Mega-publisher Bethesda Softworks, the entity that owns The Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Doom and The Evil Within franchises, has sent a cease-and-desist letter to a small Indie developer who dared to make a game with “Fallout” in its title.
The developer, Xreal, had been working on a game called Fortress Fallout, a 2D tower defense game for iOS that was in no way, shape or form reminiscent of Bethesda’s Fallout games. The legal demands included changing the game’s name, and withdrawing the application for the trademark, reports Gamespot.
Due to Bethesda’s deep pockets and the indie studio’s relative lack of resources, Xreal’s founder Howard Marks has agreed to Bethesda’s terms under advice from his lawyers. He released a video providing the details, saying “Congratulations, Bethesda, you won. You beat us. You showed us who’s boss.”
This isn’t the first time Bethesda has gone all litigious on a perceived threat to its intellectual property: in 2011, the studio behind Minecraft announced a game called Scrolls, a clever little title that combined board-gaming with card games.
But because Bethesda owns The Elder Scrolls games, the people at Mojang were issued with their own cease-and-desist letter because, you know, people are dumb and would immediately associate a card/board game called Scrolls with the epic first-person roleplaying goodness that is Skyrim, Oblivion, Morrowind, Daggerfall and Arena.
(No they wouldn’t, but try telling a lawyer that).
In the wake of the drama, Xreal has been talking to fans of their work about a possible name change. This being the age of 4chan and internet sarcasm, the overwhelming response has been to recommend “Fortress Outfall” as the replacement name.
Sounds good to me.[Source – Gamespot]