inXile forces indie dev to change title of $1.99 game from 'Alien Wasteland'

For all feedback on inXile's websites, company, forums and on pledges.
Chimi
Initiate
Posts: 1
Joined: May 3rd, 2016, 5:39 am

inXile forces indie dev to change title of $1.99 game from 'Alien Wasteland'

Post by Chimi » May 3rd, 2016, 5:52 am

Dev's IndieDB update.

Indie dev makes a small-scale FPS called Alien Wasteland, and apparently inXile is forcing them to change it with a C&D. This is troubling to me, and smacks of legal bullying for no good reason. No rational person would confuse inXile's Wasteland franchise with this game. I think it's an over-reach, and unfortunately one that this small indie dev doesn't have the resources to fight. King did the same thing, trying to get The Banner Saga to change, and fortunately they failed there, partially due to the backlash, I think. Hopefully this gets enough attention that inXile comes to their senses and quits trying to do this kinda thing.

I know there are arguments to be made about having to protect your IP, but I think there's a stronger argument to be made her about needing to do the right thing.

User avatar
Firkraag
Adventurer
Posts: 664
Joined: October 28th, 2014, 8:49 am
Location: Ukraine, Kharkiv
Contact:

Re: inXile forces indie dev to change title of $1.99 game from 'Alien Wasteland'

Post by Firkraag » May 3rd, 2016, 8:47 am

I'm not an adept of legal mumbo-jumbo but week ago I heard TotalBisquit talking about Blizzard closing pirate server. Among other things, he mentioned that Blizz explained themselves, as there was no real way to protect IP and allow server to function and the problem here was the american laws, by witch if you don't protect your IP agressively -POP- you loose it just like that. Not exactly healthy business environment.

If this is unprovoked case of aggressive IP protection, it's very sad and stupid case, because "wasteland" is generic term by definition - it was their choise to use it, after all - ripping a generic word out of language for IP purposes and also forbidding the use of fair, clever derivatives (in games, that aren't ripoffs or in any other capitilizing from original title) seems to be such a waste (no pun intended).

I hope, inXile lawyers will find a way to protect IP, without making their company look, like bullies. (UPD: Oh, so they successfully forced him to change the title name. Nicely done, lawyer-person! :? )

But, in general? I believe this shouldn't be tolerated, no matter how uncomfortable it makes a company in question - there should be better ways of dealing with these kinds of situations.
Last edited by Firkraag on May 3rd, 2016, 12:13 pm, edited 3 times in total.
"I am a warhead of weaponized Truth." The Last Castoff (non-canon).

"Colin's period as Jesus was an interesting time." © Brother_None

User avatar
Brother None
Developer
Posts: 2909
Joined: March 5th, 2012, 1:26 pm
Contact:

Re: inXile forces indie dev to change title of $1.99 game from 'Alien Wasteland'

Post by Brother None » May 3rd, 2016, 11:57 am

Thanks for contacting us about this.

We reached out to the developer of The Alien Wasteland (now Action Alien) directly looking to find an amicable resolution without involving lawyers. The C&D only happened because the developer was unwilling to recognize the issue, only offering to change the game's name if we paid him for it. Asking to be paid for infringing on someone’s rights is certainly a new one for us, so of course we refused.

We do not know if the developer of Action Alien was aware of our Registered trademark when he initially named his game and bear absolutely no ill will towards the creator of Action Alien or the game. We always look for amicable win-win solutions in these cases, where we seek to protect our mark as any prudent business would do, while also helping the other party promote their game and provide a bigger reach than he otherwise would get, so that both parties benefit. In fact, that offer still stands now.
Thomas Beekers
Creative Producer

User avatar
Firkraag
Adventurer
Posts: 664
Joined: October 28th, 2014, 8:49 am
Location: Ukraine, Kharkiv
Contact:

Re: inXile forces indie dev to change title of $1.99 game from 'Alien Wasteland'

Post by Firkraag » May 3rd, 2016, 12:07 pm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Hawk ... _Wasteland What about this game?

Would you protect your IP from Activision, too? Or there are some notable differences, here?

