Mark Pincus, head of FarmVille and Mafia Wars maker Zynga, is about to be cast as the gaming industry’s latest pantomime villain. Speaking to SF Weekly, an ex-Zynga employee has revealed how Pincus told him:
“I don’t fucking want innovation. You’re not smarter than your competitor. Just copy what they do and do it until you get their numbers.”
Interviews with numerous former Zynga workers have lifted the lid on how stealing ideas from other companies was a widely held practice at the FarmVille developer.
If you’re at all familiar with games, you’ll already know that FarmVille has borrowed (to put it politely) from other games – it’s no great revelation. That said, it’s interesting to see just how embedded the culture of copying ideas has (allegedly) become.
The ex-employee also revealed Zynga’s unofficial company motto was “Do Evil”, a twist on Google’s “Don’t Be Evil”, adding:
“I would venture to say it is one of the most evil places I’ve run into, from a culture perspective and in its business approach. I’ve tried my best to make sure that friends don’t let friends work at Zynga.”
[Via SF Weekly]