So as many of you have already heard, publishing giant EA has sued infamous game thief Zynga over a blatant copy of their sims series of games. While I’m all for giving the bad guy what’s due to them, I can’t help but wonder of anything can be done at all to stem the idea thieving that has been going on for some time now. I actually wonder if anything would have been done at all had EA not stepped up to the plate and started this lawsuit. Further along in this article I’ll somewhat give a rant about what I feel concerning this entire debacle, and hopefully you all can shed some light as to whether or not this should have happened in the first place.
It’s interesting in this industry to see the sheer amount of assets that people will sue over just so that they feel more comfortable trying to hold a monopoly on their titles. Bethesda suing Notch over the use of the word ‘scrolls’ in a game title comes to mind. Where does it simply become taxing on us to hear about who’s suing who nowadays. While I’m fully in support of protecting ones own intellectual property, there needs to be a line drawn when an industry like video games becomes much to big to mediate with only the top players. I feel bad for all the small time companies that essentially lost out on a major pay day because of corporations like Zynga, or even Tencent from China.
Whether or not our voices as gamers are heard remains to be seen, but I have a lot of hope placed in this continuously evolving giant. I hope that eventually we reach a point where trivial lawsuits like this become unnecessary, but that wont truly ever be the case regardless of what I hope. In retrospect I can’t even fathom why such blatant theft was allowed. Zynga has been known for stealing games for quite some time now, yet the only time we ever get any traction is when a company that essentially does the same thing fights back with more money. EA hasn’t been clever about merely purchasing franchises that are doing well and adding their logo onto it. What bothers me more is about the publishing rights versus developer freedom we see from time to time, but that’s a different debate altogether.
Back to the main point, where exactly is the line between protecting your own investment versus thieving from somebody else and making a profit. With as many patents and copyrights going around nowadays, I find it hard to believe anything we see coming forward as ‘innovation’ without really taking a good look at it. Before, there was an entire field of creative ideas free to mold and shape in your design, but with companies taking out the strangest patents on the most mundane pieces of their tech, we can barely take a breath without stepping over some boundary somewhere in time. Anyway, before I begin rambling, I’ll ask you all to read, give it some thought, and get back to me on how you feel about where we should draw the line.