Last summer, Washington-based indie dev No Matter Studios Kickstarted its upcoming action-adventure survival game under the name Prey for the Gods.
Now, legal pressure from ZeniMax Media (which acquired the Prey license in 2009) has pushed the team to differentiate the game from Arkane Studios' first-person game Prey -- seemingly by adding an "a."
It's a good example of what happens when a small team, running on a crowdfunded budget, faces the prospect of having to lawyer up for a potential court battle over a trademark.
"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," reads an excerpt of the studio's most recent newsletter.
"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."
The dev goes on to note that the studio had actually originally considered using Praey, and that it had applied for trademarks on both variants of the game title -- only to be opposed on Prey for the Gods by ZeniMax, which owns both the developer (Arkane) and the publisher (Bethesda) of Prey.
"While we disagree with their opposition we were able to come to an agreement," the post continues. "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."
No Matter is still saying it will release Praey for the Gods later this year across PC and consoles. For its part, Arkane is due to release Prey this Friday.