EA has filed a lawsuit against Zynga over The Ville, alleging that the social games giant is "in clear violation" of copyright laws.
"The legal reasons are solid. But for creative teams who feel that their hard work and imaginations have been ripped off, there's obviously an emotional element too," wrote Maxis general manager Lucy Bradshaw. "As outlined in our complaint, when The Ville was introduced in June 2012, the infringement of The Sims Social was unmistakable to those of us at Maxis as well as to players and the industry at large."
"This is a case of principle. Maxis isn't the first studio to claim that Zynga copied its creative product. But we are the studio that has the financial and corporate resources to stand up and do something about it. Infringing a developer's copyright is not an acceptable practice in game development. By calling Zynga out on this illegal practice, we hope to have a secondary effect of protecting the rights of other creative studios who don't have the resources to protect themselves."
Update 2: You can now read the complaint in full.
Update: Zynga's full statement after the break.