EA "Standing Up for the Industry" by Suing Zynga

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Suki_:

Dexter111:
I don't appreciate you constantly insulting me either or trying to tell me what I can or can not do.

Well then you should probably stop posting insane paranoid dribble. Especially when it doesnt have any basis and history has already proven you wrong.

Oh, don't say that. There is PLENTY of historical proof that legal precedents can be game changers.

Case in point: The 14th amendment and corporations turning into legal people.

While this certainly wouldn't be as earth-moving, the historical proof is in the figurative pudding.

Bloodstain:

canadamus_prime:

Dexter111:
If you think Zynga copying a few games and monetizing people is bad, just wait till there's a precedent for game design being copyright-able...

Oooooooh, that's a scary thought. Copyright laws are batshit insane enough as it is, we definitely don't need that.

This mindset is a problem.
"Copying other people's work is bad! Don't do that!"
"But oh, copyright laws and protection by law is just as bad! We definitely don't want that."

Seriously. Decide, guys.

Please don't put words in my mouth. I didn't say we shouldn't have copyright laws. I do think some degree of copyright protection by law is necessary. What I oppose is batshit insane copyright laws.

Dexter111:

It might be easy to find oneself rooting for EA on this, but I'd say caution is in order, since if they can manage to get a precedent that says similar game ideas or visuals can't be copied A LOT of developers are going to be in a world of hurt, especially with IP juggernauts that have existed since the 80s like EA and Activision going around town trying to exercise their "rights" upon others supposedly "copying" their concepts.

Except that's been tried, it didn't work, and no precedent on a case this blatant is going to achieve it.

JaceArveduin:
Hmm, not sure if I can back EA when they missed such an easy opportunity to quote LotR in an appropriate situation...

One does not simply walk into Zynga? >.>

Absolutionis:
Just ignore them both. EA is losing money with this lawsuit and Zynga is losing money by being sued. In the end, they'll both waste one anothers' time and money.

And really, that's the best situation for everybody.

Ympulse:

Oh, don't say that. There is PLENTY of historical proof that legal precedents can be game changers.

Case in point: The 14th amendment and corporations turning into legal people.

While this certainly wouldn't be as earth-moving, the historical proof is in the figurative pudding.

Of course, you're talking about multiple Supreme Court rulings....Decades, in fact.

So yeah. They can be game changers if they spend nearly a hundred-fifty years before the highest court in the land, the one that can make sweeping changes to federal law based on their interpretation of the Constitution.

canadamus_prime:

Bloodstain:

canadamus_prime:

Oooooooh, that's a scary thought. Copyright laws are batshit insane enough as it is, we definitely don't need that.

This mindset is a problem.
"Copying other people's work is bad! Don't do that!"
"But oh, copyright laws and protection by law is just as bad! We definitely don't want that."

Seriously. Decide, guys.

Please don't put words in my mouth. I didn't say we shouldn't have copyright laws. I do think some degree of copyright protection by law is necessary. What I oppose is batshit insane copyright laws.

I didn't mean to put words in your mouth specifically, I was rather trying to portray that mindset as a whole -- and to extrapolate it a bit to underline its conflict. If you follow me. I know that what you said is much less extreme than what I said. If you felt I was putting words in your mouth to attack you, I apologise. That wasn't my aim.

"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 ... You take years to do that. And when you see somebody ... take months replicating what you've done, you're upset."
This whole thing is just hilarious

Jim Sterling summed it up best on his twitter awhile ago.

https://twitter.com/JimSterling/statuses/231445613957488641

oh god this is just so god damn hilarious, like watching one hobo beat up another hobo over a piece of cheese screaming "I AM THE DEFENDER OF JUSTICE I AM THE SHIELD OF SOCIETY"

Not G. Ivingname:
This seems less "Luke fighting Vadar for the good of us all" and more "Count Dooku being killed by Palatine to further his plans." Not all actions have a good and evil side, and not all fights have someone who is worth rooting for.

I personally like to think of EA as Dr. Robotnik. The Dr. Robotnik from TAOSTH.

