No Matter studios has announced today that they were forced to retitle their game to Praey for the Gods from Prey to the Gods. The studio is clearly unhappy about this change, due to a seemingly arbitrary copyright claim by Bethesda on the word “prey” do to their upcoming sci-fi game, Prey. It is certainly understandable that the small studio of three is frustrated with the situation, but they are glad they opted for the path of least resistance and chance of being sued. Especially that Praey for the Gods is still in development and that they and Bethesda came to a compromise is quite the relief in a situation that could have turned very badly.
No Matter also stated that they simply didn’t have the funds to go to court without spending their Kickstarter money. Even if they won with it, they would have more than likely had nothing left to continue making the game. As much as this situation isn’t fair at all, copyright issues in the video game industry are not as straightforward and lenient as they perhaps should be. For more detailed information, I highly suggest this Extra Credits video that explains the matter in full, and how a company doesn’t have much a choice but to defend their copyright.
That said, No Matter studios does admit that their first name for the game was Præy for the Gods, but “figured people would have a hard time trying to type in the æ symbol in search engines.” Which is entirely true, if you don’t know your keyboard commands for special characters very well, or don’t speak a language that requires them, then æ is a tough one. Nonetheless, Praey for the Gods seems like a good compromise and I’m glad No Matter studios is still able to work on their game unscathed.