Remember Prey for the Gods? You know, that third-person game that looked similar to Shadow of the Colossus? Well it appears that the team had to slightly change its title due to a trademark opposition from Bethesda/Zenimax.
As No Matter Studios claimed, it was easier to slightly change the game’s name. While the team could have fought this, 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.”
As such, the game will be now called Praey for Gods.
No Matter Studios concluded:
“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.
It was something that kept me up many nights, and no doubt shifted our focus from our game frequently. 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 3. 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.”
Whether this was a “justified” move from Bethesda/Zenimax remains to be seen. Yes, Bethesda needs to protect its title, however it was obvious – at least to most of us – that PREY and Prey for the Gods had nothing in common.
In fact, this whole thing reminded us of what happened with The Banner Saga and Candy Crush Saga. You can easily see the similarities between these two stories, right? And while Stoic Studio was able to win that battle, it appears that No Matter Studios could not.