Zynga has been accused of being a copycat, but there are copycats of Zynga as well. Zynga doesn’t take too kindly to being copied.
TechCruch is reporting that Brazilian social games developer, Vostu, has laid off a portion of its staff. The layoffs could be in response to the settlement of a lawsuit between Vostu and Zynga back in December that saw Vostu paying an undisclosed amount to Zynga.
Vostu issued a statement regarding the layoffs to TechCruch:
“Vostu grew a significant amount in the last 18 months and is constantly focused on improving efficiency for future growth which includes select and strategic hiring. We are consolidating our game design and development at our new headquarters in Buenos Aires.”
Vostu was accused last June of copying Zynga’s games down to the letter. As a humorous aside, Zynga alleged that Vostu copied their games so well that even the bugs from Zynga’s games were present in the copycats.
As said above, the two companies reached a settlement in December of last year. The settlement saw Vostu not only making a payment to Zynga, but changing four of their games to remove the infringing content.
Then again, the layoffs could just be as the company describes it - consolidating their development team. It’s a common occurrence in the gaming industry to see layoffs especially after the completion of games.
Vostu launched four mobile games over the past two months and reportedly over 25 percent of all online Brazilians play their games. The company is planning to launch two games next month.
Who knows if the settlement is what caused Vostu to layoff some of its staff. With how fast the social gaming industry has grown, however, it shouldn’t be too long before those who were laid off find new work.
Here's a video comparison between Zynga's and Vostu's games: