Bethesda Legal Team Pressures ‘Fortress Fallout’ Devs to Change Name

“Congratulations Bethesda. You won. You beat us. You showed us who’s boss.”

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Legal representatives for Fallout 3 publisher Bethesda Softworks have sent a cease and desist letter to Xreal, an indie studio currently working on “Fortress Fallout”, demanding the game’s title changes and Xreal no longer applies for its trademark.

At the heart of Bethesda’s complaint is the use of the word “Fallout” in Xreal’s title. It is not clear if anything else ties the two games together: Fortress Fallout is a 2D, single-screen, iOS tower defence game set in a grassy mountainside location, while Fallout 3 is a sprawling 3D action-RPG-shooter set in a post-apocalyptic USA.

Xreal founder Howard Marks, having been advised by legal counsel, said changing the name is the best decision for his team and development partners at BluBox Games. Marks described Bethesda as a “litigious” corporation, adding that it was difficult to challenge the claim due to Bethesda’s vast resources.

“It’s pretty silly. Congratulations Bethesda. You won. You beat us. You showed us who’s boss,” he said in the video above.

Fortress Fallout does not appear to bear much resemblance with Bethesda's RPG-shooter
Fortress Fallout does not appear to bear much resemblance with Bethesda's RPG-shooter

Marks is now asking the YouTube community to nominate a new name for the game, with numerous users suggesting that “Fortress Outfall” would be an ideal alternative.

Trademark legal disputes are not uncommon at Bethesda. In August 2011, the corporation sent a cease and desist letter to Minecraft developer Mojang, asking it to stop developing a project under the name “Scrolls”. Bethesda’s legal team argued that it owned the rights to “The Elder Scrolls” name, and that Mojang’s project was clashing with that trademark. The two companies settled out of court.

The publisher is also in a legal row with the company behind Oculus Rift.

Bethesda is heading to E3 in June to deliver the publisher’s first ever press conference. Among the list of rumoured games to be announced at the show are Fallout 4, Dishonored 2 and DOOM, though the publisher has yet to announce its line-up.

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