Leading social game company Zynga has sued fellow firm Playdom, alleging misleading Facebook ads for Playdom's Mobsters
that mention Zynga's Mafia Wars
are confusing consumers and affecting the firm's revenue.
According to a lawsuit first reported by Silicontap.com and made available
by PaidContent.org, Zynga is objecting to a Facebook ad from Playdom which asks "Like Mafia Wars
?" and then directs users to Mobsters
, Playdom's own stat-heavy social management game.
Zynga is not claiming uniqueness over the game concept, but nonetheless claims that this ad is "designed to confuse and deceive the gaming public," and that the company is losing traffic and profits as a result, as well as "damage to its goodwill and reputation."
The company requests Playdom stop using Mafia Wars
in its ads, run "corrective advertising" dispelling confusion, and pay Zynga damages -- including any of Playdom's "ill-gotten gains or profits."
Both social game firms, which are designed to make money by free-to-play games with microtransactions that live on social networks such as Facebook and MySpace, have been hiring major video game executives in recent weeks.
Notably, former EA COO John Pleasants just joined Playdom
as its CEO, and EA LA's Mike Verdu recently joined Zynga
alongside AddictingGames.com manager Roy Sehgal and a number of other executives.
Gamasutra has reached out to Playdom for comment on the lawsuit, and will update if any official statement is given.