Zynga Games is a company that has made most of its many millions on games “inspired” by other titles. And by “inspired,” we mean “shamelessly ripped-off.” Mafia Wars was a rip-off of Mob Wars. Words With Friends is a rip-off of Scrabble. Cafe World is a rip-off of Restaurant City. And so on.
So when Zynga came knocking and wanted to buy up NimbleBits, developers of Tiny Tower (which Apple recently named one of their games of the year), it didn’t take a genius to figure out that if the deal didn’t go through, Zynga would rip-off NimbleBit’s games anyway. And — shocker — it turns out that’s just what happened.
Zynga’s look-alike, play-alike game is called Dream Heights, and except for Tiny Tower‘s retro, 8-bit styling, it looks pretty much identical to NimbleBit’s award-winning game. And guess who’s pretty upset about it?
As word leaked to them about Zynga’s typical but ballsy move, NimbleBit’s David Marsh tweeted:
Even when you refuse to go work for Zynga, sometimes you end up doing work for Zynga anyway.
They did go the honest route and try to acquire us first.
Rebuffed, Zynga wasn’t going to let mere decency get in the way of making Tiny Tower their own though, prompting NimbleBit to try to raise awareness of the blatant swipe by releasing the following graphic to Twitter, showing how blatant the rip-off actually is:
Sadly, my guess is that Zynga’s just going to turn a deaf ear to NimbleBit’s complaints. After all, they got away with stealing the idea of Scrabble; they can probably get away with stealing Tiny Tower, too.