Legendary metal band Iron Maiden is suing the studio behind retro-style FPS Ion Maiden for what it terms “incredibly blatant” trademark infringement. The band’s holding company Iron Maiden Holdings is looking for a $2 million (£1.6 million) damages payout, and to get both the game and its website taken down or given to the band.
The case was filed in the Central District of California court this week, and points to the game’s overall logo and marketing as major issues. The lawsuit argues that they are “an effort to confuse consumers into believing Defendant’s products and services are somehow affiliated with or approved by Iron Maiden”.
The claim hinges on multiple aspects of the game that Iron Maiden says infringes their trademark. It argues that the “Defendant’s Ion Maiden name is nearly identical to the Iron Maiden trademark in appearance, sound and overall commercial impression”, even accusing its logo text of imitating the band’s.
The game itself is claimed to copy the “look and feel” of Iron Maiden’s Legacy of the Beast smartphone game, which was released as a tie-in to the band’s 2017 tour of the same name. Other claims relate to the game’s skull icon too-closely resembling the band’s mascot Eddie, and naming its female protagonist Shelly Harris after Iron Maiden songwriter Steve Harris.
To back up its arguments, the case states that “there have been numerous instances of actual confusion with Iron Maiden fans believing that Defendants’ Ion Maiden products are related to Iron Maiden”. One example cited fans “expressing genuine excitement for an Iron Maiden video game”.
3D realms has responded to the news on Twitter, saying “we at 3D Realms, our co-publishers 1C Entertainment, and developer Voidpoint will review our options once we receive official notice of the lawsuit and will make any necessary decisions at the appropriate time”.