Zynga responds to copycat claims, NimbleBit rebuts

"You should be careful not to throw stones when you live in glass towers," Zynga head Mark Pincus said in a recent VentureBeat interview, firing back at recent criticisms of his company's games for being copycat versions of already released games. His cheeky comment is specifically targeted at indie dev NimbleBit, creator of Tiny Tower, who recently wrote an open letter to Zynga addressing similarities between its game and Zynga's upcoming Facebook title Dream Heights.

"When you pull the lens back, you saw that their tower game looked similar to five other tower games going all the way back to SimTower in the early 1990s," he added. But Pincus' argument goes beyond cheeky jabs -- he also makes the point that Zynga isn't a copycat developer as much as it is an iteration developer. Pincus also defends against Buffalo Studios' recent accusations, citing his company's own game (Poker Blitz) as inspiration -- at least visually -- for Bingo Blitz, as seen above.

As Pincus says in an internal memo, "Google didn't create the first search engine. Apple didn't create the first mp3 player or tablet. And, Facebook didn't create the first social network. But these companies have evolved products and categories in revolutionary ways. They are all internet treasures because they all have specific and broad missions to change the world."

NimbleBit, unsurprisingly, doesn't agree. Company co-founder Ian Marsh told Touch Arcade that while "It was a smart idea for Mark Pincus and Zynga to try and lump all games with the name 'Tower' together as an actual genre whose games borrow from each other," he added, "sharing a name or setting does not a genre make." And now that we've devolved into genre definitions, we can officially declare this story over. Like, forever.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.