Prey for the Gods [official site], the crowdfunded surive-o-action game heavily inspired by Shadow of the Colossus, is now named Praey for the Gods. It’s a rubbish name but it is a trademarkable one. Developers No Matter Studios have made this change because Zenimax, the owners of Bethesda, thought Prey for the Gods was too close to their trademark for Prey. Rather than spend their limited funds on battling Zenimax’s lawyers, No Matter agreed to change the name. The Suits didn’t object to Praey for the Gods, a title close to one No Matter had originally considered anyway, so here we are. Here ends the threat of people mistakenly thinking Prey for the Gods is, I don’t know, an ultra-exclusive limited edition of Prey reserved for religious leaders.
No Matter Studios explain the situation in their latest newsletter:
“We could’ve fought this and we did think about it for quite a while. 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.”
They add that they had originally considered the name ‘Præy for the Gods’ and had applied to trademark that too, but “We figured people would have a hard time trying to type in the æ symbol in search engines etc.” so they settled on Prey for the Gods. Split the difference and we get Praey for the Gods, which is a rubbish name but one Zenimax’s lawyers won’t object to.
You might remember that Zenimax’s lawyers butted heads with Mojang when the Minecraft developers tried to trademark ‘Scrolls’ for their card game. Bethesda later launched their own fantasy card game, The Elder Scrolls: Legends, so you can see why they might want that space uncontested. Prey for the Gods and Prey seem different-enough games that this is way more iffy, but that’s trademark law for you.
Preayaeye for the Gods is due out this December. For now, here’s a new pre-alpha gameplay video which I believe shows the player attempting to murder Trico’s nan: