Kixeye CEO attacks Zynga as restraining order is extended

Kixeye CEO attacks Zynga as restraining order is extended
Will Freeman

By Will Freeman

October 17th 2012 at 1:07PM

Legal battle's tension increases as casual studios lock horns

The CEO of studio Kixeye has launched a confident verbal attack on Zynga, as the social giant continues with suing one of the executive's employees, Alan Patmore.

Patmore became the subject of Zynga legal action after he left his employment at the company as GM of CityVille, allegedly taking some 763 confidential and sensitive files with him.

A judge on the case has now ruled that Patmore must now preserve potential evidence. The court has also extended a temporary restraining order against the Kixeye employee.

But now Kixeye CEO Will Harbin (pictured) has, as reported by Venturebeat, made a statement that paints a very negative picture of Zynga.

"Zynga is burning to the ground and bleeding top talent and instead of trying to fix the problems – better work environment and better products – they are resorting to the only profit center that has ever really worked for them: their legal department," stated Harbin. "It is simply another case of Zynga vindictively persecuting a former employee as an individual."

Harbin added “Given their financial situation it all feels pretty desperate. Our games have little in common with the ones that Zynga is known for. We make synchronous, combat strategy games. They make asynchronous cow clicking games. We have two of the top seven highest grossing games on Facebook. Why on earth would we want to emulate a business that has seen a 75 per cent decline in share price since their debut? According to their S1 their games average $.06 ARPDAU. Our games generate up to 20-times that. You do the math.”

The aforementioned restraining order is, as explained by Zynga deputy general counsel Jay Monahan, also applicable to anyone 'in concert' with Patmore. The court handling the case has also ordered in favour of forensic investigation of Patmore's work issued computer and Dropbox account. Patmore has also been told he must return all data to Zynga, and reveal all the names of those with whom he shared Zynga's private files.

The legal battle follows recent news four Kixeye employees were sacked for racist behaviour.