GamesBeat

Vostu pays undisclosed sum to Zynga to settle copyright infringement lawsuit

Ahead of its upcoming initial public offering, social gaming giant Zynga has accepted a settlement in a copyright infringement lawsuit it brought against Brazilian social game maker Vostu, which it had accused of blatantly copying some of its most popular games.

As part of the settlement, Vostu will make changes to four of its games and pay an undisclosed sum to Zynga. Vostu will also drop a counterclaim it had made against Zynga.”The parties are pleased to have settled their disputes and to now put these matters behind them,” the companies said in a joint statement.

A Vostu spokesperson declined to comment further on the details of the settlement or which of its games would be changed under the terms of the agreement.

Allegations of game copying are widespread in the social and casual game industries, with popular titles quickly spawning copycats that slightly tweak the concept or gameplay in some small way. Zynga’s own FarmVille is widely considered to be a much more successful copy of Slashkey’s  previously released social game Farm Town.

But Zynga’s lawsuit, originally filed in June, accused Vostu of taking more than simple inspiration from Zynga’s titles by copying games including FarmVille, Zynga Poker, PetVille, Cafe World, and CityVille right down to key gameplay features and even structural glitches found in the titles.

At the time, Vostu called the lawsuit “frivolous” and said its titles were “chock full of original content” that had been “individually created.”

The settlement comes at a crucial time for Zynga, which will finally offer its long-mulled IPO starting December 15, though at a price much lower than previous expectations.

Vostu, which has offices in New York, Sao Paolo and Buenos Aires is backed by $46 million raised last year by Accel Partners and Tiger Global Management, among others. The company claims over 25 percent of all internet-connected Brazilians play its games, including recently launched soccer sim GolMania.


Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 2.00.11 PMGamesBeat 2014 — VentureBeat’s sixth annual event on disruption in the video game market — is coming up on Sept 15-16 in San Francisco. Purchase one of the first 50 tickets and save $400!

GamesBeat is your source for gaming news and reviews. But it's also home to the best articles from gamers, developers, and other folks outside of the traditional press. Register or log in to join our community of writers. You can even make a few bucks publishing stories here! Learn more.

You are now an esteemed member of the GamesBeat community. That means you can comment on stories or post your own to GB Unfiltered (look for the "New Post" link by mousing over your name in the red bar up top). But first, why don't you fill out your via your ?

About GamesBeat