Some of you may recall that back in 2012, Bethesda took on Minecraft creators Mojang (which was then still run by Markus "Notch" Persson) over their decision to use the name Scrolls for a tactical card battling game. Obviously concerned that a 2D card game might be confused with their own massively popular epic RPG series, the veteran publisher eventually settled on an agreement for Mojang to use the name, provided they didn't directly compete with the Elder Scrolls titles.
If you're still on the fence about Prey, check out the first hour of it over at our playthrough.
Now it would seem that the issue of trademarking has once again reared its ugly head, this time regarding their brand new sci-fi action-adventure Prey. No Matter Studios’ upcoming Shadow of the Colossus-inspired title ‘Prey For the Gods’ has now been renamed, following the studios’ inability to fight the challenge in court.
The whole affair has predictably raised concerns about such a large publisher potentially imposing its will on indie studios and the spat has now spilled over onto Twitter, where Bethesda Softworks’ vice-president, Pete Hines, felt compelled to speak out. In response to Twitter user Daniel Mortensen’s request for justification, Hines wrote “We really didn’t have much of a choice. If we don’t oppose the mark, we risk losing our Prey trademark.” Unfortunately, this wasn’t sufficient for some viewers, with one commenter adding that “the way you use trademark prevents companies that can't retaliate from using common words, that is not acceptable.”
Either way, I think it’s safe to assume that this whole affair has generated a considerable amount of free publicity for the newly titled Praey for the Gods. Perhaps their next game should be called Fallout of the Scrolls: The Elder Doom Within. You can go show them some love over at their official blog. Or if you haven’t checked out the excellent Prey yet, you can grab it on Steam for $59.99/£39.99.