Floundering social gamers Zynga have sued the makers of ‘hookup app’ Bang With Friends, claiming that the app’s name infringes on its Words With Friends and Chess With Friends trademarks. In a federal court filing, Zynga claims Bang With Friends Inc., whose namesake app helps Facebook friends figure out which among them are currently itching to bump uglies, had chosen its name “with Zynga’s game trademarks fully in mind.”
With users fleeing the site in droves and little sign of salvation on the horizon, Zynga’s vigorous defense of one of its few remaining hit titles is understandable. Then again, considering that Words With Friends is essentially a Scrabble derivative with a social component, the makers of Bang With Friends might be excused for thinking that the ‘creatively bankrupt’ Zynga doth protest too much. Regardless, the Bang With Friends bunch stopped bonking their brains out long enough to send a statement to Bloomberg saying they “take intellectual property seriously, and will evaluate the case in detail once we receive a copy.” They cheerfully added that they remained focused on “making our users happy, so that they can help each other be happy.” Translation: Zynga CEO Mark Pincus can go bang himself.
ZYNGA DISCARDS EXECS, BETABLE HIRES THEM
Not satisfied with preventing people from hooking up, Zynga is also actively preventing its executives from scaling any more rungs on the corporate ladder. The latest Zynga execs to reportedly hit the bricks include senior VP of games John Osvald, VP of games Nathan Etter and Zynga Casino VP Jesse Janosov. The departures, which have yet to be officially announced by the company, bring the total number of execs who’ve pulled the ejection seat lever to over a dozen since Zynga went public in December 2011.
But Zynga’s loss is Betable’s gain. The UK-based real-money gambling enablers have hired Ryan Linton, Zynga’s former VP of revenue operations. Linton, who will serve as Betable’s Chief Revenue Officer, issued a statement saying Betable was one of the “very few companies that can claim to have created a truly disruptive business model.” Betable CEO Christopher Griffin logrolled back, saying Linton’s “deep experience with payment providers and world-class brands will lead us in exceeding our commitment to offering best-in-class experiences for both developers and players.”