Prey for the Gods, an indie PC game paying homage to Shadow of the Colossus, now has a new name courtesy of some pressure from Bethesda, publishers of the upcoming Prey.
In a post mostly about updates made to the game following its successful Kickstarter, No Matter Studios also announce that the project will now be known as Praey for the Gods after Bethesda “chose to oppose our [trademark].”
“We could’ve fought this and we did think about it for quite a while”, the statement says. “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.”
“The truth is we initially thought about naming the game Præy for the Gods prior to our initial trailer. The logo has both the woman praying against the duality of prey, and thankfully we get to continue to use that. We figured people would have a hard time trying to type in the æ symbol in search engines etc. This was back in 2015 when we posted a trailer on Facebook and Twitter with had no idea if 100 or even 1000 people would watch the trailer.”
No Matter say that when they applied for trademarks in 2015 they took both Prey for the Gods and Præy for the Gods, but Bethesda opposed both, on the grounds that they were too similar to their upcoming Prey, which is out this week.
“While we disagree with their opposition we were able to come to an agreement”, No Matter say. That agreement means that they can continue to use a logo that says Prey For The Gods, with a stylised “e” that’s actually the silhouette of a woman praying, but must use Praey for the Gods every time the game’s name is written.
It’s an almost identical situation to the one Mojang found itself in a few years back over the word Scrolls, whose trademark Bethesda contested because it was deemed too similar to their Elder Scrolls series. As we explained at the time, this is how trademark cases are often fought: it’s not about whether names are identical or overtly confusing, but more about the fact trademark law often requires lawsuits (or the threat of them) as part of the process of maintaining ownership of a name. We reached out to Bethesda for any further comment on their side of things.