February 17, 2013
EA And Zynga Agree To Settle Dueling Lawsuits
redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports — Your Universe Online
Video game publisher Electronic Arts (EA) and social game developer Zynga have mutually agreed to settle their respective lawsuits against each other, according to documents filed in a U.S. district court on Friday.
According to Reuters reporter Jonathan Stempel, terms of the settlement were not officially disclosed, but both electronic entertainment firms had agreed to permanently drop claims against each other that dated back to last August, when EA accused Zynga of copyright infringement.
“Electronic Arts had alleged that Zynga's new game ℠The Ville´ ripped off EA's ℠The Sims Social,´ which had been launched the prior August and at one point became Facebook's second most popular game ahead of Zynga's ℠FarmVille,´” Stempel explained.
“It said Zynga was able to clone ℠The Sims Social´ in part with the help of executives it had hired away from Electronic Arts, and who had access to critical information on how that game was developed,” he added. “Six weeks later, Zynga countersued, accusing Electronic Arts of trying improperly to stop employees from switching companies. Zynga said this violated a 2011 agreement between the companies over employee solicitations.”
Both companies were, at times, quite vocal in addressing their grievances surrounding the litigation, said Drew Olanoff of TechCrunch. EA once asserted that Zynga “doesn´t understand copyright,” and in their countersuit, the social game giant said EA was guilty of “anti-competitive” practices, he explained.
However, on Friday the accusations and legal wrangling came to a rather quiet end, with both parties agreeing to dismiss their case with prejudice, according to CNET´s Donna Tam. That means neither company will be able to file lawsuits pertaining to the same allegations in the future.
Tam said both EA and Zynga will be paying their own legal fees, and a source told Olanoff neither company agreed to pay money to the other as part of the settlement. When contacted by the media for comment, both firms released identical statements: “EA and Zynga have resolved their respective claims and have reached a settlement of their litigation in the Northern District of California.”