Trademark dispute with Bethesda forces 'Praey for the Gods' name change

Prey for the Gods was revealed in 2015 as a Shadow of the Colossus-inspired game about a "lone hero sent to the edge of a dying world" to investigate the cause of an eternal winter that's gripped the world. Last year, it earned more than $500,000 on Kickstarter, even as developer No Matter Studios did its best to keep a lid on sky-high expectations.   

Work has continued apace since then: Topics in the latest newsletter include the ongoing push toward a closed alpha release, changes to the control setup, and a more robust fire system. There is also, thanks to a trademark dispute with Bethesda Softworks, a new name—it's now 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." 

No Matter said it gave thought to calling the game "Præy for the Gods," which as a Kickstarter backer pointed out looks a little less like a typo than the obviously-not-a-word "Praey," but ultimately decided that it would be too troublesome for users to enter in things like Google searches. (Let's see you produce "æ" without either a copy/paste or Google.) And as it turns out, Bethesda also opposed that implementation of the title, because it looks too much like "Prey." 

The good news is that the agreement gives the studio the right to continue using the logo, which features a woman kneeling in prayer in place of the "e" in "Prey." More importantly, it puts the matter to rest, so the developers can direct their full efforts toward actually making the game. 

"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," it wrote. "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." 

No Matter also shared some "pre-alpha footage fun," demonstrating a wild-looking ride aboard a great, beastly bird, which you can check out below. Pre-alpha or not, it looks pretty great. Praey for the Gods doesn't have a release date yet, but you can catch up with what's what at praeyforthegods.com.