If you've so much as visited a tech or gaming-related website over the past week or so, you'll be well aware that California-based Madden creator EA is in the process of suing FarmVille developer Zynga. In essence, the former believes the latter ripped off its The Sims Social Facebook title with The Ville.
This isn't the first time a developer or publisher has gone after the social gaming specialist, though. Zynga has been accused of releasing clones plenty of times before, after all.
Now, we're not saying the San Francisco-based outfit is guilty (please don't sue us), but you'd have to be blind (and stupid) not to see some similarities between Zynga's products and the games that it's allegedly borrowed heavily from.
Below is a list of the company's past transgressions in no particular order. Enjoy.The Ville - The Sims Social
Let's start with the The Sims Social, which is the reason we're writing this article in the first place.
EA alleges - among other things - that there's a "substantial similarity" between the character creator portions of both games, and accuses Zynga of downright copying six of the nine personality types in its game.
Animations related to each personality type are also strikingly similar, while The Ville boasts the exact eight skin tone colours as its EA counterpart. Fishy.FarmVille - Farm Town
Slashkey's Farm Town hit the web in early 2009. Zynga's effort hit Facebook in June 2009. You do the math.
Saying that, farming sims are always going to be somewhat similar (due to the nature of the beast), but Zynga's über-popular effort has more than its fair share of features 'inspired' by Slashkey's release, such as fruit-wielding trees and animals that need feeding.
And, y'know, they kind of look alike.Cafe World - Resturant City
Sticking with 2009, EA subsidiary Playfish released a title called Restaurant City in which you attempt to transform a small eatery into a bustling (and profitable) restaurant by dishing out food to your buddies.
Months later, Zynga released Cafe World - a game in which you attempt to transform a small eatery into a large bustling (and profitable) restaurant by dishing out food to your buddies.
As you can see from the images above, the games bear a striking resemblance to each other.FishVille - Happy Aquarium
Zynga released FishVille in November 2009, a couple of months after CrowdStar launched Happy Aquarium on Facebook for the very first time.
In both games, you adopt and care for a range of different fish by feeding them, cleaning their tank, and purchasing new items and decorations from the in-game store.PetVille - Pet Society
Again, Zynga followed up the release of Pet Society with a similar title called PetVille, which features characters that, well, closely resemble the ones found in PlayFish's social game.
You complete many of the same activities in both, too, such as customising your pet and his humble abode.Dream Heights - Tiny Tower
This is a fairly recent example. Last year, famed free-to-play specialist and Pocket Frogs developer NimbleBit launched an addictive tower-building sim called Tiny Tower, which tasks you with building a huge skyscraper.
Naturally, Zynga's attempt at a similar game soon hit the market, complete with lots of familiar elements, such as tutorials and the various stats of your tower's inhabitants.
Zynga actually attempted to acquire NimbleBit prior to this debacle, which makes it a whole lot more interesting.Mafia Wars - MobWars
Back in 2008, gangster-filled text-based crime title Mob Wars was doing pretty well for itself, and was rumoured to be generating several thousands of dollars on a daily basis from its users.
Then, Mafia Wars came along. Zynga's effort featured a similar user interface and story elements, which led to a lawsuit from Mob Wars creator David Maestri and a $7-9 million settlement.Pioneer Trail - Oregon Trail
We presume you're already more than familiar with infamous educational title Oregon Trail, so we won't go into it too much.
All we will say is that it tasks you with travelling from Independence, Missouri, to Oregon's Willamette Valley while trying to avoid dysentery and other nasty ailments.
In 2011, Zynga released an expansion for Facebook title FrontierVille called Pioneer Trail, which mimicked gameplay from the classic 1971 title.Some info from Mashable.