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Wasteland Inxile forces One-Man Studio to Change the Name of their game

Severian Silk

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All video game titles should be owned by the state.
 

Roguey

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I don't regret my Wasteland 2 purchase in the slightest.

Torment:ToN is also already paying off with the novellas.
 

Kem0sabe

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Whoever gave money to this snake oil salesman in the first place deserves eggs on his face.

This is the guy that managed to run two major game publishers to the ground and blame the french for it.
He's also currently on Twitter saying how cool it would be it his luxury tesla sounded like a tie fighter...
 

Hoodoo

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Fargo drives a Tesla? Just another proof that he bitterly regrets his jet set lifestyle.

The guy who managed to go from silicon valley magnate to 'literally who?' in 2 years will never stop being a hasbeen.
 

Telengard

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Man, does no one here read financial news, still? This stuff is going down constantly. The gaming press only brings it up on a slow news day, and even then only when they can work some david/goliath angle to work your feelz.

As to the question of why you do it, you do it because the public are dumb (especially rpg players). Outside of the Codex, the public don't know developers, nor do they know gaming history. So, maybe you've carved out an advertising space, and so when people search for you they actually find you (instead of some airport somewhere). And then you defend it balls to the wall, so somebody doesn't take it from you. Because if you don't, just like in the old days, some rip-off artist will come in with a very similar name and do you out of as much of your cash as they can grab. And the thing of it is, the public often fall for it. But that's not even the worst part. The worst part is, the public forever after associate the fake with you, because you're the established name and they're mad at the shoddy work of the fake that they now associate with you. Which seems dumb, but that's the public for you. Thus, not only do you lose out on a bunch of money, your rep gets tarnished by a fake piggybacking off your work.

Which is why the test is always if the public (who are pretty dumb, mind you) might potentially mistake your product for the imposter's. So, suppositories named the same thing as a game is perfectly acceptable, but two of the same class of thing named the same might trip flags. This way, corps don't have to keep a bunch of goons on staff to go rough up any imposters who come along, like they used to have to do.
 

Zewp

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Codex 2013
Post by the dev of Alien Wasteland:

No news about the game development in this post, unfortunately ! But considering how much attention my trademark issue with inXile Entertainment has recently taken, I would like to give more details about my exchange with inXile regarding the title of my game to clear up the situation.

I wouldn't call the way how inXile has reached me out to be 'friendly'. When someone drops you an email with things like "You may not be aware but Wasteland is a registered trademark" and "The Alien Wasteland from a licensing perspective is no different from the Alien Call of Duty or something similar, and is infringing on our trademark", the first impression wasn't really sympathy, but how can someone trademark a so widely used word used to describe an environment, like desert, forest or mountains ?!

The purpose of a trademark is to prevent someone from maliciously using a brand in order to create confusion and trick consumers into buying a product thinking it was another one. I have started to spend a lot of time writing emails where I say in short that Wasteland 2 is a post-apocalyptic turn-based role playing game with a top view, while my game The Alien Wasteland is a colourful action first person shooter with destructible environments featuring aliens. Just looking at the logo artwork of each game is enough to see that there aren't any attempts to mislead consumers.

thealienwasteland.jpg
wasteland2.jpg


But all these efforts were useless and the following replies I received from them were just standing over the same point "US trademark law dictates that if a company (us) does not defend their mark, they stand risk of losing it or losing the right to defend against malicious use down" and implying the use of lawyer, which makes look like the 'friendly email' was more of a 'friendly cease and desist email'.

Despite their willing to look for an amicable solution, no clear offer was ever made in their emails, they just sent me a blog post of Vlambeer's game 'Nuclear Throne' where Vlambeer announces that he is changing the name of his game originally called Wasteland Kings due to a trademark conflict with inXile. I had to find out later in the comments that it was in exchange of some quick media coverage from inXile in their social networks.

Now it wouldn't have been an issue for me to change the name of the game if it was still in development like it was the case with Vlambeer. But it is very hard to change the name of a game once it has been known for years. To be short, it is basically consisting in losing all the referencing on search engines, building it all over again with a new domain name, editing every text and graphic asset containing the title, which is including many graphic assets inside the game itself but also the multiple ones on Steam, Indie Gala Store, Indie Game Stand, Itchio, IndieDB, Facebook, Twitter, etc... on the trailer, on the Steam trading cards, etc... and also taking the risk to have the title change badly interpreted by the public. This is a hard and long work for a supposed trademark infringement which was looking quite insane to me, especially when I was already extremely busy with game development.

But arguing was going nowhere because of the "US trademark law dictates" reason, I had pretty much no choice but to change the title to cease the annoyance. So I have been thinking about a solution which would be a real win-win solution instead of a 'friendly' win-lose solution. I offered to change the name of the game on Steam and do as much as I could to change it everywhere else in exchange of a compensation to help me cover all the costs and the time involved into this painful process. Let me clear it up that the compensation I asked is absolutely nothing compared to the millions of US dollars inXile has earned through their kickstarter campaigns and sales on Steam.

