it, but gaming is no worse for it either.

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