I mean, really. If "Alien Wasteland" infringes "Wasteland 2" IP, then "Tony Hawk's American Wasteland" should be considered copyright infringement, as well. Right?

I'm no expert, but I think, "Bigger Lawyer Diplomacy" would work here, just as well, and I doubt, that odds will be exactly in your favour.
Last edited by Firkraag on May 3rd, 2016, 12:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"I am a warhead of weaponized Truth." The Last Castoff (non-canon).

"Colin's period as Jesus was an interesting time." © Brother_None

User avatar
Drool
Forum Moderator
Posts: 8804
Joined: March 17th, 2012, 9:58 pm
Location: Under Tenebrosia, doing shots with Sceadu.

Re: inXile forces indie dev to change title of $1.99 game from 'Alien Wasteland'

Post by Drool » May 3rd, 2016, 12:17 pm

Protect their IP from a game that came years before they owned the IP? Probably not. The two cases aren't even remotely comparable and you know it.

They probably aren't going to send a C&D letter to Wizards of the Coast over the Wasteland magic card from twenty years ago either.
Alwa nasci korliri das.

I neither work, nor speak, for inXile.

Not too late; make it eight!

User avatar
Firkraag
Adventurer
Posts: 664
Joined: October 28th, 2014, 8:49 am
Location: Ukraine, Kharkiv
Contact:

Re: inXile forces indie dev to change title of $1.99 game from 'Alien Wasteland'

Post by Firkraag » May 3rd, 2016, 12:23 pm

My point still stands: intellectual property and copyrights are in the toxic legal environment.

And for a very long time.
"I am a warhead of weaponized Truth." The Last Castoff (non-canon).

"Colin's period as Jesus was an interesting time." © Brother_None

User avatar
Firkraag
Adventurer
Posts: 664
Joined: October 28th, 2014, 8:49 am
Location: Ukraine, Kharkiv
Contact:

Re: inXile forces indie dev to change title of $1.99 game from 'Alien Wasteland'

Post by Firkraag » May 3rd, 2016, 12:53 pm

Brother None wrote:while also helping the other party promote their game and provide a bigger reach than he otherwise would get, so that both parties benefit. In fact, that offer still stands now.
Wait a second. Help... Like in, say, Publisher?.. Please, please, please. Don't make the same mistakes, that big publishers did to drive you from them to Kickstarter. I really hope, it's just big misunderstanding, but it's hard not see it likr this:
"Oh, so you are really small developer and we like your work. So... you can "join us and we will rule galaxy together" or change the name of your title to whatever you want to, but it shouldn't contain "Wasteland" in it, unless you can out-lawyer us in court. Though, we all know you can't."

It's not "evil", just... not pretty.

I would've understand raising flags for "Wasteland" or "Wasteland 3". Or blatantly ripping off parts of game and setting. But this game looks, like very minor thing to even pay attention to.
If it's laws, that are pushing you and you don't want to loose your IP - it's understandable concern, really. Though, these laws have to be overlooked in a future. I understand, that it is a titanic effort, but don't tell me, that you really believe you hold rights for every video game with word "Wasteland" in it for the next seventy years or so, and think this is just being "prudent business"?

Wild copyright wasteland won't turn itself into green paradise on it's own. Unless you try to do something about it.
"I am a warhead of weaponized Truth." The Last Castoff (non-canon).

"Colin's period as Jesus was an interesting time." © Brother_None

User avatar
sear
Developer
Posts: 2514
Joined: March 21st, 2012, 8:30 am

Re: inXile forces indie dev to change title of $1.99 game from 'Alien Wasteland'

Post by sear » May 3rd, 2016, 1:10 pm

Firkraag wrote:Wait a second. Help... Like in, say, Publisher?.. Please, please, please. Don't make the same mistakes, that big publishers did to drive you from them to Kickstarter. I really hope, it's just big misunderstanding, but it's hard not see it likr this:
"Oh, so you are really small developer and we like your work. So... you can "join us and we will rule galaxy together" or change the name of your title to whatever you want to, but it shouldn't contain "Wasteland" in it, unless you can out-lawyer us in court. Though, we all know you can't."
Publishing the game? No. We just meant we'd be happy to offer some friendly promotion, as thanks for reaching an amiable resolution.

