Ever have one of those days where you think your game has the best title going for it, but you have to change it due to some conflict of interest with another party? Well, that’s what happened with No Matter Studios lately.
The team has been hard at work on a new KickStarter project called Prey For the Gods, dealing with battling giants in a similar manner to, say, Shadow of the Colossus. But the problem is, well, Bethesda has this game coming out tomorrow called Prey, and they really wanted to avoid confusion with that.
No Matter Studios explained in a blog post that it really didn’t feel like getting into an extravagant legal argument with Bethesda – or, for that matter, its holding team at ZeniMax – so it opted to just change the name to Praey For the Gods instead. It did consider going to court “for a while,” but eventually decided to focus on the game with the funds earned from crowdfunding.
"Something like a trademark opposition can be long and depending on how far someone wants to fight it can be very expensive," the studio noted. "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."
Fortunately, it filed for two different trademarks – both Prey and Praey, so it decided to go with the latter for safe purposes. "Unfortunately, Zenimax chose to oppose our mark, as they felt both were too similar to their mark Prey. While we disagree with their opposition we were able to come to an agreement,” the team noted.
"It was something that kept me up many nights, and no doubt shifted our focus from our game frequently," the statement continues. "Worrying about the outcome if we went to trial, if we'd lose our fans or walk away from the mark and still potentially get sued for millions on trademark infringement. This is really something no starting company should have to deal with let alone a tiny team of three. So the fact that we came out the other end intact still developing the game was a win. One that will no doubt shape our company moving forward."
Pete Hines from Bethesda left his own two cents on the matter, noting, “We really didn’t have much of a choice. If we don’t oppose the mark, we risk losing our Prey trademark. We don’t really have a choice.”
You can check out the first trailer for Praey For the Gods below.