NimbleBit calls out Zynga over Tiny Tower clone Dream Heights

Powerhouse social gaming company Zynga, as you may or may not know has a new app on the market called Dream Heights that looks strikingly similar to small indie developer NimbleBits's award winning Tiny Tower -- so much so that NimbleBit has called Zynga out on the matter.

Dream Heights was released last week, albeit solely to the Canadian App Store, which is a common place for freemium apps to be tested before wider release. Since then many in the community have remarked on the similarities to Tiny Tower. While the games each have their own unique styling, the premise for them both is identical and there is no denying the similarities between the two.

NimbleBit let the community -- and more importantly Zynga -- know they were indeed aware of the situation, when Ian Marsh tweeted out a comedic image addressing the issue. Later Tweets from David Marsh, lent some more color to the matter, referencing Zynga's failed purchase attempt of NimbleBit.

“Even when you refuse to go work for Zynga, sometimes you end up doing work for Zynga anyway,”

There are plenty of copy-cat apps in the iTunes App Store and Apple does have guidelines that attempt to help stop such things from happening. Stoneloops is an example of a game that has been MIA from the App Store for years following an infringement complaint. But that was a case of a huge developer using legal muscle against a small, indie developer. This is exactly the opposite way around.

How effective NimbleBit can afford to be is a big question. No matter how you look at though, it's a pretty shady move on Zynga's part -- even if they're not the only ones out there doing it. Just because Zynga can copy a game doesn't mean they should, and the fact they tried a legitimate buy NimbleBits first and failed, then copied the game, only makes matters worse.

Sources: @eeen (1), @NibmleDave

Chris Parsons

Editor-at-Large at Mobile Nations, gadget junkie, energy drinker, ranter.

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NimbleBit calls out Zynga over Tiny Tower clone Dream Heights

11 Comments

Evidement qu'Android perd des aaagtvnes concurrentiels au fur et a mesure qu'Apple rattrape son retard, et ca vaut aussi dans l'autre sens. Je parle evidemment des aaagtvnes subjectifs qui font que le consommateur hesite entre l'un ou l'autre. Exemple : un type veut un smartphone avec appareil photo, il choisira son smartphone en fonction de ce critere (et d'autres). Plus il y a de smartphones avec appareil photo, moins un smartphone a un avantage concurrentiel a ce niveau. Il faudra donc compenser avec d'autres aaagtvnes. Donc quand Apple/Google integre une fonction deja presente dans Android/iOS, le concurrent perd un avantage. C'est tres theorique et schematique, je suis d'accord. ^^

Grounds for legal battle, I would imagine. Zynga is going to make a killing off of a cloned game. I thought cloning a game has been illegal since NES era games, but apparently it's still okay.

Tiny Tower is the most pointless game I've ever played. Minimal strategy, repetitive game play...I'm embarrassed I wasted my time on it. Zynga makes such enjoyable games, I can' believe they even dedicated the resources to make this game.

Lol I'm sorry but Zynga to do exactly what apple does. Look at something...and copy it and make it better. Feel bad for those 3 little guys but hey,...Angry birds is still doing good despite "angry pigs" so just suck it up or make a petition for us all to sign cuz us making comments here won't help you out Nimble Butt lol

Has Zynga even made a game that wasn't a copy of someone else's???
FarmVille? I was doing FarmTown first.
Words with Friends? Oh hi there, Scrabble!
Zynga just takes existing games, makes them social and has more marketing power.
Kinda like Apple does with it's iOS feaatures. LOL (Not trolling - I have an iPhone and love it - but you gotta admit, they do. In fact it's been posted about.)

I'd pretty much given up playing Zynga games, and this gives me a reason to drop them all together. Mafia Wars used to be fun, but to finish it now you have to either want to invest 10 years of your life or spend $$$ buying things. I chose option #3 - quit playing it.

Doesn't this go on all the time with these apps? When i had Android almost every game app i had was a knock off of an iOS game.

That's what it is with Apple. Next year they'll be out with the iPhone 5g or wavether the case may be. This phone works fine and it sounds like the 4g is plauged with problems anyways.