Notch Comes Up With New Plan To Settle Trademark Dispute: Quake 3 Battle

from the ah,-if-only-all-legal-disputes-were-handled-this-way dept

We noted recently the ridiculous trademark lawsuit filed by game company Bethesda against Markus Persson’s company Mojang. Of course, Persson is better known as Notch, and Mojang is better known for creating Minecraft. Mojang is working on a new game called Scrolls and Bethesda is suing because it holds the trademark on Elder Scrolls, for its series of games. As we noted in the original post, the really amazing thing about Notch was how reasonable he had been throughout the whole thing, even talking up how much he liked Bethesda, and hoping this was just some lawyers over reacting.

Well, now he’s decided to offer an “alternative settlement” technique. Rather than, say, trying arbitration or mediation, Notch is offering to settle this over a Quake 3 match. Seriously:

Remember that scene in Game of Thrones where Tyrion chose a trial by battle in the Eyrie? Well, let?s do that instead!

I challenge Bethesda to a game of Quake 3. Three of our best warriors against three of your best warriors. We select one level, you select the other, we randomize the order. 20 minute matches, highest total frag count per team across both levels wins.

If we win, you drop the lawsuit.

If you win, we will change the name of Scrolls to something you?re fine with.

Now wouldn’t that be fun?

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Companies: bethesda, mojang

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Comments on “Notch Comes Up With New Plan To Settle Trademark Dispute: Quake 3 Battle”

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dwg says:

Re: Re: This will leave people out?

Sorry, but this crap is so lame. Do EFF and ACLU lawyers revolt you, too? Civil rights lawyers defending hackers? Fair-use maximalist lawyers?

It’s just so tiresome, this spray of venom. I know you’ll respond with “the majority of lawyers suck–a few are good” but those few get tarred with the same brush you use for the majority. It makes it harder to want to do right by people–especially when you’re the ones I’m working to help.

Jake says:

I’m not a big fan of Notch, as something about the fact that he appropriated several of Minecraft’s core concepts from a freeware game called Dwarf Fortress, remixed them into something with a quarter of the depth and complexity and then acquired staggering amounts of fame and money from it strikes me deeply and profoundly unfair somehow. But I have to give him credit, this has a certain amount of style.

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: Re:

What exactly is wrong with “appropriating core concepts”? Is it wrong for FPS games to “appropriate” the concept of dual wield weapons? How is it unfair for Minecraft, a game made by basically the one guy, to make a staggering amount of fame and money? I applaud the dude, he’s a true entrepreneur. He saw a market, made a game, marketed it the correct way, didn’t care about piracy and has reaped the rewards.
Just in case you claim I’m a Minecraft fanboy, I’m not. I’ve never played it, and most likely never will. I don’t like the game myself. But to say its unfair for an indie game to be successful…

Eugene (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Minecraft is based on an open source program called Infiniminer. I don’t think it contains any of the concepts found in Dwarf Fortress except the incidental ones. eg “digging” and “procedural generation” and “lo fi graphics”.

In fact, the most important mechanic of the game: using torches to create light in order to drive away monsters, is nowhere to be seen in either infiniminer or DF.

CrushU says:

Re: Re:

I’ve played Minecraft and Dwarf Fortress.

“Core concepts”? … The only things the two games have in common is terrain generation and mining.

In Minecraft, you control one guy, yourself, and do everything from the first person perspective. In Dwarf Fortress, you either control one guy, doing everything from the third person perspective and it’s a straight-up adventure game, or you control a fortress worth of dwarves, controlling them from a top-down ‘god-like’ perspective.

In Minecraft, crafting is accomplished by putting together ingredients in pre-specified orders. In Dwarf Fortress, crafting is accomplished by giving an order to your workshops, and making sure the materials are available.

In Minecraft, lava flows and kills you almost instantly. In Dwarf Fortress, lava flows, sets things on fire, and kills you because you’re On Fire, and can also cool and harden into Obsidian.

The two games are only very loosely related. (I prefer Dwarf Fortress.)

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

The lawsuit is silly.

The seemingly endless silence waiting for Bethesda to respond to anything is not helping their case in the court of public opinion.

While a real courtroom will have to hear the tired explanations of why the word scrolls has to only be for 1 side to ever possibly use for a computer game, the damage will be done.

Bethesda will appear to be a large faceless corporation who kicked the snot out of a plucky indie designer over something as silly as people confusing 2 very different games because the titles both contain the word scrolls.

That has to be very appealing to the gamer demographic, even people not that fond of Minecraft are entertained by the idea of using Quake to settle the problem. Its a game issue so why not use a game to solve it?

Its win/win for Notch. He is building goodwill with the gamer community can keeping his upcoming product in the spotlight. Besides I think it would be fun to see him release the game with a new name. New Name – Formerly known as Scrolls.

AJ says:


These two companies could turn this into such an epic win win that you can pretty much guarantee the lawyers won’t let em do it.

Here’s what they do:

Bethesda calls Gamespot, and tells them they plan on accepting the challenge, and that since Gamespot is neutral ground, they should host it. Then you set a time and date, build video profiles of the warriors… example: “Tippy the Wonder Slug (From Accounting), Weapon of choice: Rail Gun… etc…), you do the build up like a UFC, fighters face to face… epic music playing, the mic drops from the ceiling and Chuck Norris takes the stage to intro the match FUCKING CHUCK NORRIS HELL YEAZ! … geeks from around the world screaming and throwing pocket protectors at the opposing teams.. Some hot chick with a sign walks across the stage with a giant number… fireworks…. music…. game on!

The amount of “street cred” these two companies would take away from an event like this would be unmeasurable.

One_of_the_Norm (profile) says:

Re: Sweeet!

That would be awesome!

They could even make some money off it. Make it an internet site pay-per-view (as other suggested) but at a minimal cost. A couple of bucks only and with the advertising, you’d pull in an insanely massive amount of people.

I’d not only be willing to pay $2 US to watch it, but would be enthusiastically looking at the calendar each day waiting for it.

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