Machine Zone Employee Arrested for Allegedly Stealing Proprietary Knowledge



/ 3 years ago

game of war trade secrets

Are you familiar with Game of War: Fire Age? It is a freemium mobile MMO strategy game that was developed and published by Machine Zone in 2013. As one of the top-grossing apps of 2014, the game has some impressive advertisements under its belt, with well-known names such as Kate Upton agreeing to participate in its campaigns. However, with the freemium mobile game market being so competitive, it makes sense that some of Machine Zone’s rivals would benefit from knowing some of its trade secrets, namely information regarding its players’ habits.

I’m bringing this up because one of the company’s employees was recently arrested for allegedly stealing proprietary knowledge that revealed how Game of War users prefer to spend their money. The employee in question worked as the company’s director of global infrastructure, and he was recently intercepted by FBI agents as he was trying to board a plane to Beijing. His name is Jing Zeng and he joined Machine Zone 2014. However, it looks like he eventually became unhappy with his position and filed a request to change teams, a request that was rejected by his superiors who then asked him to leave the firm. Zeng allegedly started to download sensitive data and planned to use it as collateral in order to make sure that he would receive a larger severance payment. It is unclear whether Zeng actually had any plans to sell the information to Machine Zone’s competitors, and fortunately for the company, he never even got a chance to try.

Thank you TheVerge for providing us with this information.


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