The somewhat ridiculous legal demands of trademark law have seen another “weird” lawsuit. This is not the first time Bethesda/Zenimax have had gone to court over things, but it was definitely the first for a team of three people developing Prey for the Gods. Or, as it will be known from now on – Praey for the Gods.
Pr(a)ey for the Gods is a Kickstarter-funded title from July last year, which managed to raise around half a million dollars in funds. The game is, at a first glance, on the same note as Shadow of Colossus. There will be “climbable” monsters and survival gameplay in a harsh wintery environment.
No Matter opted to change the name, rather than fight a losing battle, as the legal costs would be huge and there would not be much to achieve. “We could’ve fought this and we did think about it for quite a while. Something like a trademark opposition can be long and depending on how far someone wants to fight it can be very expensive”, they said. The same statement from No Matter also claimed that this would definitely shape them in the future, but they have not explained as to how exactly.
Bethesda representative, on the other hand, claims that this is just the mechanism they have to invoke and that their hands are pretty much tied: ” If we don’t oppose the mark, we risk losing our Prey trademark and that isn’t acceptable. Unfortunately, that’s how trademark law works.”
Bethesda has seen some legal action in trademark law over the years. Most notably, they took umbrage with Mojang’s (of Minecraft fame) trading card game due to the use of the name “Scrolls”, however, they settled out of court.
Trademark law remains one of those with dire need of refreshing when it comes to entertainment.