Kixeye CEO Will Harbin has accused Zynga of using its legal department make money, as the Farmville developer sues his new employee.
"Zynga is burning to the ground and bleeding top talent and instead of trying to fix the problems - better work environment and better products - they are resorting to the only profit centre that has ever really worked for them: their legal department. It is simply another case of Zynga vindictively persecuting a former employee as an individual," he told Gamesbeat.
Zynga is suing Alan Patmore, formerly GM of its CityVille game, accusing him of stealing confidential data as he left the company in August. He is now Kixeye's vice president of product.
"Given their financial situation it all feels pretty desperate," continued Harbin.
"Our games have little in common with the ones that Zynga is known for. We make synchronous, combat strategy games. They make asynchronous cow clicking games. We have 2 of the top 7 highest grossing games on Facebook. Why on earth would we want to emulate a business that has seen a 75 per cent decline in share price since their debut? According to their S1 their games average $.06 ARPDAU. Our games generate up to 20x that. You do the math."
Zynga, meanwhile has reported that the judge in the case has agreed to continue a temporary restraining order against Patmore.
"Patmore does not dispute that he took 763 files from Zynga, which contained confidential game designs from teams around the company, and that he transferred those files to his computer at Kixeye where he's currently the VP of product," said Zynga's deputy general counsel Jay Monahan.
It's not Kixeye's only employee related headache in recent weeks; the company recently had to fire four members of staff over racism claims.