Fallout franchise owner Zenimax (who ownsBethesda) has made use of its lawyers and issued a cease-and-desist request to a small mobile game developer who happened to use the word “Fallout” in his videogame’s name.
CaptainSparklez, also known as Jordan Maron, is a popular YouTuber who has been developing his free-to-play mobile game, Fortress Fallout. The game, which has no link to Fallout whatsoever, has players building a tower whilst battling an opponent who is also building a tower. The first player to destroy their opponent’s tower’s core wins the game.
Maron, who posted a vieo discussing the cease-and-desist letter (which will be posted below), doesn’t think that Fortress Fallout infringes on Bethesda’s (owned by Zenimax) Fallout trademark but has conceded that the name of his game is going to have to change.
“Our lawyers said, yeah, Bethesda is a notoriously litigious company, meaning they do not hesitate to file a lawsuit against people who they feel are infringing on their trademark and obviously they have lots of money and resources at their disposal, which I and my partner don’t really have at the moment,” he explains in his video. “So, essentially, we’re being strong-armed into having to change our name, which is unfortunate because I personally don’t feel there is any confusion between Fortress Fallout and the Fallout video game franchise. I don’t believe people would see Fortress Fallout on the App Store and say, heh, it must be a sequel to the Fallout series. But I guess Bethesda feels it could be interpreted that way.”
Maron finished the video by saying: “Congratulations Bethesda. You won. You beat us. You exercised your might. Showed us who’s boss. We’ll make sure people do not think our game is part of the Fallout franchise. That wasn’t the goal from the start. We’ll change it.”
Maron is currently taking suggestions for a new name from his followers.
This isn’t the first time Zenimax has had an issue with another developer’s videogame title. Zenimax had a similar dispute with Mojang and its trading card game Scrolls. Bethesda thought that Scrolls could cause confusion between their massive fantasy role-playing franchise, The Elder Scrolls. The dispute was eventually settled in court and Mojang carried on using Scrolls as the game’s title – with the condition that future titles use a different name.