Mark Pincus Does Not Care If You Think Zynga Copied Scrabble And Other Games

Zynga CEO Mark PincusZynga CEO Mark Pincus

Photo: Owen Thomas, Business Insider

Zynga CEO Mark Pincus defended his company’s creativity today.In an interview with Fast Company editor Bob Safian at the Innovation Uncensored conference in San Francisco, Pincus said Zynga didn’t define innovation the way others do.

“For us, innovation is about making games more accessible, more social, more fun, and more free — giving you more value for your time and money,” Pincus said. “We don’t define innovation by whether or not our Words With Friends game looks different enough from Scrabble. We think it’s an innovative game because it’s connected tens of millions of people together.”

He also said that Zynga had to balance its mix of “proven” and new features in games.

Copyright law in the US does not cover the general concepts behind a game or its gameplay—only written or illustrated elements included in the game. Hasbro, the creator of Scrabble, has sued online games like Scrabulous that copied its game board, for example.

Zynga has been accused of knocking off existing games — a practice that landed it in court after archrival Electronic Arts accused it of copying The Sims.

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