It's sad to see Zynga cloning games, says Nimblebit

It's sad to see Zynga cloning games, says Nimblebit
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

August 20th 2012 at 3:12PM

David Marsh believes talent is being squandered through a lack of creativity at the social gaming giant

It’s sad to see developers at Zynga working on copycat games rather than creating original content, Nimblebit’s David Marsh has said.

Speaking to Mobile Pie's Will Luton in an interview for Develop, the Tiny Tower creator said he was surprised that the social games giant did not often let designers create their own ideas, given the wealth of talent available at the company.

When asked by Luton whether he felt talent had been squandered at the studio, Marsh said that is something he would agree with.

He added the most exciting element of game development should be the creative side and coming up with new ideas, rather than just copying pre-existing concepts.

“The annoying part to me was that I know that there are lots of really talented people at Zynga because I used to work with them and they all went to work at Zynga,” said Marsh.

“It’s just kind of sad for me to think that they would all get tasked with just ‘here’s a game, make something exactly like it’ instead of ‘here’s a genre, a basic idea, what can you come up with?’

“The most exciting part of game development for us is just starting with that small nugget at the beginning, and based on the personalities of the people on the team and they’re skills, seeing it evolve and grow and see what you come up with by the end of everything."

Earlier this year Nimblebit claimed that Zynga had cloned Tiny Tower with its own title, Dream Heights. Both games used the concept of a free-to-play tower building game, and demonstrated a similar look and micro-transaction scheme.

Marsh said however that he didn’t feel shocked or betrayed by Zynga, and that he did not want to be known for having a game seemingly cloned by the social giant, but known for creating his own games.

“I have mixed feeling about it because that’s not really why I would like to be known,” said Marsh.

“I would like to be known for our games and not because we got cloned by a much bigger company or something like that.

“We did get tons of requests for interviews about it, which was annoying. I’d rather have people want to talk to us to see what we’re doing next, not for what some other company did.

“I guess there’s always the saying there’s no such thing as bad publicity and it hasn’t hurt us, that’s for sure.”