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Would it be good for Indies if EA wins against Zynga?
The big news of last week was that EA had sued Zynga for copyright infringement in The Ville, alleging it had substantially copied The Sims Social.
EA has positioned this as standing up for the little guy, in the same way it fought (and beat) the trademark troll Tim Langdell of the use of the word Edge in a video game.
Gamasutra has a good analysis of EA’s legal case, and its article ends:
"a decisive EA victory could create the precedent that indies would need in order to be safe from having their games cloned by big companies they can’t afford to fight."
That would be great, sure. But you have to have a successful game to be cloned. What about the indies who launch a game but are immediately shut down by a lawsuit claiming that they are copying some big corporate game? They could fight it, but without the resources of a big company, maybe they should just settle. Is it possible that if EA wins, the world actually becomes more dangerous for indies, not less?
I instinctively want EA to win. It seems likely it is a better outcome, but sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for. Perhaps it would be better to have success cloned than allow companies with teams of lawyers to shut down potential competitors quickly and cheaply.
Which do you think is the less of the two evils?