In the midst of a mass employee exodus, Zynga is suing the former head of its CityVille game for stealing its ideas. The embattled online company filed a complaint in a San Francisco Court last Friday, accusing Alan Patmore of "misappropriation of trade secrets" and "breach of written contract." Patmore, who was CityVille's general manager, joined Zynga last year. The data that Zynga claims Patmore stole could give rivals such as Kixeye a competitive edge, the document says.
Social gaming juggernaut Zynga is teaming up with toy maker Hasbro to create a "wide range of toys and gaming experiences" based on Zynga properties and brands, a release read.
While Zynga has an enormous audience — 227 million users play its games every month — its biggest hits (CityVille, FarmVille and Words With Friends) don't have immediately recognizable mascots or protagonists like Angry Birds.
He recently left to be vice-president of product for competitor Kixeye, All Things D reports.


In August, Electronic Arts sued Zynga over striking similarities between The Ville and EA's The Sims Social. Powered by its own proprietary technology, Mashable is the go-to source for tech, digital culture and entertainment content for its dedicated and influential audience around the globe. The agreement gives Hasbro license to develop and distribute an array of products in various toy and game categories for Zynga's various properties. Angry Birds is a bona fide brand of its own, with licensees for everything from toys to plush dolls to baby clothes. Sure, the -Ville franchises share similar character designs but the games are largely about individual player experiences. Speaking only for myself (and not the rest of Mashable) this recovering FarmVille addict would be tempted to buy a miniature FarmVille playset or stuffed Truffle Hunting Pig.


As the number-one game on Facebook based on monthly average users, CityVille is among Zynga's most popular games, according to its website. The companies will also be able to co-brand merchandise, which could potentially lead to digital product tie-ins. Disney's social network for tweens, Club Penguin, sells plush toys that also act as in-game bonuses.



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