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Zynga: We define innovation differently

CEO Mark Pincus lashes out at copycat claims, argues company is focused on social

Zynga CEO Mark Pincus has lashed out at the developers who've accused the company of copying their games, arguing there are only a small number of truly new games.

"We think there is a massive body of work in the video game industry that is going to be reimagined for decades to come in a way that is free, accessible and social," Pincus told GamesBeat.

"That's what we're doing. I don't think anyone should be surprised when they see us come out with games that they've seen before, a decade or more ago. I don't think there are a lot of totally new games that are invented. We always try. But to us, they are like the crew mechanic in our games. They give you a new way to interact with your friends."

He also suggested that Buffalo Studios, which recently accused Zynga of copycat tactics regarding its game Bingo Blitz, saying it was similar to an early Zynga title.

 "It was a little ironic to look at Bingo Blitz. Pull that lens back. Look at our game Poker Blitz, and then Bingo Blitz, you see striking similarities in those pictures."

He also compared Tiny Tower, another game Zynga has been accused of aping, to older title SimTower. He also claimed that Zynga was still an innovator, but in terms of social mechanics, rather than gaming ones.

"I think people in the industry are defining innovation different from the way we are," he argued.

"When you define innovation, you have to define what problem are you innovating against. The problem we are innovating against is how do we get a billion people to play together. That's what we want to solve for. We need to innovate as an industry to make that happen. That's a worthy goal. I think we are innovating as an industry and Zynga is contributing massively to it on many, many fronts."

On Friday the social gaming company's share price finally crept above its IPO price for the first time, closing at $10.05. At time of writing it stands at $10.49.

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Rachel Weber avatar
Rachel Weber: Rachel Weber has been with GamesIndustry since 2011 and specialises in news-writing and investigative journalism. She has more than five years of consumer experience, having previously worked for Future Publishing in the UK.
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