Note to major corporations out there: squashing the little guy is actually never worth it. Instead of earning money on the back of copyright claims and litigation, what you’re actually doing is making yourself look like bullies. Big, logic-free, small-picture-loving bullies.
Iridium Studios, developer of the recent voice-controlled RTS title There Came an Echo, has revealed on NeoGAF that it is being forced to rename its debut title, Sequence, to Before the Echo because of a copyright claim. While the message in the NeoGAF thread is a bit cryptic, one can only assume that the company in question is Jax Ltd., manufacturer of the thirty-plus-year-old strategy board game Sequence.
The name Before the Echo comes from the idea that There Came an Echo is a narrative sequel to Sequence, so the use of tense here makes sense in theory. What doesn’t make sense is that one of the most open and receptive independent developers in the industry (seriously, during the course of my review playthrough they fixed a bug in the middle of the night, no questions asked) is being forced to choose between the name of their passion project and crippling legal proceedings.
Here’s the official word from Iridium Studios Studio Head Jason Wishnov’s statement on the matter:
Protip to indie developers…don’t name your game anything remotely close to, let’s say, a board game whose parent company is willing to bully you around because they incorrectly believe their trademark in board games extends to electronic software as well. I’m a little salty, but man, going to court just wasn’t worth it.
Sequence’s official Steam Store page has been altered to reflect the name change, as you can see here.
How do you feel about Iridium being forced to change their debut game’s title? Let us know in the comments below.