Posted by Chris Scott Barr on Feb 3, 2012

Leaked Zynga Memo Shows That Copying Is Their Form Of Innovating

There are certain gaming companies that I’m not fond of. Two of the things that usually put me off to a company is excessive use of DRM, and the act of buying up companies, just to run the franchises into the ground with constant releases with little innovation. However, when you compare these to the copycat tactics of gaming giant Zynga.

A couple of weeks ago there was an image released  by Nimblebit, creators of the iPhone game Tiny Tower. It was a very sarcastic congratulatory message, which showed off the close similarities between their game and Zynga’s. Now, it would be easy to dismiss this as a simple coincidence, if Zynga didn’t have a track record for this sort of behavior. Ever heard of Farm Town? No? Well, it came out in early 2009, and was later crushed by Farmville, which was nearly identical. You could also look at Mob Wars and Mafia Wars. The list goes on.

Again, some people could say that it’s all just a series of coincidences. However, Forbes got their hands on a leaked memo that Forbes from CEO Mark Pincus didn’t show that this is exactly how they build games. “We don’t need to be first to market. We need to be the best in market.” is one of my favorite lines. The whole memo talks about how they “innovate” by improving on other people’s ideas. I’m sorry Mark, but you aren’t innovating. You’re taking someone else’s idea, and throwing money at it. Then you advertise the shit out of it until the competition is crushed. There is a special place in hell for people that prey on independent game developers.


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