Bethesda Forces Developer To Change Indie Game's Name Over 'Prey' Trademark Dispute
Bethesda, the developer behind the Fallout and The Elder Scrolls franchises and the upcoming space shooter Prey, has forced No matter Studios to change the title of the crowdfunded game Prey for the Gods.
The name change was due to the title of the indie game being too close to Prey, and No Matter Studios simply decided that fighting back against Bethesda was not worth it.
Bethesda Enforces 'Prey' Trademark
In a blog post, No Matter Studios revealed that it has changed the name of its current game in development from Prey for the Gods to Praey for the Gods.
"Honestly, we could make this entire newsletter about our thoughts on this," the independent developer wrote, adding that the title change was due to trademark law. No Matter Studios, which is not under any non-disclosure agreement regarding the matter, revealed that the pressure came from Bethesda and its parent company Zenimax.
The trademark that No Matter Studios filed for Prey for the Gods was challenged by Zenimax. The reason for the dispute is that it was too close to the title of Prey, which is set to be released on May 5. There was no cease-and-desist notice, as Zenimax was able to challenge the trademark application for Prey of the Gods upon filing.
"We could've fought this and we did think about it for quite a while," the blog post continued. However, No Matter Studios knew that trademark disputes can take a long time. More importantly, they can cost a lot of money, and the developer did not want to spend the money that it crowdfunded from its Kickstarter campaigns nor did it want to try to raise more funds to be able to challenge Bethesda and Zenimax in court.
No Matter Studios noted that it actually thought about naming the game Praey for the Gods before it released the project's first trailer. It also revealed that it was allowed to keep the logo for the game, wherein the letter E in the word "Prey" is drawn to look like a woman kneeling down and praying.
The outcome, while not the preferred one for No Matter Studios, was still considered a win. The team of three developers would still be able to continue the development of the game without any lawsuits for copyright infringement, allowing them to focus on working on Praey for the Gods.
'Praey For The Gods' Vs. 'Prey'
Kickstarter project Praey for the Gods is described as a Shadow of the Colossus clone, but it is much more than that. While Shadow of the Colossus dropped players in a world where their mission was to beat the 16 colossi, Praey for the Gods features an open world where players can explore, upgrade their equipment, and pick their battles.
Bethesda's Prey, on the other hand, is a reimagining of the game released in 2006 with the same title. Players will have to fight through hordes of aliens to survive in an infested spacecraft, utilizing various weapons and abilities.
Bethesda has released a free demo for Prey on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One that will allow players to experience the first hour of the space shooter.