But more malevolent. Still, I'm not gone join the crowd bashing EA, EA do a lot of bullshit but I do like and play a fair few of their games. Though Battlefield is dead to me and Dead Space 2 for free didn't sell me on their vain attempt at horror.

At least MoH 2010 kicked ass.

God, it's like Burger King suig McDonalds to promote healthy eating.

EA has reached a point where it can never do anything to satisfy the legions of angry nerds. Ever.

Also:

image

Very deep sigh.

I want to say they have lost the plot, but that would imply that they had it in the first place.

Jhereg42:
Believe it or not, I actually believe that EA does have some moral credit on this. Why? Because this is the second time they've gone for the throat and spent money to crush the troll when it would have been easier to ignore it and let it slink off.

Case in poimt, EA vs Tim Langdell. Tim has learned his lesson by now and would love nothing more than to have EA stop spending money to make his life a living hell, but EA continues to pay lawyers to persue the death of his trademarks even though he keeps throwing up BS reasons to dodge the loss. (Yes, I know they are protecting Mirror's Edge, but that fight was over long ago. Right now they are just making sure he cannot do this BS again.)

So while I agree that EA makes a lot of stupid choices, and I will never completely forgive them for Origin and Westwood, they have been painting a bulls-eye on people they feel threaten indi devs and actually spending more money than they really have to to make sure abuses go away.

There are a lot of Indi Devs out there, not gamers but Devs, that are thankful to EA recently. Thus, when they say "You have our shield." to somebody right now, they have backed it up enough to prove to me they mean it.

It's a pity everyone ignored this excellent post.

I too believe that EA is not full of shit in their claims to defend the industry with this.

I addressed this on another thread but I'll just repeat it here, with people being paranoid it would set a legal precedence for copying or inspiring game types and genres. Have you seen EA go after Anno, CitiesXL or the other SimCity like clones? I haven't.

And EA knows this, which is why they're focusing on actual direct copying of The Sims to TheVille, which has more weight to it than vague "it's similar". Case in point, that the skin options in TheVille are direct copies from The Sims - not 'close' RGB values, but 'direct as if they used the eye dropper tool in Photoshop'. Same goes for the personality/behaviour options.

Take your tin-foil hats off please.

Interesting. Yes, EA is just protecting their revenue streams and IPs, but if there's one thing we can trust the corporate giant to do, it's protect the flow of money into their pockets. Zynga might have a stronger punch than a lot of the smaller companies they've blatantly ripped off, but EA is a different beast, one with the money, grievance, and grudge to end these shenanigans.

I guess it's a case of the evil you know.

EA standing up for the industry?

image

Actually I do not believe any character in that sentence. EA is standing up for money.
Or more accurate, their money.

Suki_:

Dexter111:
I don't appreciate you constantly insulting me either or trying to tell me what I can or can not do.

Well then you should probably stop posting insane paranoid dribble. Especially when it doesnt have any basis and history has already proven you wrong.

Sorry, but I'm gonna have to agree with Dexter on this one. Tell me you couldn't see this happening if EA wins this case:

Torchlight. Too much like Diablo? Yep. Sue
Battlefield. Too much like CoD? Yep. Sue
WoW. Too much like Everquest? Yep. Sue

The possibilities are endless. Think it's impossible? Just look at Apple V Samsung right now. Apple is suing them for EVERYTHING. Touchscreen interface. Rectangular phones. Imbedded cameras

How could you not see the parallels here?

Boudica:

Angry Juju:
EA are still one of the worst companies there is :/... EA just wants to fix its reputation after realizing that it's abysmal.

One of the worst? Lol.

Things that some of the worst companies produce:

    Pesticides
    Bombs
    Weapons of war
    Poison
    Guns
    Fear

Things EA produces:

    Video games

Any company they have purchased has elected to be purchased or has been saved from bankruptcy by their purchase. Don't like their games? Think they ask for too much money? Dislike their public relations? Their support? Bad company. One of the worst? Ha. Not even close.

*sigh* oh you're right, yes obviously in a thread about video game companies I was of course referring to everything you included, because I whole heartedly believe against the fucking obvious. You know what else you should add to that list? Animal testing. This thread is now about whether or not animal testing makes bad companies. [/sarcasm]

Angry Juju:

Boudica:

Angry Juju:
EA are still one of the worst companies there is :/... EA just wants to fix its reputation after realizing that it's abysmal.

