Zynga made the graphics for the Ville game much better than the Sims Social and their platform base was much stronger. That EA lawsuit really crippled them. Zynga is not the company it used to be. It's a shame, they had a very loyal customer base but not enough manpower behind them to keep on top of bugs and customer support issues.
If it has been known to be around "for some time" then I don't understand why they are calling it a new discovery- it's more like their decision to formalize their acknowledgement of its existence to the public.