No Matter, an indie studio developing a project called Prey for the Gods encountered some issues when they tried to trademark that name. Subsequently, they changed the name of the project at the behest of ZeniMax, who own the trademark for the name "Prey".
Prey for the Gods was successfully funded on Kickstarter. The project launched on 06 July 2016 and reached its goal of £232.590 some twenty days later. The indie project is under development by three guys, at their company named No Matter. The game's estimated release date is set on December 2017. Prey for the Gods will first come out on Steam and the console versions will follow soon after. The game is very reminiscent of the highly popular Shadow of the Colossus in its story and feel, but that's not where its woes lie.
The trouble is, you see, in the unfortunate name given to this survival game. "Prey for the Gods" hits close to home for Bethesda and its parent ZeniMax, who took issue with the "Prey" part of the name as it is the title of their upcoming space shooter. So ZeniMax and Bethesda, not wanting to risk any kind of confusion amongst their customers, went on to oppose No Matter and their trademark.
This is not the first time ZeniMax defended their trademarked names. Back in 2012, they settled with Mojang over the title "Scrolls" latter wanted to use. ZeniMax, of course had the name trademarked for its Elder Scrolls franchise. The two came to an agreement: Mojang licensed the trademark from ZeniMax. It happened again in 2015 when Fortress Fallout, a fan project, was forced to change its title due to the fact the company owns the trademark for "Fallout".
No Matter team could have gone into court over the dispute, but three guys going up against the colossal company that is ZeniMax is something they'd probably rather see as a metaphor in their game, than spend backer money tackling the issue in real life.
Or in their own words: "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." Read the full newsletter here.
Good on them, I think that "Praey for the Gods" is quite ear catching and more fitting than the previous title.