Kixeye has filed a cross-complaint against Zynga, accusing the company of "fabricating claims" against it, according to a written statement from Kixeye's CEO, Will Harbin.
"Today we filed a Cross-Complaint against Zynga in the Superior Court of California," Harbin wrote in a statement provided to Polygon. "We believe Zynga is manipulating the legal process and fabricating claims against Kixeye to access OUR trade secrets. Their illustrious history of using their legal department to exploit and slander competitors that they can't otherwise out-perform is well documented. We will not stand for it."
Harbin previously accused Zynga of "burning to the ground and bleeding top talent ... instead of trying to fix the problems" that lead former CityVille general manager, Alan Patmore, to leave Zynga for Kixeye. Patmore brought documents from Zynga with him, and Zynga filed suit to prevent him from sharing the documents with his new employer.
The cross-complaint alleges that Zynga's lawsuit has two goals: "to send a message to its employees about the consequences of leaving Zynga to work at Kixeye" and "to use the litigation as a Trojan Horse to gain access to Kixeye's own confidential, valuable information and trade secrets." The cross-complaint ends with a request to, among other things, dismiss Zynga's lawsuit and to prohibit Zynga from allegedly dissuading its employees from working at Kixeye.
"This matter was shameful enough when it was focused on bleeding one of their former employees," Harbin continued in his statement. "When they broadened this frivolous claim to include Kixeye, they showed their hand. We will fight to our last breath to keep this predatory company from accessing our confidential information and best practices. We intend to defend ourselves from Zynga's legal bullying for as long as it takes to reveal the truth — that Kixeye played no part in this. As we have stated previously, we have ZERO interest in Zynga's IP or 'trade secrets.' Our games are categorically different from theirs in almost every way. Claiming that their failed business practices could inform ours further establishes their complete lack of understanding of the gaming business."
We have reached out to Zynga for comment, and will update this article with any information that the company provides.