Zynga has been blasted, not for just one, but two of its games that are available on both mobile and Facebook. The first game to be called a copy is Dream Heights, for which, developer Nimblebit made a collection of images showing the ways in which Zynga's version is similar to their own version, Tiny Tower. Nimblebit's game was deemed by Apple as 2011 iPhone Game of the Year. According to Venture Beat, the company, after launching the image collection even proceeded to tweet, “Even when you refuse to go work for Zynga, sometimes you end up doing work for Zynga anyway.” The collection of images is formatted like a letter and calls out to “2789 members of Zynga”. The company then goes on to congratulate Zynga on the launch of their iPhone game, Dream Heights and say they are glad that Zynga are such fans of Nimblebit's own game, Tiny Tower. They then wish Zynga luck with all their future games and look forward to inspiring Zynga again. It is signed from all three of Nimblebit's members.
Tiny Tower – Click to enlarge
What's interesting is that Zynga tried to purchase Nimblebit, last year, but the indie studio refused to be bought. Zynga's games, while some original, some are, of course based on formats of other games. For example, the very popular Words With Friends is based on the format of Scrabble and while the board itself is slightly different, the game and its rules are very similar. However, according to Tech Crunch, the way Zynga even owns Words With Friends is that it bought out the developer, Newtoy, a gaming studio in Texas. Lawsuits against developer of the original Scrabble game, Hasbro, may have been avoided by not using Scrabble anywhere in the name or description of Words With Friends (remember Scrabulous on Facebook?).
Bingo Blitz – Click to enlarge
Now, Buffalo Studios, made a similar image collection and wrote a similar letter about their Facebook game, Bingo Blitz. The game was launched on Facebook, a year ago. It became the number one Bing game on Facebook and has more than 1 million players daily. Buffalo Studios has 45 employees, bigger than Nimblebit and in their letter/infograph to Zynga, they pointed out that they were also inspired by Nimblebit. The infograph, of course, also shows similarity between the two games' graphics, layout and even gameplay. Will this be it? Or will more independent developers raise their voices against Zynga? Stay tuned to find out.