Zynga defends copying, says all games are derivative

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multiplicity

Zynga, the people behind all of those terribly addictive, annoyingly intrusive Facebook games has often been accused of downright cloning other people’s games. The whole situation has been overblown, says Zynga, adding that all games borrow from one another.

“All games are derived from other games,” Dan Porter, boss of Zynga New York, wrote in a open letter to Zynga staff, posted n the company’s blog. “… this has been happening long before Zynga, he continued, and that “the debate about originality in games is vastly overblown and misses the mark.”

Originality in games, he says, comes from ideas on how to maintain and satisfy audiences.

“Before making Draw Something, we ran OMGPOP for four years and made lots of games that were inspired by games we loved and we emulated the mechanics from games with great UI. This is no great revelation,” he said.

“The bigger point that I made, one that was overshadowed, goes to the true genius of Zynga. After making games for years, it was joining Zynga that made me understand the art, science and special sauce running games as a service.

While I will agree that games do copy each other all the time, there’s a stark difference between using existing ideas or mechanics as inspiration, and straight up plagiarism.

Last Updated: March 12, 2013

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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