Facepunch Studios last week enacted a new policy: they’d open up about the various prototypes they’ve been working on. In the case of colourful space shooter Riftlight, that’s yielded some interesting reactions.
“We got an email from Trion World’s lawyers,” said Facepunch founder Garry Newman. “Apparently there’s a game called ‘Rift’ and apparently its demo is called ‘Rift Lite’.”
Newman points out that Trion’s move isn’t as aggressive as it might seem: owning a trademark is pointless unless you defend it against potential consumer confusion.
“There’s probably going to be a lot of keyboard warriors that see this as the big guy picking on the small guy,” he wrote. “Their email wasn’t threatening, it wasn’t trying to scare us, it was just stating the facts.”
What’s more, said Garry, the name is the “least important thing”. Riftlight was a codename, and wasn’t backed up by domain names, Twitter accounts or promotional t-shirts.
“We haven’t paid NASA to laser it onto the moon,” said Newman. “In fact it was previously codenamed ‘Space Cunts’, but we didn’t think that would have looked too nice heading the devblogs.”
And so rather than fight Trion Worlds over their right to the name Rift, Facepunch are simply going to change the codename: “No drama, no lawyers get paid, everyone is friends and we make games.”
Riftlight’s already been subject to enough drama. Its announcement caused panic in the Rust community, where some fans assumed the prototype would mean fewer man hours dedicated to Facepunch’s survivalist hit. Not so.
Did you like the look of their action RPGish space game?