Successfully Kickstarted in 2016, and in development for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, Prey for the Gods has undergone a name change.
In their latest newsletter, developer No Matter Studios revealed that Prey for the Gods is now called Praey for the Gods due to a trademark opposition from Bethesda parent company ZeniMax, who owns the Prey trademark.
As No Matter explains in their newsletter, they applied for the Prey for the Gods and Praey for the Gods trademarks, but ZeniMax opposed both of the marks, feeling they were too similar to Prey. While No Matter disagrees with their opposition, an agreement was made and they’re able to continuing using the logo, it will just be spelled Praey for the Gods.
Here’s the full explanation from No Matter on the name change:
Oh yea that… so we didn’t want to do this but we had to change our game name from Prey for the Gods to Praey for the Gods. Thankfully we get to keep the logo but we will spell it “Praey for the Gods”. Honestly, we could make this entire newsletter about our thoughts on this. Trademark law is what we were dealing with and we aren’t under any NDA so we can state the opposition in this situation, Bethesda/Zenimax.
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.
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” which they purchased from Id Software, in 2009. 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.
Praey for the Gods is expected to release in December 2017 for PC, and will come to PS4 and Xbox One at a later date. At the moment, No Matter is “still pushing towards our Closed Alpha.”