One of the worst? Lol.

Things that some of the worst companies produce:

    Pesticides
    Bombs
    Weapons of war
    Poison
    Guns
    Fear

Things EA produces:

    Video games

Any company they have purchased has elected to be purchased or has been saved from bankruptcy by their purchase. Don't like their games? Think they ask for too much money? Dislike their public relations? Their support? Bad company. One of the worst? Ha. Not even close.

*sigh* oh you're right, yes obviously in a thread about video game companies I was of course referring to everything you included, because I whole heartedly believe against the fucking obvious. You know what else you should add to that list? Animal testing. This thread is now about whether or not animal testing makes bad companies. [/sarcasm]

"EA are still one of the worst companies there is."

"One of the worst companies there is."

"Worst companies."

Oh yeah, how can I have been so foolish to think you were referring to companies in general :P

EA you're not the Captain America of video games, saying you are just highlights how much you are not. You're not sueing Zynga for the greater good of the industry everyone knows this. While I'm fine and most people are with you sueing Zynga (Because let's face it you're right) being right about one issue isn't the same as being a beacon of morality and good. Sit your ass down EA before you make people hate you even more.

"You have our shield," replied EA.

Jesus Christ...that sent shivers down my spine.

I don't know what it is, but something about that line just seems ominously scary.

Double entendre, perhaps?

ThriKreen:
I addressed this on another thread but I'll just repeat it here, with people being paranoid it would set a legal precedence for copying or inspiring game types and genres. Have you seen EA go after Anno, CitiesXL or the other SimCity like clones? I haven't.

And EA knows this, which is why they're focusing on actual direct copying of The Sims to TheVille, which has more weight to it than vague "it's similar". Case in point, that the skin options in TheVille are direct copies from The Sims - not 'close' RGB values, but 'direct as if they used the eye dropper tool in Photoshop'. Same goes for the personality/behaviour options.

Take your tin-foil hats off please.

That's because they need to establish that game-design elements are copyrightablefirst, and this is as clear-cut a case as any.

If they fail at this level there is no point going further and they might try again in 5-10 years or so, if they GET the ruling that certain game design or elements/artstyle of a game IS copyrightable they will likely go from there.

There is a lot of money they could make this way, arguing that other companies have been copying their near endless library of games and bought off IPs.

It would be stupid to try to get a precedent from a case that isn't as "clear-cut" as this.

And are you kidding me, you believe that "skin tones" in a game should be copyrightable game design?

Boudica:

"One of the worst companies there is."

"Worst companies."

Oh yeah, how can I have been so foolish to think you were referring to companies in general :P

Yeah, it is actually really foolish to assume he meant companies in general. It would be a huge leap in logic to assume that he meant that a company who has terrible business policies with selling/producing games is even close to the same tier as a company who produces things such as weapons to sell to warlords and such.

So yeah, I agree. Foolish of you.

Dexter111:
I'm sure they'd like us to think so, after all they are in dire need of some good PR right now and what could possibly be a nobler goal than going against Zynga, loathed and hated by developers, gamers and investors alike...

I don't really want to see EA win though.

It might be easy to find oneself rooting for EA on this, but I'd say caution is in order, since if they can manage to get a precedent that says similar game ideas or visuals can't be copied A LOT of developers are going to be in a world of hurt, especially with IP juggernauts that have existed since the 80s like EA and Activision going around town trying to exercise their "rights" upon others supposedly "copying" their concepts.
It might lead to some sort of "patent war" like in the hardware industry between Samsung and Apple.
The sensible thing to do is to root for the lawyers in this one and hope that neither EA or Zynga win, but lose the maximum amount of money in the proceedings.

If you think Zynga copying a few games and monetizing people is bad, just wait till there's a precedent for game design being copyright-able...

The thing that Zynga do must stop. It is in a complete different level of any other kind of plagiarism that I've seen in videogames.

Yes, there were some serious cases of idea theft in the past, but they never were so successful.