User avatar
dorkboy
Master
Posts: 1772
Joined: November 26th, 2012, 10:37 am

Re: inXile forces indie dev to change title of $1.99 game from 'Alien Wasteland'

Post by dorkboy » May 3rd, 2016, 1:50 pm

I fail to see what's so goddamn amicable about threatening legal action over a common dictionary word.

It stank when King did it to Stoic, it stinks now.
marmelade & jam

IHaveHugeNick
Master
Posts: 1175
Joined: September 23rd, 2014, 7:31 am

Re: inXile forces indie dev to change title of $1.99 game from 'Alien Wasteland'

Post by IHaveHugeNick » May 3rd, 2016, 9:59 pm

I wonder why you didn't send C&D to Bethesda for naming their 2nd DLC "Wasteland Workshop". I guess the lines become blurry when someone infringing on Wasteland IP has bigger legal department than your entire company.
Two rite whiff care is quite a feet of witch won should be proud.

fishnchips
Initiate
Posts: 1
Joined: May 3rd, 2016, 11:11 pm

Re: inXile forces indie dev to change title of $1.99 game from 'Alien Wasteland'

Post by fishnchips » May 3rd, 2016, 11:13 pm

I had to register to tell you that you guys are cunts.
Good luck being the FineBros of gamedev, go down faster.

Oh and it seems they did same thing to Nuclear Throne game.

User avatar
NovaRain
Scholar
Posts: 127
Joined: October 29th, 2012, 8:03 pm
Location: Taiwan

Re: inXile forces indie dev to change title of $1.99 game from 'Alien Wasteland'

Post by NovaRain » May 4th, 2016, 12:37 am

Uh, so it's somewhat like the "Scrolls" lawsuit between Bethesda and Mojang? I still don't understand why using a common word as part of a game title has anything to do with the trademark infringement. And yeah, like IHaveHugeNick said, how about Bethesda's "Wasteland Workshop"?

User avatar
Firkraag
Adventurer
Posts: 664
Joined: October 28th, 2014, 8:49 am
Location: Ukraine, Kharkiv
Contact:

Re: inXile forces indie dev to change title of $1.99 game from 'Alien Wasteland'

Post by Firkraag » May 4th, 2016, 1:05 am

fishnchips wrote:I had to register to tell you...
Good luck being the FineBros of gamedev, go down faster.

Oh and it seems they did same thing to Nuclear Throne game.
I agree with your desire to speak out, but you'll be able to achieve much more by staying civil. Experience tells me, that people are less prone to understand your point of view, when verbally assaulted.
"I am a warhead of weaponized Truth." The Last Castoff (non-canon).

"Colin's period as Jesus was an interesting time." © Brother_None

User avatar
Chauden
Initiate
Posts: 1
Joined: May 4th, 2016, 4:09 am

Re: inXile forces indie dev to change title of $1.99 game from 'Alien Wasteland'

Post by Chauden » May 4th, 2016, 4:37 am

Firkraag wrote:I agree with your desire to speak out, but you'll be able to achieve much more by staying civil. Experience tells me, that people are less prone to understand your point of view, when verbally assaulted.
Nah. They know very well what they are doing, and they also know what is the opinion of the rest of the people about it. They just don't care.

Do you really think that during the process that led them to take this decision, there was no one who commented that this idea seemed absurd or exaggerated? That no one commented that seemed it was as petty as the case of "Scrolls"? Of course they know how this decision sounds but decided to go ahead anyway. And it's obvious that the moderators will defend this decision at all costs here, have you seen a case where a moderator agreed that a company's decision of which he's part of was arbitrary and/or mean? In 30 years of gaming, I can say that I never saw it. If it has happened, it really was a rare and aberrant case.

What the lad up there is doing isn't trying to convince anyone of anything, because I don't think he believes that a company would be convinced of the absurdity of its attitude by some posts on a forum. What he's doing just is expressing his intense frustration, not only because of the attitude itself (which was terrible), but also because of who committed it (a company he believed to have good nature).

