While many of us are no doubt excited for Prey‘s imminent launch, Bethesda’s sci-fi space shooter is seemingly the reason why an upcoming independent title has been coerced into changing its name. You might recall Prey for the Gods, a Shadow of the Colossus-like action adventure game which successfully raised half a million dollars on kickstarter. In a recent blog update, developer No Matter Studios has revealed that it was forced to change the game’s name to Præy for the Gods because of a trademark opposition issued by Bethesda and parent company ZeniMax:
“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. We didn’t want to spend our precious Kickstarter funds, nor did we want to have to ask for additional funds to fight this in court. Using backer money towards something that doesn’t go towards the development or backer rewards felt horrible to us. Even if we did win we’d have to spend a solid chunk of our funds and in our opinion it wasn’t worth it.”
No Matter initially applied for both ‘Prey for the Gods’ and ‘Præy for the Gods’ trademarks, but ZeniMax felt they were “too similar” to ‘Prey’. After coming to an agreement, No Matter has emerged unscathed by any potential cash-draining lawsuit, which it felt “wasn’t worth it”. Fans in the comments section expressed their ire over the decision, with some pointing out this is the second time Bethesda has taken issue with trademark law – the other case in question being over Mojang’s Scrolls.