Worst case scenario, I'd rather leave in a world in which companies must be creative to not be accused of plagiarism than in a world in which everyone thinks that it is just fine to milk other people ideas to their own benefit.

Hazy992:
How fucking gullible do EA think we are? Protecting the industry my arse, why don't they just come out and say they want to protect their IPs? At least that would be honest.

If they genuinely feel Zynga have ripped them off then nobody's gonna begrudge EA for filing a lawsuit against them, so why make stuff up? How are we supposed to take them seriously about this if they can't even be honest about it? It's like they want bad PR.

It's perfectly true that EA couldn't PR its way out of a bathroom stall without getting its wallet stuck in the toilet.

However, its also perfectly true that *someone* needs to sue Zynga.
AND its perfectly true that suing Zynga will "protect" the gaming industry.

Videogames and software in general is an area where it is very common to borrow ideas. First person shooter, iron sights, static lives or regenerating health systems, etc. etc. What Zynga has been doing is blatant plagiarism, and could conceivably be legal - up until the point where someone proves/disproves the existence of prior art.

In short, a legal precedent is needed to prevent this from happening in the future, and Indie developers simply can't afford the court costs.
[They're usually living hand-to-mouth in the development phase anyway.]

So, yanno what? Go get 'em EA! Kick their asses! Facebook stock was headed into the toilet (where it belongs) anyway. EA might learn something from having a good supportive relationship with gamers. I may even buy EA stock to support this cause.
[Well - also because a court victory would drive EA stock up a little. I can be almost as greedy as they are.]

Well EA, as much as I don't like some of your business practices, I will back you on suing Zynga. EA, you have my bow.

Shouldn't everyone in Zynga's management be in jail by now? Seriously they did some pretty blatant insider trading when they stock took the inevitable side into oblivion.

EA is a bad company. Zynga are straight up criminals, liars, con-men and thieves. So if one evil can squash another evil then that's OK in my book. If only they could get a group together and sue Zynga for ALL their blatant rip-off games.

Remember folks, when you play Farmville or Mafia Wars you are directly supporting white collar crime.

It's kind of sad to see so much EA hate in this thread when I specifically remember a time when EA was actually viewed favorably by the public. That was like, what, 2 years ago? 3 years ago? My times change...

I don't think EA is "evil" really in the sense that they go out of their way to do bad stuff. Rather, they have good intentions, they just fuck up a lot. Some interesting points were brought up that neither winning condition is favorable, as if Zynga wins then it's legalized plagiarism, and if EA wins then it could cause precedence for future suits based on some marginal belief of plagiarism. I'll give EA the benefit of the doubt and assume they won't abuse the system, though there is no guarantee someone like, say, Activision won't, so it's a messy situation.

Boudica:
[quote="NiPah" post="7.385759.15347102"][quote="Boudica" post="7.385759.15346886"] We get, you (not YOU, but the people posting the hate) think EA is mean. Super. Now go back to buying their games and having all the moral conviction of a fridge magnet.

*le sigh* You actually think people like me aren't sticking to their guns and not buying EA games that are full of typical EA bullshit? Not everyone who complains about EA does of course, but you're speaking as if people don't genuinely loathe EA and that they're not actually being driven away by all of EA's anti-consumer practices. If you genuinely believe that, then I'd take a very hard look at how EA's stocks are doing and put the two together.

algalon:
Big, big mistake, really HUGE. If you're smart, if you value your continued existence as a company, if you have any plans about seeing tomorrow, there's one thing you never ever want to meet in a courtroom. EA.

are you by chance Matt smith?

OT: The fact that EA and Zynga are going at it makes me smile. I honestly expected to see this much sooner. From someone. The problem I see with this whole mess is games don't just die with their companies. if EA wins, they COULD abosorb Zynga like Cell. and do you really want EA doing this? these games are here, they are on face book and killing Zynga is not the answer since with Zynga gone, all it takes is some company to go "Hey we will buy X for Y$" and this whole thing starts again with a new paint job.

Sweet. The fox has agreed to protect the chickens.

Hmmm, well I have mixed opinions on the subject.

