FrontierVille creator Brian Reynolds: Copycatting hasn't been a problem

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FrontierVille fireThe issue of copycatting in social games has been put under the microscope this month, thanks to accusations thrown at Zynga for copying both NimbleBit's Tiny Tower and Buffalo Studio's Bingo Blitz. (Let's not forget that 6waves Lolapps is looking at an infringement suit from Triple Town's maker.) Who better to address the arguable plague of the social gaming world than Brian Reynolds, one the visionary designers behind the classic Civilization and, more importantly in this case, FrontierVille?

"So the thing is, in the course of the industry, it doesn't feel like to me that it's usually been a problem, that basically the people that add stuff and innovate and make the best games are usually the ones that succeed," Reynolds told Gamasutra, referring to rampant copycatting in social games. "I can't think of an obvious example where somebody made a worse game, and profoundly beat out somebody who made a better game. Can you think of an example?"

To which Gamasutra's Kris Graft responded, "I'm sure once I quote you on that in the article, I'll get a whole bunch of comments answering that question." And judging from what's visible on the website's comment section of as this writing, Graft was about on the money. Does anyone else get the feeling that this is far, far from over?

[Image Credit: FrontierVille Express]

Based on his interview with Gamasutra, did Reynolds effectively defend Zynga on the issue of copycatting? Do you see an end to this ageless argument? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.
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