FarmVille Maker Settles Trade Secret Lawsuit With Disney

Illustration for article titled FarmVille Maker Settles Trade Secret Lawsuit With Disney

Zynga, makers of Farm- Frontier- and all things -ville on Facebook, slapped Disney with a lawsuit after it acquired social games competitor Playdom and, Zynga alleges, hired off ex-Zynga workers to learn its "secret sauce." The matter is now settled.

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The lawsuit, settled for an undisclosed amount, accused Playdom of poaching Zynga employees and convincing them to hand over the Zynga "playbook," which Edge Online reports is "a document containing the company's 'secret sauce.'"

At the time, Zynga said the "playbook" "breaks down in detail and memorializes the company's key and collective efforts to develop and fit games to the social networking platform in the most successful manner. It is a ‘how-to' manual that belongs to Zynga."

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Everything is smoothed out now; though no terms of the deal were disclosed, one must imagine that money changed hands. Zynga gave the following statement to Edge:

"Zynga is extremely pleased with the final resolution of its trade secret suit against Playdom and various individuals. The settlement reflects the very serious nature of the conduct involved, as reflected by the preliminary injunction, restraining orders, and contempt order issued by the Santa Clara (County, Calif.) Superior Court.

"We have great respect for Disney and are thankful that following its acquisition of Playdom, Disney resolved the matter to our satisfaction."

Zynga And Playdom Settle Dispute [Edge Online]

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DISCUSSION

Of course, this was only resolved after Disney acquired Playdom and Playdom therefore had the money to pay Zynga. Also, I think we can all guess the tactics that the "Zynga playbook" endorses; including but not limited to charging to your cell phone bill various in-game items and subscriptions to avoid the user noticing, creating a game that engenders competition between friends that can only be resolved through the purchasing of premium content, and general shady marketing tactics that involve selling off user data.

Shit, hope I don't get sued myself!