Debate on originality 'is overblown', says Zynga studio exec

Dan Porter claims his views were misrepresented

A key studio executive at Zynga has defended his company's practices and claims to have been misrepresented in the press.

Nimblebit's Tiny Tower is often commented as a victim of Zynga plagiarism

Dan Porter denied a news report which alleged that he admitted Zynga "copies games" whilst talking at a recent industry event.

"What I actually said was that all games are derived from other games, that this has been happening long before Zynga, and that the debate about originality in games is vastly overblown and misses the mark," he said in a memo to staff.

Porter's driving message was that, in the field of social games, audience-winning innovations are more nuanced. Originality, he inferred, comes from ideas on how to maintain and satisfy audiences.

"Before making Draw Something, we ran OMGPOP for four years and made lots of games that were inspired by games we loved and we emulated the mechanics from games with great UI. This is no great revelation," he said.

"The bigger point that I made, one that was overshadowed, goes to the true genius of Zynga. After making games for years, it was joining Zynga that made me understand the art, science and special sauce running games as a service.

"When someone on the Zynga New York team came back from spending two weeks with Bill Allred and the WWF team and schooled us on all best practices of keeping a game popular for four years, I really started to get it. It's been a huge learning experience."

A multitude of industry professionals disagree with Porter and claim that Zynga is guilty of cloning other games, from Mob Wars to The Sims Social to Tiny Tower.