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Zynga: Copying games is no big deal, don't worry about it

6:00 AM on 03.12.2013 // Tony Ponce
  @megaStryke

Who has time to be creative when you are providing a "service"?

"Zynga is often accused of copying games, which is mostly true."

Those were the words spoken by Dan Porter, General Manager of Zynga New York. It's no secret to anyone with the capacity for rational thought that the social gaming madhouse has no shame in building a portfolio based entirely on the creative endeavors of others. But to hear the head of an entire division speak so bluntly about the company's modus operandi makes it sound like no one in upper management gives a toss they are seen as dirty, dirty rats.

Porter quickly realized that he stepped -- nay, leaped -- across a very dangerous line, so he sent out a company-wide memo hoping to clarify what he believed to be a misrepresentation of his words by the media. What he actually meant to say was, "[A]ll games are derived from other games, that this has been happening long before Zynga, and that the debate about originality in games is vastly overblown and misses the mark." His justification is that peer pressure is too overwhelming? What is this, middle school?

The real point of his original speech was to congratulate Zynga on effectively running games as a "service," therefore "the debate over copying games is a distraction if you are trying to figure out the future of social games." That's right, kids! No need to worry about finer details like integrity as long as you can achieve success. Because we all know that providing a "service" is always in the end-user's best interest.

A Note from Dan Porter [Zynga via The Verge]


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