Meet Plinga, Apparently Zynga’s German Copycat

Welcome to Plinga Social Games for FacebookWhile Zynga, like most other social game developers, has habitually been “inspired” by others’ successful games, the company itself is apparently now being cloned in Germany. Or at least the attempt is being made, and by none other than a company funded by the Samwer brothers.

The three brothers have made a career founding or investing in German companies closely modeled after American ones. For example, they invested in German Facebook clone StudiVZ, sold their shares, and in early 2008 bought into Facebook itself. Now, their investment firm, called Rocket Internet, has put money into a new company called Plinga, according to German gaming site GameBizz.

The company more than rhymes with Zynga, as it apparently is going to attempt to copy Zynga’s games. For now, though, it only has one live, a simple social card game called FunCards. “Like UNO, just better!” is its slogan. The app, launched late last month, has a little more than 6,000 users. In other words, a long way to go to match its namesake’s more than 129 million unique monthly users.

FunCards on Facebook-1

As any social gaming developer reading this must appreciate, there is a certain humor to a new company purposefully positioning itself as a copycat, when in fact almost every social gaming company on Facebook today has been perfecting the art for years.

Interestingly, the report also seems to say that the Samwer brothers have put money directly into Zynga, although we have not see this information published anywhere else — and we don’t speak German so we’re reading the GameBizz article using Google Translate. Here’s that mention:

Especially macabre: Jamba brothers Mark, Alexander and Oliver Samwer have invested, according to sources GameBizz also in the social games giant Zynga and thus copy the market leader and direct market participants based on their insider knowledge.

To dig deeper into virtual goods, check out our new report: Inside Virtual Goods: The US Virtual Goods Market 2009 – 2010.

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One Response to “Meet Plinga, Apparently Zynga’s German Copycat”

  1. Chris Edwards says:

    LOL a gaming company that is going to Copy a gaming company that copies almost all of its games.

    BTW I like your use of the word “inspired” and how you put it in quotes.

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