One-man developer Dan Games has been forced to rename upcoming title The Alien Wasteland to ‘Action Alien' after a legal threat from InXile.
Rock Paper Shotgun reports that InXile believed the game infringed its trademark for Wasteland 2.
We reached out to the developer of The Alien Wasteland (now Action Alien) directly looking to find an amicable resolution without involving lawyers,” InXile said. The C&D [cease and desist] only happened because the developer was unwilling to recognise the issue, only offering to change the game's name if we paid him for it.
Asking to be paid for infringing on someone's rights is certainly a new one for us, so of course we refused.”
It has also said that it would be happy to help promote Action Alien.
We do not know if the developer of Action Alien was aware of our Registered trademark when he initially named his game and bear absolutely no ill will towards the creator of Action Alien or the game,” it added.
We always look for amicable win-win solutions in these cases, where we seek to protect our mark as any prudent business would do, while also helping the other party promote their game and provide a bigger reach than he otherwise would get, so that both parties benefit. In fact, that offer still stands now.”
Dan Games' Devdan's account of the saga is less genial, however.
Because both games have almost nothing in common and no case of confusion was ever reported for almost two years since my game was first announced, I have been calmly explaining through long emails why we should have no worries about this,” Devdan said on the Steam forums.
But I finally ended up receiving a cease and desist letter from their lawyer asking to either stop using ‘wasteland' or to prepare facing legal actions against me.
Since I don't have the time nor the strength to deal with legal actions from this developer and its lawyers, or even taking the risk of having my game to be took down from Steam, I decided to change the title to solve this issue, even though this has been a great loss in time and efforts for a very questionable complain[t].
So I decided to choose for the new title Action Alien, which gives a good idea of what the game is about! This is just one of the many headaches in game development.”