ZeniMax Media, parent company for Bethesda, has lost the first of what I’m sure will be many legal battles concerning the seemingly insipid dispute between the Elder Scrolls developers and Mojang, the newly founded studio by Minecraft creator Markus “Notch” Persson.
To refresh your memory, Notch & co. over at Mojang have been working on a fantasy strategy game called Scrolls for a little over a year now. From what we’ve heard and seen in the trailer from August, it features trolls, maybe wizards, and literal scrolls.
This, obviously(?), stuck in Bethesda’s craw, seeing as how they also make a fantasy game featuring those three genre tropes (and, presumably, more) that also has the word “scrolls” in the title. Thus, the Maryland-based company sought to impose an interim injunction to stop Mojang from using the Scrolls name while the entire legal proceedings unfolded.
However, the Swedish court overseeing the injunction shot down ZeniMax just today, stating there are “significant differences” between the the entries in the Elder Scrolls series and Mojang’s Scrolls game and that the “channels of distribution will be different” (according to an English summary of the original Swedish court documents from Mojang’s own business developer Daniel Kaplan).
Given, however, that the court also conceded similarities with the fantasy settings and consumer overlap, it’s highly unlikely that ZeniMax will sit idly by and take the opportunity to appeal the court’s decision as soon as possible. For now, though, the decision has been made to put the faith in the public’s common sense and ability to discern between multiple fantasy video games.
Regardless of the outcome, I’m still hoping that Bethesda vs. Mojang Quake 3 showdown happens. More problems need to be settled by way of Old West logic.