Overall I agree with EA. The thing to understand is that we all hate EA for a reason, their DLC gouging, their lies in advertising, the way how they produce games by committee, and buy out and destroy studios. This pretty much exists outside of that arena however, and is an issue where I think their interests actually do coincide with other developers and gamers in general. To use someone's earlier Hitler analogy, I'd say that EA is actually more evil than Hitler when you get down to it. Percentage wise Hitler was like 99% right about everything, but that 1% was totally bug nuts insane. People tend to forget that Hitler was loved internationally (man of the year) and an economic and social genius. People tend to forget about what he did to get the kind of following that he had to begin with, and how gradually leading into that insane 1% of what he stood for allowed it to get so heavily out of hand. People remember the genocides, torture, and other things, they tend to forget about Hitler's economics and social theory, and how he did things like predict and fuel the automobile industry the whole "one day everyone will have a Volkswagon" thing. EA on the other hand doesn't have anything quite as insane as Hitler, they don't want to kill anyone, but where Hitler was motivated by building what he thought was going to be a better world (as bug nuts as it was) EA is totally based around it's own, personal, benefit, and doesn't care who it hurts or what kind of ruin it brings to the industry or the world (and I say "the world" and mean it since the media EA is involved with really is the stuff of the future, and what happens now is going to matter down the road). EA is the kind of company that will literally put thousands of people on the steet in a horrible economy, not caring about what will happen to them, as long as it benefits from the desician. The intent and level of callousness is what makes the differance. "The Road To Hell Is Paved With Good Intentions", well EA doesn't actually have any good *intentions*, just entirely selfish ones. I doubt many people will understand the side point I'm trying to make here.

At any rate, EA is pure, unredeemable evil, but it's still evil with a purpose, and it's interests coincide with public interests for once. It's like the "Darth Vader" complex, there is nothing more inspiring than seeing some evil bastard who scares the hell out of you fighting on your side. Albiet there is no love or desire for redemption here.

In the long run a creator and/or their sponsor should have the right to their ideas, and control over them. I'm a big believer in things like patents, copyrights, etc... to a pretty militant degree. When a company like Zynga not only rips off the work of others, but pretty much publically revels in creating clones, that's a bad thing.

The way how the industry works right now is that companies buy up ideas, IPs, etc.. like crazy for the simple fact that they can own them and hold the rights to those concepts. This is why companies frequently sit on IPs that they have no interest in developing, it gives them options, the abillity to justify inspiration, and of course the abillity to shut down rival projects. Buying up those ideas though ultimatly DOES mean that money goes into the hands of the creators when they are purchused.

Shutting down clones might seem like a bad thing, especially when it goes past things like Zynga. Truthfully, I expect precedents like this to do a lot of damage. On the other hand one or two big companies holding all the rights to a few over-popular game generes is not entirely a bad thing because it encourages innovation, which is important in an enviroment where everyone, including many indie game makers, pretty much work within a very clearly defined box.... Shooters, metroid-vania platformers, etc...

Like it or not while EA might be evil, they have a valid point, someone pretty much invented this kind of Sim game and they obtained the rights after paying that guy for them. Zynga just trotting in and knocking off the whole thing and making major bank is not right. Of course I'd also apply this to a not of other knockoffs accross a wide spectrum.

I think that if EA wins this one and runs with the precedent it will be bad for a while in ways a lot of people aren't seeing (I expect them to use their victory against Zynga as a springboard to go up against a lot of groups), but when the smoke clears I think EA will ultimatly wind up forcing the industry as a whole to become more innovative. Zynga is one of the worst offenders when it comes to clones, but to be honest the entire gaming industry is infected with that attitude like a horrible rot, Zynga is just the group that has taken it to the most noticible extreme.

So it's one of the worst industry giant scumbags taking on another industry giant scumbag.

*grabs popcorn* So which one are you rooting for?
Personally, they can both burn in Hell for all I care.

Every single thing EA does is to protect its own interests: IP and stock prices. They're not selfless, they don't innovate and they certainly don't give a shit about gamers.

I guess that EA wants to be seen as the defender of good and the victorious over bad. I think they are playing their games a little to much...

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