So there’s this guy by the name of Notch, aka Markus “Notch” Persson, he’s one of the original creators of the massively popular game Minecraft. Notch’s developer group Mojang is currently in a trademark dispute with another group of developers by the name of Bethesda Softworks. The latter has threatened to sue the former because Mojang’s new game by the name of “Scrolls” apparently doesn’t seem far enough away from Bethesda’s “The Elder Scrolls,” a trademarked name they currently own. What Notch of Mojang here is suggesting is that a team of his best “warriors” and a team of Bethesda’s best “warriors” go head to head in the first-person-shooter game Quake 3, the winner dropping their side of the dispute.
You can check out the full story on the original lawsuit threat on Notch’s Tumblr – basically it says that when Notch when to register the word Minecraft, he also sent in registration for the word “Scrolls.” At this time, Bethesda’s lawyers contacted Notch about their proposed “Scrolls” trademark and warned Notch that they would move for legal action in the future if they continued.
Notch sent back a message saying they did not mean to allude to anything in Bethesda’s game series, of course, but that if it was agreeable, they’d agree to never put any words before “Scrolls” in their game titles and always add more words to the end should they come out with any sequels, such as, as Notch puts it: “Scrolls – The Banana Expansion.” Having never heard back from Bethesda’s lawyers at this point, some time passed and a new letter came now that Scrolls is nearing a real live game.
Notch again got word from Bethesda’s lawyers that they’d move to legal action if they produced a game called “Scrolls” because it was too close to their trademarked name “The Elder Scrolls.” This came in the form of a 15 page letter which indicated they’d already paid the fee to the Swedish court in which they were going to sue Notch.
This week, Notch has the most awesome solution to this problem that has ever been thought of in the history of the tech industry, the gaming industry, or any other industry plagued by lawsuits galore: battle in the arena. In the Quake 3 arena, of all places, the greatest place anyone ever used a BFG to frag their opponents into oblivion ever. Here’s what Notch had to say:
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.
Regardless of the outcome, we could still have a small text somewhere saying our game is not related to your game series in any way, if you wish.
I am serious, by the way.
Whether or not this will be taken seriously by the other party is at the moment a moot point – this is a legendary challenge already, and Notch is a hero to us all.