By David Jackson.
Gaming giant and developer of Facebook’s oldest and most popular game Farmville has been accused of copying another game. This time the allegation comes from Buffalo Studios – they claim that the gaming company copied its flagship title Bingo Blitz with its launch of Zynga Bingo. Prior to this, NimbleBit, the developer of iOS Game of the Year, Tiny Tower had accused Zynga of stealing their idea with its game, Dream Heights.
As per Buffalo Studio’s accusation, there are marked similarities between the two games in terms of graphics, layout and gaming style. And Bingo Blitz is already very popular, judging by the million daily players Buffalo Studios claims to have enlisted on it. Indeed Buffalo Studio claims that it is now the most popular game on Facebook (well, that could be a matter of concern for Zynga!) So that is their side of story….Creative infringement obviously can be a serious thing. But if we give it a deeper thought – the game that is involved in this conflict is BINGO – have we not been playing it for ages? As a matter fo fact, history traces the game back to the early 1500s when it was played in Italy and was apparently invented as the Italian National Lottery, Lo Giucco del Lotto d’Italia!
Before the progress of digital technology, Bingo was already a popular game played in clubs (real, not online social clubs!) and between groups of friends at parties. So what is really so ‘innovative’ about Bingo Blitz? Indeed all popular games are played in their digital avatars and this includes not only the likes of Solitaire and Sudoko but even outdoor sports such as Cricket and Soccer. Merely adding fancy animation and making the game accessible to millions online does not quite add to its original features and basics – does it? And both companies have ‘renovated’ the game their way. So how justified is it for Buffalo Studio to accuse Zynga of this plagiarism?