Awaiting for their feedbacks about this offer, not even a single reply or attempt to negotiate was ever sent, despite they have been claiming since the beginning to be looking for an amicable solution. Instead I received a cease and desist letter from their lawyer asking not only to "cease the use of the 'wasteland' mark", but to completely "cease making available in any form or any website The Alien Wasteland game", and that "inXile reserve its rights with respect to your use of the mark, including its right to seek damages, lost profits, your profits, injunctive relief, attorneys' fees and costs, and treble damages, as authorized by the Federal Lanham Act and state law."

I never wanted to hurt their trademark or their reputation but what is happening now is the attempt of having a monopole over the use of 'wasteland', a single common word widely used in the video game industry. The initial version of my game was basically a shooter featuring aliens on a wasteland, hence why I found the title 'The Alien Wasteland' to be fitting to the game. Before choosing this title, I have been searching for a while on Steam and the Internet to make sure no games was titled 'The Alien Wasteland'. The full title since the beginning has always been 'The Alien Wasteland' with a 'The' in order to make it even more distinct. I never thought there could have been any issues with inXile's RPG Wasteland 2.

Last but not least, during my exchange of emails with inXile, I had to sent them a list of games using 'wasteland' in their titles. While they had their reasons to not pursue most of them, they have let me know that they are considering one game of the list is infringing their trademark the same way as mine. I wouldn't name this game to not put the developer behind it or inXile in an even more uncomfortable situation, but if inXile is really following its logic of "US trademark law dictates", then a cease or desist letter should be send soon to another indie developer, if not already.

So this is pretty much all I have to say about this issue for now. Thanks for reading and to everyone who offered me some help.

Devdan
http://actionalien.com

Particularly interesting is this quote:

But all these efforts were useless and the following replies I received from them were just standing over the same point "US trademark law dictates that if a company (us) does not defend their mark, they stand risk of losing it or losing the right to defend against malicious use down" and implying the use of lawyer, which makes look like the 'friendly email' was more of a 'friendly cease and desist email'.

Which perfectly explains why Fargo didn't pursue action against Bethesda. :roll: Hypocritical asshole.
 

Mustawd

Guest
Someone call a whaambulance. :roll:

Alien Wasteland is such a shitty name anyhow.
 

Bumvelcrow

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thealienwasteland.jpg
wasteland2.jpg


Hypocritical asshole.

Yes, maybe. But take a look at that left screenshot. Take away the logo and it could easily be Fallout 3! It's not as if it's a totally unrelated genre. I can see inXile's point, even if they've handled it in a manner that makes them look like corporate arseholes.
 

J_C

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Project: Eternity Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag. Pathfinder: Wrath
But it is very hard to change the name of a game once it has been known for years. To be short, it is basically consisting in losing all the referencing on search engines, building it all over again with a new domain name, editing every text and graphic asset containing the title, which is including many graphic assets inside the game itself but also the multiple ones on Steam, Indie Gala Store, Indie Game Stand, Itchio, IndieDB, Facebook, Twitter, etc... on the trailer, on the Steam trading cards, etc
Actually that is a pretty valid reason to be butthurt about chaning the name of your game.
 

Mustawd

Guest
But it is very hard to change the name of a game once it has been known for years.

And it is very easy to do a trademark search on specific words you retard.

EDIT:

I literally found this in less than 5 minutes. I googled "trademark search" and found the appropriate website. I'm not even a fucking lawyer.

trademark_zpsqj1cgcrt.jpg
 

Tacgnol

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Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Grab the Codex by the pussy RPG Wokedex Strap Yourselves In Codex Year of the Donut Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag. Pathfinder: Wrath I helped put crap in Monomyth
The biggest issue here seems to be US trademark law.

If trademark holders have to aggressively litigate because someone used a generic term, then the system needs to change.
 

hivemind

Guest
And it is very easy to do a trademark search on specific words you retard.
"Alien" is also a trademark and you don't see 20th century fox suing this guy randomly because his shit has literally nothing to do with the alien franchise(same as it has nothing to do with wasteland """""franchise""""")

also inXile doesn't defend their trademark against companies that actually have legal teams so they are just bullies that pick on whom they can while silently being butthurt that other, more successful, businesses can do whatever the fuck they want with the word wasteland
 

J_C

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businesses can do whatever the fuck they want with the word wasteland

Someone should make a game called Alien Action and see if this dev gets butthurt about it.

Spoiler: He probably would.
But he wouldn't be if they called it Alien or Action. Just like the guy didn't call his game simply Wasteland. It's the same shit when Bethesda trolled a guy becasue Scrolls is similar to Elder Scrolls.

If I make a japan visual novel called: "This fucking Wasteland is fucked up", then I will get a letter from Fargo?
 

Kem0sabe

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Once kickstarter and fig and all this crowdfunding shit dries up, inxile will inevitably go back to developing mobile games or close up for good.

It's a morally and creatively corrupt company, that has only managed to stay in business making rpg's due to handouts from fans.
 

Mustawd

Guest
It's a morally and creatively corrupt company, that has only managed to stay in business making rpg's due to handouts from fans.


So basically they have managed to survive because people have been willing to :takemymoney:?

