The Wall Street Journal is reporting that 42 year old Jing Zeng was detailed by the FBI last Thursday while attempting to board a plant to Beijing. Zeng was arrested for allegedly stealing “trade secrets” from Machine Zone, the studio behind Game of War. The information is rumored to have contained information to in-game player behavior including details on how players spent money. This information would be extremely valuable to a rival company especially considering how successful Game of War has done.
According to the documents..
“The data Mr. Zeng allegedly stole ‘provide valuable insight and a huge competitive advantage over other online game providers and competitors.'”
All of this allegedly started after Zeng became unhappy with his role within Machine Zone and when he went to ask for a transfer to another team, the request was denied. Zeng’s bosses then reportedly told him he needed to leave the company. It was at this time that Zeng started to download the files “from a proprietary company database,” according to the complaint.
That’s not where the story ends though as the Wall Street Journal went on to say…
“Confronted by company executives, Mr. Zeng tried to use the files as a bargaining chip for a severance agreement, according to the complaint. The company appeared open to a three-month package, while Mr. Zeng wanted six or seven months, the complaint said. He then allegedly gave conflicting accounts of how many copies he made and whether some of the storage devices holding the files were in China or San Ramon. The company, in the meantime, contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Agents arrested him as he tried to board a flight Aug. 20.”