Back in 2015, three-man team No Matter Studios Prey for the Gods was revealed as a Shadow of the Colossus-inspired game where you play as a lone hero sent out to the edge of dying world to discover the mystery behind a never-ending winter. After arriving just the clothes on your back, you must quickly adapt and survive the colossal dangers that you encounter; in order to restore balance and reclaim the land from the brink, you will be faced with questions that not even a God knows the answer to.
The game notably features colossal battles with giant where you literally climb your foes (like Shadow of the Colossus), a vast and mysterious frozen world, a dynamic weather and day/night cycle, non-linear gameplay where you choose who to battle and how, and a looting system. Sounds awesome right? Well that’s because it is (at least from what has been shown.)
That being said, it should come as no surprise that it raised $501,252 USD across 14,738 backers last year when it took to Kickstarter. Because, again, the game looks pretty damn awesome.
Today, the developer released its latest newsletter, which talked about the ongoing push toward a closed alpha release, an improved fire system, control changes, and more. Included in this “more” is that following a trademark dispute with Bethesda, the game is now called Praey for the Gods.
The developer — in regard to the name change — writes the following in the newsletter:
“We could’ve fought this and we did think about it for quite a while. Something like a trademark opposition can be long and depending on how far someone wants to fight it can be very expensive,” the studio explained. “We didn’t want to spend our precious Kickstarter funds, nor did we want to have to ask for additional funds to fight this in court. Using backer money towards something that doesn’t go towards the development or backer rewards felt horrible to us. Even if we did win we’d have to spend a solid chunk of our funds and in our opinion it wasn’t worth it.”
No Matter Studios continues:
The truth is we initially thought about naming the game Præy for the Gods prior to our initial trailer. The logo has both the woman praying against the duality of prey, and thankfully we get to continue to use that. We figured people would have a hard time trying to type in the æ symbol in search engines etc. This was back in 2015 when we posted a trailer on Facebook and Twitter with had no idea if 100 or even 1000 people would watch the trailer. We were applying for both Prey for the Gods, and Præy for the Gods trademarks shortly after as we realized the extent of what we were making. Unfortunately, Zenimax chose to oppose our mark, as they felt both were too similar to their mark “Prey”. While we disagree with their opposition we were able to come to an agreement.
It was something that kept me up many nights, and no doubt shifted our focus from our game frequently. Worrying about the outcome if we went to trial, if we’d lose our fans or walk away from the mark and still potentially get sued for millions on trademark infringement. 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.
Bethesda has yet to comment (UPDATE: IT DID) — publicly — on the situation, which has left many gamers with a bad taste in their mouth in regards to the company, which is about release Prey this Friday. If I was a betting man: I would say they will stay silent on this one. While, it’s understandable the company wants to protect its trademark, it does feel a little unsavory given how tiny No Matter Studios is. Alas, business is business, and you can’t fault Bethesda for doing what many other companies in its situation would do.
Alongside today’s trademark drama, No Matter Studios also released some new pre-alpha gameplay footage, showing off what appears to feature one of the colossal foes in the game.
Below, you can check out the new gameplay footage, and if this is your time hearing about Prey...I mean Praey for the Gods, then you should also check out the game’s latest trailer, and see why everyone is excited over it.
Praey for the Gods is in development for PS4, PC, and Xbox One. It is currently without a release date.