Nimblebit co-founder David Marsh has shared his reaction to Zynga's game Dream Heights, which is a clone of Nimblebits hit Tiny Tower.
"We were kind of just a little bit taken aback at just how close of a clone it was because we thought it would just be based on Tiny Tower with the same basic theme," he told Develop.
"But actually, the more we played it, the more it was really pretty close mechanically to our game."
At the time Nimblebit released an infographic addressing the problem, which Marsh admits went viral in a way he never expected.
"When we made that little image to poke fun at Zynga, it was just more a cathartic thing we were doing for ourselves because we wanted to say something just to our friends, not necessarily the entire world. But it ended up getting picked by every news source under the sun. It's pretty overwhelming."
He the incident didn't leave him feeling "shocked or betrayed," more annoyed at the waste of talent, and Dream Heights seemed to have little effect on Tiny Tower's sales.
"I don't think we've seen any kind of downturn in our revenue because of Dream Heights. I don't think it's devastating to us but that's definitely why they can put out a lot of derivative games and still flourish," he said.
"The annoying part to me was that I know that there are lots of really talented people at Zynga because I used to work with them and they all went to work at Zynga. It's just kind of sad for me to think that they would all get tasked with just 'here's a game, make something exactly like it' instead of 'here's a genre, a basic idea, what can you come up with?'"
Nimblebit has made plenty of other games, including Pocket Frogs, Pocket Plane and Skyburger, and Marsh wanted to make sure that those games were the company's legacy.
"I would like to be known for our games and not because we got cloned by a much bigger company or something like that."