For those that may not remember, the Shadow of the Colossus-inspired title known as Prey for the Gods, by three-man developer No Matter Studios, was revealed back in 2015 and centers around the story of a lone hero sent out to the edge of a dying world to discover the mystery behind a never-ending winter.
It was crowdfunded via Kickstarter and raised $501,252 USD across 14,738 backers last year – a pretty impressive accomplishment, but not so much a surprising one, given how great the game looks.
In today's latest newsletter, in addition to the studio discussing a closed alpha release, an improved fire system, and control changes, the developer detailed its trademark dispute with publisher Bethesda, and the reasoning behind why the game will now be called Praey for the Gods:
“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,” the studio explained. “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.
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. We were applying for both Prey for the Gods, and Præy for the Gods trademarks shortly after as we realized the extent of what we were making. 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."
Bethesda has yet to comment about the situation, though the publisher probably won't, considering their highly anticipated title Prey hits store shelves this Friday.
Some new gameplay for the title was released as well, and can be found below:
Praey for the Gods is currently in development for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. A release date is currently unknown.
What do you think of this news? Is it fair for Bethesda to take this type of action against such a small studio? Let us know in the comments below!