Yah, ok. I think that's called staying in business?
 

J_C

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Project: Eternity Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag. Pathfinder: Wrath
If this had happened to me, It would be nearly impossible for me to avoid renaming my game to:

IN EXILE: A WASTE OF LAND
LOL, that would be glorious! Could they still ask for a rename with that? It is not InXile after all and not Wasteland.
 

IHaveHugeNick

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thealienwasteland.jpg
wasteland2.jpg


Hypocritical asshole.

Yes, maybe. But take a look at that left screenshot. Take away the logo and it could easily be Fallout 3! It's not as if it's a totally unrelated genre. I can see inXile's point, even if they've handled it in a manner that makes them look like corporate arseholes.

Yup, that screenshot surely changes things. If a random interneter searches for Wasteland and sees this, he would be guaranteed to become confused.

InXile are completely in the right, and the more this dev talks, the more he seems like a total moron. His game is $1,99 shovelware, he should have accepted their offer for promotion and get on with it. InXile promoting it on their social media would at least mean he sells 6 copies instead of 5. He had a better deal on the table and he decided to pick up a fight instead, and now he still changed the name and he's left in the shitter.

Basically, the whole story is a textbook proof that IT people are often autistic.
 

Kem0sabe

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thealienwasteland.jpg
wasteland2.jpg


Hypocritical asshole.

Yes, maybe. But take a look at that left screenshot. Take away the logo and it could easily be Fallout 3! It's not as if it's a totally unrelated genre. I can see inXile's point, even if they've handled it in a manner that makes them look like corporate arseholes.

Yup, that screenshot surely changes things. If a random interneter searches for Wasteland and sees this, he would be guaranteed to become confused.

InXile are completely in the right, and the more this dev talks, the more he seems like a total moron. His game is $1,99 shovelware, he should have accepted their offer for promotion and get on with it. InXile promoting it on their social media would at least mean he sells 6 copies instead of 5. He had a better deal on the table and he decided to pick up a fight instead, and now he still changed the name and he's left in the shitter.

Basically, the whole story is a textbook proof that IT people are often autistic.

One is a first person shooter, the other an rpg, one has aliens, the other does not... while Bethesda is releases an actual DLC for an rpg called wasteland workshop and Fargo does fuck all to defend his brand.

This whole story is a textbook proof that people will suck Fargo's cock regardless.


So basically they have managed to survive because people have been willing to :takemymoney:?

Yah, ok. I think that's called staying in business?

A well-run business is viable without government or public handouts, nu inxile stays afloat not because of their product sales but because they beg for money before they even have a product out.
 

Kaivokz

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Yup, that screenshot surely changes things. If a random interneter searches for Wasteland and sees this, he would be guaranteed to become confused.

InXile are completely in the right, and the more this dev talks, the more he seems like a total moron. His game is $1,99 shovelware, he should have accepted their offer for promotion and get on with it. InXile promoting it on their social media would at least mean he sells 6 copies instead of 5. He had a better deal on the table and he decided to pick up a fight instead, and now he still changed the name and he's left in the shitter.

Basically, the whole story is a textbook proof that IT people are often autistic.
Actually, if you google "wasteland" now, instead of just other random shit about the word wasteland, you get this:
AMLOlb9.png
Probably more than inXile would have done for him. At least it's some temporary exposure, though the game doesn't contain nearly enough memes or pop culture references to turn shit into gold.

edit- Wonder if he could have changed the name to Alien Waste Land. Sounds better than Action Alien, I guess.
 

Roguey

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This could have been avoided if BN just had a google alert set up for Wasteland. :M

I suppose one must give props to 20th Century Fox for not issuing C&Ds over the use of the word "Alien."
 

J_C

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Yup, that screenshot surely changes things. If a random interneter searches for Wasteland and sees this, he would be guaranteed to become confused.

InXile are completely in the right, and the more this dev talks, the more he seems like a total moron. His game is $1,99 shovelware, he should have accepted their offer for promotion and get on with it. InXile promoting it on their social media would at least mean he sells 6 copies instead of 5. He had a better deal on the table and he decided to pick up a fight instead, and now he still changed the name and he's left in the shitter.

Basically, the whole story is a textbook proof that IT people are often autistic.
Actually, if you google "wasteland" now, instead of just other random shit about the word wasteland, you get this:
AMLOlb9.png
Probably more than inXile would have done for him. At least it's some temporary exposure, though the game doesn't contain nearly enough memes or pop culture references to turn shit into gold.

edit- Wonder if he could have changed the name to Alien Waste Land. Sounds better than Action Alien, I guess.
To be frank, everyting suonds better than Action Alien. What a stupid name!
 
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The worst part is, the public forever after associate the fake with you, because you're the established name.

What established name? "Wasteland" is as obscure as you get.

I can see inXile's point.

:nocountryforshitposters:

The irony is that Fargo, that guy that got funded by bad mouthing publishers, is acting in the very same way of the crooks he criticized. The more I think about Fargo’s interviews and his personality, the more he sounds egocentric. It must be impossible to work with him. Probably a ton of stupid decisions in W2 were imposed by him.
 
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