I can say that this, in fact, is really just like the case of the "Scrolls" all over again - a larger company stepping on a smaller one, because of a "word" in a game's title that is not even in the same genre and doesn't have the same visual identification. This means that, now, no game can use the word wasteland ever again? At least, no game of a smaller company than Inxile, of course. This is what "protecting the IP" means, I guess.

What saddens me most is to see people like the BN having to defend attitudes like this, I cannot say exactly why I feel like this, I think after years of seeing him posting in NMA I somehow didn't expect to read this kind of thing from him. But it's his job, and that's what he needs to do.
Last edited by Chauden on May 4th, 2016, 5:09 am, edited 4 times in total.

shadowmatt
Initiate
Posts: 1
Joined: May 4th, 2016, 4:31 am

Re: inXile forces indie dev to change title of $1.99 game from 'Alien Wasteland'

Post by shadowmatt » May 4th, 2016, 4:38 am

Absolutely disgusting behaviour. This kind of corporate bulling is absolutely disgusting and you now get to join the ranks of Tim Langdell.

If you make a bullish*t argument, get lawyers involved and ask a dev to change artwork, marketing etc... then you should pay. You are asking another company to do work, usually quotes and invoices are involved.

Anyway you don't respect other peoples work, don't expect me to respect yours.

IHaveHugeNick
Master
Posts: 1175
Joined: September 23rd, 2014, 7:31 am

Re: inXile forces indie dev to change title of $1.99 game from 'Alien Wasteland'

Post by IHaveHugeNick » May 4th, 2016, 5:31 am

Let's not get ahead out ourselves here. Aggressive IP protection is bullshit, but Alien Wasteland dev had no right to ask them for money, that's basically extortion. Copyright law may be idiotic, but it's still the law. You can't infringe people's property and demand money to stop. He gets zero sympathy for me.
Two rite whiff care is quite a feet of witch won should be proud.

User avatar
Firkraag
Adventurer
Posts: 664
Joined: October 28th, 2014, 8:49 am
Location: Ukraine, Kharkiv
Contact:

Re: inXile forces indie dev to change title of $1.99 game from 'Alien Wasteland'

Post by Firkraag » May 4th, 2016, 6:07 am

Chauden wrote:
Firkraag wrote:I agree with your desire to speak out, but you'll be able to achieve much more by staying civil. Experience tells me, that people are less prone to understand your point of view, when verbally assaulted.
Nah. They know very well what they are doing, and they also know what is the opinion of the rest of the people about it. They just don't care.
Still don't see how exactly venting frusrtation on others helps.

I don't talk here about "Devdan" suggesting to give him money or inXile deciding to protect their IP from him (talk about elephant protecting himself from flies). The whole situation is wrong. I'm talking about two problems: first, inXile making mistakes, that will cost them fanbase support in the long run (and it's not the first one) and second is tge fact, that fighting over generic names is really not most the productive way of being "prudent business". And that legal landscape for IP and copyrights should be changed. That worth time of discussion. If just for the sake of thoughts. I'd love to hear about inXile protecting their IP from Bethesda. Or how they think to deal with similar problems in future. Etc.

Calling names and venting frustration is neither productive nor healthy to this conversation.
IHaveHugeNick wrote:Let's not get ahead out ourselves here. Aggressive IP protection is bullshit, but Alien Wasteland dev had no right to ask them for money, that's basically extortion. Copyright law may be idiotic, but it's still the law. You can't infringe people's property and demand money to stop. He gets zero sympathy for me.
I fail to see problem here. His decision to ask money was weak, and he probably figured out, that he can't back it up with law, but there's nothing wrong with asking money. I can ask money from you, it doesn't mean you'd give me money or that I'm wrong. I would be stupid, but not wrong. Had we talk about bigger companies and bigger IPs and I believe someone might've pay someone. It happens all the time (or court wars).

It all falls down to the fact, that you don't need half a brain to call your game "Alien Wasteland" or "Wasteland 2". If I could I would've taken their toys away and only let them trademark (very) exact and specific logo designs and titles with unique set of characters attached "Wasteland 2#authetitification code 1", so customer wouldn't be fooled. It's not how unique and generic your trademak is, that matters now, but how high search engine prioritizes your artwork and if no one would want it - you'd go down.
Last edited by Firkraag on May 4th, 2016, 6:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
"I am a warhead of weaponized Truth." The Last Castoff (non-canon).

"Colin's period as Jesus was an interesting time." © Brother_None

IHaveHugeNick
Master
Posts: 1175
Joined: September 23rd, 2014, 7:31 am

Re: inXile forces indie dev to change title of $1.99 game from 'Alien Wasteland'

Post by IHaveHugeNick » May 4th, 2016, 6:36 am

Firkraag wrote:I fail to see problem here. His decision to ask money was weak, and he probably figured out, that he can't back it up with law, but there's nothing wrong with asking money. I can ask money from you, it doesn't mean you'd give me money or that I'm wrong. I would be stupid, but not wrong.
There's everything wrong with asking for money. If I use your picture in an advertisement for my midget porn site, would it be ok if I demanded you pay me for taking the picture down? I despise situations like this as much as the next guy, but you can't just go around asking money to stop your illegal activities. Even if the illegality of it is down to absurd IP laws.

And yeah, the dev definitely isn't the brightest person. His game is $1,99 showelware. He should have bend over, accept their offer to help with promotion, and get on with it. Instead he tried to milk cash out of them, ended up with C&D, had to change the name anyway, and he has fuck all to show for it all. Maybe a nice story to tell his grandchildren about how this one time he almost made a game that would surely be a multimillion success, but he got cockblocked by big bad corporation.
Two rite whiff care is quite a feet of witch won should be proud.

Bad Bunnies
Initiate
Posts: 1
Joined: May 4th, 2016, 6:47 am

Re: inXile forces indie dev to change title of $1.99 game from 'Alien Wasteland'

Post by Bad Bunnies » May 4th, 2016, 6:49 am

http://www.pcgamer.com/wasteland-2-devs ... nd-studio/

Yeah, you guys are scumbags. You don't own the word "Wasteland" and certainly have gotten a lot of bad PR for this. Definitely won't be supporting any of your shitty games in the future, and I regret backing your shitty kickstarter.

I hope you guys find financial ruin for being a bunch of pricks.

User avatar
Firkraag
Adventurer
Posts: 664
Joined: October 28th, 2014, 8:49 am
Location: Ukraine, Kharkiv
Contact:

Re: inXile forces indie dev to change title of $1.99 game from 'Alien Wasteland'

Post by Firkraag » May 4th, 2016, 7:03 am

IHaveHugeNick wrote:There's everything wrong with asking for money. If I use your picture in an advertisement for my midget porn site, would it be ok if I demanded you pay me for taking the picture down?
Hm... I neither trademarked it nor ensured it's legal protection in anyway, so I think you can probably use it any way you want. Avatars is already giant gray zone. If I could (and I can't) I'd licenced it CC BY-SA.

Anyway, you can ask me to give you money how much you want. That doesn't mean you will get any. End of discussion.

inXile did not invent word Wasteland.
inXile did not invent a concept of Wasteland.
inXile did not invent look of the letters in the word Wasteland.

And still, law treats inXile, like owners of that word in gaming business.
It is legal, but it's not right. Following the letter of the lae can be easy, but do you really want to see, where that river leads?

I didn't invent concept of dragons, my nick name and avatar is reference to character, that is part of Black Isle IP, I used particular style of Order of The Stick comic to create this picture with a program, that was specifically designed to simulate that style. I hold exactly zero rights to anything from you regarding that picture.
Also, I don't make money with that picture, so I don't exactly care and why inXile does in their case. If you decide to make money off of it, I'm ceratinly not a person to grudge you for that. Also, why should I worry over midgets (Small people? Don't want to offend) and porn sites? People make living however they want or can. Case closed.

We're so actively trying to pretend, that we own intellectual property, that almost miss the fact, that it already owns us. :)
"I am a warhead of weaponized Truth." The Last Castoff (non-canon).

"Colin's period as Jesus was an interesting time." © Brother_None

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests