Toys-to-life game Fabulous Beasts renamed after Warner Bros. trademark dispute
UK game studio Sensible Object has been forced to change the name of its toys-to-life mobile game, Fabulous Beasts, after Warner Bros. decided it infringed on its own 'Fantastic Beasts' trademark.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is the latest movie set in the world of Harry Potter, and despite multiple discussions with Sensible Object, the movie studio felt the name Fabulous Beasts was far too similar to the title of its upcoming movie.
As such, the game, which was funded through Kickstarter after raising £168,360 ($247,000) from 2,224 backers, will now be known as Beasts of Balance.
"Following our trouble with the original name for our game, we set to deciding another. We explored the best options with lawyers so we could be sure it’s ours forever," explained the Sensible team through Kickstarter.
"Ultimately, we wanted a name that explains a little what the game is about, and keeps the beasts as its focus. And thus, after a long journey, we’ve arrived at Beasts of Balance."
Sensible Object initially ran into trouble back in April, when Warner Bros. opposed the studio's Fabulous Beasts trademark application.
In a lengthy Kickstarter update posted at the time, the team said they struggled to see how anyone could confuse the two -- one being a movie about wizards, and the other being a game about stacking toy animals -- but conceded that Warner Bros. had a case.
"We chose the name in the belief it was sufficiently different from 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them', based on sound legal advice at the time," wrote the team.
"We have seen no evidence of confusion between our game and 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them', and our view is that even to someone just glancing at the two properties, our game, branding, theme and content are unmistakably different.
"However, we have to be realistic and prudent, [and] put really simply, we could choose to spend our time and your money defending the name, or we could do what we promised you we'd do during the campaign -- make and ship the game this year."
This isn’t the first time a UK game dev has run into trademark trouble. Earlier this week, No Man’s Sky developer Hello Games revealed it has spent the past three years secretly fighting with telecoms behemoth, Sky, over the use of the word "Sky."