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Report: Brazilian dev Vostu cuts staff after Zynga copycat settlement
Report: Brazilian dev Vostu cuts staff after Zynga copycat settlement
February 14, 2012 | By Eric Caoili

Vostu, the Latin American game maker sued by Zynga over copycat allegations, has reportedly terminated an undisclosed number of employees following a settlement with the FarmVille maker.

The two companies reached a settlement for their respective copyright lawsuits and counterclaims last December requiring Vostu to make a monetary payment to the social game giant, and to change four of its titles to differentiate them from Zynga's releases.

This agreement ended a six-month spat between the two in which Zynga accused Vostu of making near-identical copies its titles. It's unclear how much of Vostu's $46 million in funding raised over the years was given up in the deal.

Vostu is now laying off a portion of its staff, according to a report from TechCrunch. As of December, the developer had close to 600 employees spread across its Sao Paolo headquarters and offices in Buenos Aires and New York City.

Founded in 2007, Vostu currently attracts a total of some 3.5 million monthly active players on Facebook through games like Candy Dash and World Mysteries. It has a sizable audience on Google's Orkut social network, too, which is very popular in Brazil.

This news follows recent troubles for another major Latin American social game developer, MetroGames (Coco Girl) in Argentina. Along with its financial problems and layoffs, the company is facing a possible lawsuit from former employees over extortion allegations.

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Michael Kofman
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The irony

Kevin Wells
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No kidding! I especially like how Zynga accused Vostu of having Zynga's business model. Are those copyrighted, now?

Jorge Gonzalez Sanchez
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I remember a couple of years back seeing people from one of these social game dev studios hiring right and left here in Buenos Aires. I paid no attention, arguing that facebook games were just another fad, and that it would die.

Of course, a lot of people got very rich (most didn't) doing this trash, but it's a business in the way dotcom companies were a business. Cash in while the going is good and sell the company to some naive and ignorant soul when things start getting sour. Which they just started to.

Videogames, these things are not.

Michael Nicolayeff
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