Just yesterday Bingo Blitz developer Buffalo Studios claimed that Zynga’s upcoming game Zynga Bingo was a copy of its social game. And this came not long after Tiny Tower developer Nimblebit made similar accusations. Now Zynga has finally responded and, expectedly, denied any wrongdoing.
While Zynga would not make any official statement on either matter to Gamezebo, interviews have since been released with both CEO Mark Pincus and chief game designer Brian Reynolds.
In the case of Zynga Bingo, while Buffalo Studios believes that the game was inspired by Bingo Blitz, Pincus explained in an interview with VentureBeat that it was actually inspired by Zynga’s own now-defunct social game Poker Blitz.
“It was a little ironic to look at Bingo Blitz,” he explained. “Pull that lens back. Look at our game Poker Blitz, and then Bingo Blitz, you see striking similarities in those pictures.
“You can go back to FarmVille. Look at Farm Town and say, ‘Those pictures are troubling. They look too similar.’ But you pull the lens back again, and you see Farm Town next to My Farm, and next to Happy Farm, and next to YoVille. What you see is a series of games innovating on top of each other. You see Farm Town had a very similar avatar to YoVille.”
Meanwhile in an interview with Gamasutra, Reynolds, who previously worked on Zynga’s FrontierVille, explained that he doesn’t believe that the trend is anything new. He compared the recent wave of “copycat” games to PC games in the early 90s, where a game like Doom spawned a number of similar first person shooters.
In fact, while many believe Zynga simply copies other games, Reynolds believes that the company is very innovative.
“I just want to make sure that that people realize how much innovation goes on at Zynga, and how many times we’ve delivered games that really are just fantastic and bring new things to the market,” he told Gamasutra. “I feel like Zynga is substantially a driver of innovation in the space, and so I just want to make sure we get credit for that.”