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 Bingo Blitz  developer accuses Zynga of copying
Bingo Blitz developer accuses Zynga of copying
January 30, 2012 | By Mike Rose

Following accusations by iPhone game developer Nimblebit that social games giant Zynga has ripped off its popular mobile title Tiny Tower, another developer has now also accused Zynga of game cloning.

Buffalo Studios is the developer behind popular Facebook title Bingo Blitz, which sees over 1 million daily active users on the social networking website.

The company has put together a side-by-side comparison of its game against Zynga's recently announced Bingo game, claiming that Zynga has "obviously played" Buffalo's game.

This is the second time in the space of a week that Zynga has been called out for cloning, as Nimblebit has previously said that Zynga's game Dream Heights is a clone of Nimblebit's own Tiny Tower. As part of Buffalo's comparison, the company explained that it was inspired by Nimblebit's recent calling out.

"Hello Zynga. We are moved that your new game was so inspired by our innovative product, Bingo Blitz," reads the statement from Buffalo.

"You've obviously played our game Bingo Blitz a lot," it continues. "Please tell your thousands of employees and shareholders that we hope they enjoy playing the games we're cooking up next!"

This is just the latest in a string of "cloning" incidents that have come to light recently. Triple Town developer Spry Fox revealed at the weekend that it has filed a copyright infringement suit against casual game studio 6Waves Lolapps over its latest release Yeti Town, which Spry Fox claims is a "blatant copy of Triple Town."

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Nick Kinsman
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It's not like allegations such as these are a surprise anymore, and really a huge chunk of the people who will see this already greatly dislike Zynga. I guess Nimblebit's demonstration was a bit more pronounced when they tossed the figures around. Buffalo's comparison has in-built marketing with 'our innovative product' which really sullies it for me anyway.

Regardless, the actual surprise for me? That Buffalo's Bingo game looks more like a 'standard' Zynga product than the Zynga version does ...

Jorge Gonzalez Sanchez
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This is beyond stupid.

While it's obvious the game looks similar, it's still BINGO. It's no surprise 2 facebook-enabled bingo games will look similar in the same way it's no surprise 2 fighting games will look similar. Or 2 racing games. Or 2 tablets (flat with rounded edges apple?)

What about Tekken? What about World Heroes? What about pepsi and every other "me too" product ever to be released.

Yes, copying is a part of every single industry. Videogames specially, since you CAN'T COPYRIGHT GAME MECHANICS.

If you don't like that, change the industry you work in.

Disclaimer: I've never played any Zynga game, or know anyone in the company. I know next to nothing about them or their work practices. For all I know, they could be working in buildings made of skulls and grinded children, but my point stands.

Sean Currie
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"Yes, copying is a part of every single industry. Videogames specially, since you CAN'T COPYRIGHT GAME MECHANICS."

Given the current state of world IP law I wouldn't be surprised if that day actually comes.

Nathaniel Marlow
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The skull building thing, would that be a plus or minus if it were true?

Craig Page
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That's some really original work there by Buffalo Studios. They invented this new game called Bingo, and then they're the first ones to think of using all these features on Facebook, why don't they file a patent?

Craig Page
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Hey I just noticed something, Gamasutra has copied the format of websites I've made!!!! I don't have side by side photos, but my websites also had a title at the top, a lot of links on the side and bottom, content in the middle, and some ads to the right.

E Zachary Knight
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I have been looking at this and looking at this and I honestly don't see a darn thing to get upset about. I am not talking about my usual "copying mechanics is not theft" argument. I am talking about me not seeing anything that can really be claimed to have been copied. If anything I can see that Bingo Blitz has ripped off various elements of may Zynga games that existed before it. Everything that Bingo Blitz is doing has been done by Zynga as well as other Facebook game developers.

So what is the problem? Only a game company trying to latch onto the coat tails of a couple of developers who complained in order to get word out. This is all PR, nothing more.

Sean Currie
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I think we disagreed on the Nimblebit issue when it originally came to light, but I agree with you here. This seems instead like a sign that the vast majority of Facebook games are derivative and, generally speaking, creatively bankrupt.

Zynga doesn't get any points for originality here either, but if you expect Zynga to be original I have a stone here you might want to try squeezing blood from.

Nick Kinsman
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Much like Sean, I would disagree in part on the Nimblebit issue, but largely agree with you on this one. I have little to add that hasn't already been said.

Doug Poston
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Next up:

Nimblebit accuses Buffalo of copying

Next up +1:

The Italian lottery accuses both Buffalo and Zynga of copying

Jeffrey Crenshaw
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Maybe schools should start allowing students to copy from other students' tests, to better prepare them for the real world.

Josh Bakken
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^That^...and buying test results too.

Duong Nguyen
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The reality is with the Internet most students wiki their homework either way.. I wonder what effect this will have on a generation of people who have almost no critical thinking skills and just good Googling skills?

Darcy Nelson
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Only if you can buy the answer keys in a subscription model!

Also, I WISH I could wiki or google my Designing 3D Environments homework, I really do. :P

Duong Nguyen
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This is Zynga modus operandi anyone is surprised? Heck they are on record as stating this is how they work.. meh it works for them, the only hypocrisy is to sue other companies when they are the ones copied.

If this continues eventually it will lead to a spate of lawsuits which will ultimately result in IP patent non-sense currently experienced with software patents. People will "pre-emptively" patent any idea so as to lock out competitors (if they have the money).. For those who say "game play" can't be patented, well guess what gameplay is based on? Software algorithms HAhahaa .. esp when its a "computer" game..So u can patent gameplay if you patent the algorithms underneath them.

Ujn Hunter
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Isn't Zynga's M.O. (like Gameloft before them...) to find out what's "HOT" and push the same thing? I'm pretty sure all their "Games" have been clones.