While Kixeye has taken some heat recently for being accused of having a culture of institutional racism, the social developer has been fighting Zynga on another front. Zynga sued former CityVille general manager Alan Patmore, claiming that when he left the firm he took 763 confidential files from Zynga containing game designs from teams in the company. Today, the judge overseeing the case ruled that Patmore must preserve any evidence as the case heads to trial, reports GamesBeat.
But the real story of the day is about the comments made by Will Harbin, chief executive of Kixeye.
"Zynga is burning to the ground and bleeding top talent, and instead of trying to fix the problems — better work environment and better products — they are resorting to the only profit center that has ever really worked for them: their legal department," he said. "It is simply another case of Zynga vindictively persecuting a former employee as an individual."
"Given their financial situation, it all feels pretty desperate," Harbin continued his blistering attack on Zynga. "Our games have little in common with the ones that Zynga is known for. We make synchronous combat-strategy games. They make asynchronous cow-clicking games. We have two of the top seven highest-grossing games on Facebook. Why on earth would we want to emulate a business that has seen a 75 percent decline in share price since their debut? According to their S1, their games average $.06 ARPDAU. Our games generate up to 20 times that. You do the math."
On a related note, Jay Monahan, the deputy general counsel at Zynga, issued a statement on today's ruling:
"Today, the court ruled in our favor by continuing the temporary restraining order against Mr. Patmore, including anyone acting in concert with him," he said. "The Court also ordered three additional categories of relief in favor of Zynga ordering (1) expedited deposition of Patmore, (2) forensics of Patmore’s work issued computer, personal computer and iPhone, and (3) forensics of Patmore’s personal Dropbox account."
He went on to say that Patmore did not dispute that he took 763 files from Zynga when he left the company.