Zynga accused of cloning hit indie iPhone game Tiny Tower


 Share

Recommended Posts

Zynga accused of cloning hit indie iPhone game Tiny Tower

San Diego, CA-based independent iPhone game developer Nimblebit is accusing social games giant Zynga of ripping off its popular mobile title Tiny Tower.

Zynga last week launched on the Canadian App Store Dream Heights, a free-to-download tower-building game with in-app purchases that has clear similarities to summer 2011's Tiny Tower, which received Apple's 2011 iPhone Game of the Year.

"Clones" of games are a common occurrence on mobile platforms, but the Tiny Tower versus Dream Heights conflict has gained quick notoriety on the web due to the David and Goliath scenario of a massive public company allegedly copying the ideas of a three-person team.

Nimblebit's Ian Marsh got word out about the similarities between Dream Heights and Tiny Tower with an image that's still making the Twitter rounds. The image is made up of screenshots showing how Dream Heights' interface and gameplay mechanics appear strikingly similar to Tiny Tower's.

"We noticed you are about to launch a new iPhone game called Dream Heights! Congratulations!" reads the image, which was addressed to "all 2,789" of Zynga's employees. "We wanted to thank all of you guys for being such big fans of our iPhone game of the year, Tiny Tower!"

The sarcastic statement continues, "Good luck with your game, we are looking forward to inspiring you with our future games! Sincerely, (all 3 of us) -- Nimblebit."

Marsh also said on Twitter that Zynga "did try to go the honest route and try to acquire us first." He added that inside Dream Heights' app binary, the Zynga project "is named 'TowerVille' and its inhabitants are named zitizens" -- Tiny Tower's are called "bitizens."

Nimblebit and Zynga did not immediately reply to Gamasutra's requests for further comment.

Source: Gamasutra

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yep, Zynga are pure scum. Ripping off other games and marketing it to hell is their business model, and sad to say - it works. I wonder what would happen if Zynga met Apple. It would be a perfect fit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i see both pictures, i see they made a better version, but its hardly a copy. Well the idea is the same, but an idea can be trademark?

It's pretty much a direct copy with graphical differences. functionally and play wise they are identical.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

and tiny tower is a rip off of Sim Tower made many years ago

simtower_1.jpg

Yea but Tiny Tower is not exactly the same as Sim Tower. Dream Heights on the other hand is pretty much a 1:1 copy with a different art style. The buttons are all placed at the same spot etc
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This isn't the first time they have done it either. Just a dispicable tactic. They can't create anything original, and have to resort to stealing others idea's and putting shine to them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Zynga does not have the decency to pay Nimblebit for the concept and/or co-develop with Nimblebit?

What a shock...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just sad, as there is no question who would have the better lawyers even if they had any kind of case. So the little team of devs gets screwed over by the massive corporation and there is pretty much nothing at all they can do about it without going bankrupt on lawyer fees. Way to go Zynga.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Visually Zynga has basically remade the game group up with better visuals hoping to attract Tiny Towers market. I think in some certain extent, it'll work because it does look a lot more pleasing then Tiny Towers, and much more polished since Zynga isn't considered an Indie Company ^^.

It might be a blatant rip-off but there's also Sim Towers which was released ages ago, I think the claims of the user interface is the reason why Tiny Tower developers are mad.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i see both pictures, i see they made a better version, but its hardly a copy. Well the idea is the same, but an idea can be trademark?

Hardly ? It's the same game with better gfx.

You can make a new game using the same concept. But at least change the ui more than Zynga did.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Zynga is a BS company. Most of their games are crap, and pulling **** like this makes it even easier to not waste money on them. This doesn't really compare to Sim Tower at all, because aside from building a tower for people and businesses to move into, it's not the same game. These two are IDENTICAL though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Zynga is a BS company. Most of their games are crap, and pulling **** like this makes it even easier to not waste money on them. This doesn't really compare to Sim Tower at all, because aside from building a tower for people and businesses to move into, it's not the same game. These two are IDENTICAL though.

you have to remember sim tower was a game from the 90's, it wasn't a full game by todays standards, they did copy the style of the game and the idea, but added a lot to it

Link to comment
Share on other sites

and tiny tower is a rip off of Sim Tower made many years ago

simtower_1.jpg

Exactly

Nothing is produced in a vacuum, everything is in some way derivative of the things that came before it. I'm not standing up for Zynga but I think the Tiny Tower devs should do some reflection on where their ideas came from before complaining that others are stealing "their" ideas.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

you have to remember sim tower was a game from the 90's, it wasn't a full game by todays standards, they did copy the style of the game and the idea, but added a lot to it

I played Sim Tower for hours on end. It was nothing at all the same as either of these games. To say it was the same is like saying Forza and Mario Kart are the same because they are both racing games. The concept is similar, but the execution is entirely different. Between these two games though, the concept and execution are identical, only the graphics are changed, and only slightly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yea but Tiny Tower is not exactly the same as Sim Tower. Dream Heights on the other hand is pretty much a 1:1 copy with a different art style. The buttons are all placed at the same spot etc

Zynga couldn't care less from what I'm seeing sadly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

you have to remember sim tower was a game from the 90's, it wasn't a full game by todays standards, they did copy the style of the game and the idea, but added a lot to it

Infact Mega Mall Story is more similar then Sim Towers, but that's not the point. Tiny Towers did add a lot of it's own uniqueness that made it a true mobile sim game. It had easy gameplay that you can go back to every once in awhile and you can come back and pick up from where you left on, whilst the game still carries on without you. Don't forget to mention the chance to quicken the process of making a bigger better tower by using dollars that can be achieved in the game or bought from the IAP store. It wasn't just some blatant rip off, but well thought of game, and Zynga has really taken the **** by copying it without really adding something to their own, but it's not like they've not thought of a business strategy. Looking at the screenshots, it looks VERY similar and also looks FAR more appealing, which will bring more potential consumers and existing Tiny Tower players.

TLDR; Tiny Towers isn't a rip off of Sim Towers, they might be both simulation games based on running a business type tower, but there is a lot of new ideas thrown in the table that made the game different. Zynga made a prettier version, hoping to get the exisiting player base plus more, as it's far more appealing in terms of graphics, yet it's the same gameplay; almost.

Extreme TLDR; It's a business strategy, get over it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This isn't the first time they have done it either. Just a dispicable tactic. They can't create anything original, and have to resort to stealing others idea's and putting shine to them.

I thought this article was about Zynga, not Apple... ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thought this article was about Zynga, not Apple... ;)

Extreme TLDR; It's a business strategy, get over it. :p x 2

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By zikalify
      Waiting for the Apple Event? Here's how you can tune in live
      by Paul Hill



      Apple is set to live-stream its latest Apple Event in less than two hours. It's expected that the firm will show off a new range of iPhone and Apple Watch devices as well as the launch of the next iOS and macOS versions. We could also see a refresh to Apple's AirPods.

      Apple has become a bit more open in recent years, you no longer need an Apple device to stream the company's events, instead, they are broadcast for all to watch on YouTube. If you'd like to tune in, check out the stream below. It's set to begin at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. UTC and will likely run for a couple of hours.

      If you won't be able to stick around for the live event, be sure to come back to Neowin regularly to check our coverage of the event and all the products that Apple announces today.

    • By anmol112
      WhatsApp may soon transcribe your voice messages
      by Anmol Mehrotra



      WhatsApp is working on a new feature that will transcribe voice notes for users, so they don't have to listen to audio messages.

      The feature was first spotted by WABetaInfo and is currently under development. Furthermore, the website notes that transcription will be done locally on the user's phone so Facebook will not have access to the audio recordings. The transcription, however, will be used by Apple to improve its speech recognition technology and is totally optional.

      The transcribed messages will be stored locally so you can access them any time in the future without having to transcribe the message again. WhatsApp users can also jump to a specific timestamp if they don't need transcription for the whole message. Currently, the feature is in development for iOS users and there is no word on if or when the feature will be available for Android users. However, WhatsApp has a decent track record of bringing major features to both iOS and Android so we might see some solution for Android users in the future.

      WhatsApp is expected to roll out the feature to iOS beta users in the near future. For now, there is no word on when the feature will start rolling out to WhatsApp for iOS users.

    • By Usama Jawad96
      Court: Epic Games breached contract but Apple must allow external payment methods
      by Usama Jawad

      Apple and Epic have been locking horns in court ever since the latter tried to bypass the Cupertino tech giant's payment systems in order to avoid paying a 30% fee. The tussle started almost a year ago when Apple kicked out Fortnite from the App Store due to attempts to bypass it commercial systems. In return, Epic sued Apple, and was then countersued for breach of contract. It's been a mess, seriously. Today, the court has finally ruled on the case and awarded victories - or losses, depending upon how you look at it - to both parties, kind of.

      Judge Yvonne Gonzalez-Rogers has essentially issued two rulings. The first (via The Verge) clearly states that Apple cannot restrict developers from guiding users to alternative external payment methods. The injunction will take effect in 90 days. The wording of the ruling is as follows:

      Meanwhile, the second ruling favors Apple and says that Epic Games was indeed in breach of contract when it offered direct payments to customers on iOS between August and October 2020. As such, Epic Games now has to pay Apple 30% of all the associated revenue it earned in this time period. Since the revenue was around $12.17 million, this means that Epic now has to pay $3.6 million to Apple. An excerpt (thanks, 9to5Mac) from the ruling also reads:

      Interestingly, in a statement to The Verge, Apple claimed the rulings to be a victory for itself, stating that:

      In a similar vein, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney expressed disappointment in the ruling on Twitter:

      In subsequent tweets, the executive went on to say that:

      Epic Games has confirmed to CNBC that it will appeal the court's decision. You can view the court's 185-page ruling here.

    • By Usman Khan Lodhi
      Apple will let developers contact users about payment outside of their apps
      by Usman Khan Lodhi



      Apple announced today that it's settling its lawsuit with developers and as part of that agreement, developers will now finally be able to inform app users about payment methods that exist outside the iOS app. Previously, the firm had announced that developers were allowed to contact customers outside of their app, but they weren't permitted to do so using information obtained inside the app.

      As part of the settlement, there are a couple of other concessions aimed to assist small developers. Developers who earned $1 million or less "for all of their apps in every calendar year in which the developers had an account between June 4, 2015, and April 26, 2021" will benefit from a fund. They will also be entitled to a reduced commission, while larger developers will continue to pay the App Store's usual fee on app purchases and in-app payments.

      Other changes include the Cupertino firm increasing the available number of price points from "fewer than 100 to more than 500." Additionally, changes that were made in response to the coronavirus, including reduced commissions to 15 percent for developers earning less than $1 million a year, will continue to be in place for at least the next three years.

    • By Jay Bonggolto
      Twitter is testing downvote and upvote buttons for tweet replies on iOS
      by Jay Bonggolto

      A dislike button has been one of the most requested features on Twitter for quite a while as a way to tell the service whether a tweet is relevant or not. Last year, Twitter’s product lead Kayvon Beykpour revealed that the company was considering adding a dislike button or a downvote system.

      Today, Twitter announced that it's testing a downvote and upvote system for a small group of users on iOS. The new capability appears in a few different ways on top of the usual options to interact with a reply to a tweet. For some, the upvote and downvote buttons show up as up and down arrows, thumbs up and thumbs down, or a heart icon and a down arrow.

      The micro-blogging platform said the new system is designed to gauge the types of tweet replies people like on Twitter. It also clarified that downvotes won't be shown to the public while upvotes will appear as likes. This means that downvotes won't trigger notifications and will be visible only to the user whose tweet reply is being downvoted. On the other hand, notifications for upvotes will show up in the Likes tab.

      Contrary to popular assumption, however, Twitter's new experimental system isn't quite similar to a dislike button. The company said that the test is only part of its research to determine what type of reply seems to be irrelevant to a conversation.

      Votes will also not affect the order of replies. Unlike in Reddit where votes alter the position of replies in a conversation, Twitter's implementation does not have the same impact on tweet replies. That said, this isn't the only tweet interaction that Twitter has been testing; in May, the platform was spotted experimenting with tweet reactions.