Zynga is well-known for ripping off game concepts and styles, but one developer isn't going to sit quietly while this happens.
It's no secret that casual game-maker Zynga likes to blatantly copy elements from better games in order to scam as much money as possible from its clients. However, Mark Pincus may have copied one title too many, because the developers of the hit iOS game Tiny Tower just publicly accused Zynga of plagiarism in what is quite possibly the most amazingly public (and hysterical) way you could possibly imagine.
A little background: Zynga surprised a lot of people this week when it released two brand-spanking new apps to the Canadian App Store without any warning. One of these titles, Dream Heights bore more than a passing resemblance to Tiny Tower - in fact, Dream Heights pretty much looks like a shot-for-shot remake of Tiny Tower that abandons the original game's retro graphics in favor of Zynga's trademark visual style. This didn't escape the three-person team over at Nimblebit (Tiny Tower's creators) and developer Ian Marsh tweeted the following open letter to Zynga, complete with side-by-side comparison shots.
"Dear Zynga (all 2,789 of you!),
We noticed you are about to launch a new iPhone game called Dream Heights! Congratulations! We wanted to thank all you guys for being such big fans of our iPhone game of the year Tiny Tower! Good luck with your game, we are looking forward to inspiring you with our future games!
Sincerely (all 3 of us),
That, boys and girls, is what we call an epic burn. Nicely done, Mr. Marsh.
On a more serious note, it'll be interesting to see if Apple decides to get involved with this case. The company is normally very hands-off when it comes to disputes like these, but it might be a good idea to show some support for a title it named "iPhone Game of the Year."
If you want to see the full graphic, head over to the next page.