If you’ve been following King’s trademark sideshow this week (and we know you have), there have been two interesting developments in the last 24 hours that you already know about. Last night, word broke that King was trying to use its IP law muscle to prevent Stoic Studio from using the word SAGA in The Banner Saga. And then this morning, King issued a statement responding to these allegations.
This is where things get a little weird, because their response was basically “we’re not trying to stop them from using the name, we’ve just filed a formal opposition with the US Trademark Office that says otherwise.” More to the point, they said that if they don’t exercise their claim in every instance than the mark on words like SAGA will lose its potency, and they’ll have a hard time when it comes to fighting the real targets of their IP theft.
It’s an argument that’s in complete contradiction with a statement they released earlier in the day. “We don’t enforce against all uses… some are legitimate of course, we would not ask App developers who use the term legitimately to stop doing so.”
Methinks someone in King’s PR department has a really short memory.
As you’d probably expect, the folks at Stoic Studio were just as flabbergasted as we are. When we reached out for comment last night, they weren’t prepared to speak. After King’s statement today, though, they’re officially done holding their tongues.
“Two years ago, the three of us at Stoic set out to make an epic viking game: The Banner Saga. We did, and people loved it, so we’re making another one. We won’t make a viking saga without the word Saga, and we don’t appreciate anyone telling us we can’t. King.com claims they’re not attempting to prevent us from using The Banner Saga, and yet their legal opposition to our trademark filing remains. We’re humbled by the outpouring of support and honored to have others stand with us for the right to their own Saga. We just want to make great games.”
So there you have it. Shots fired. King, if you’re really not opposing their use of the name, withdraw your opposition. And readers, if you’re as sick of this trademark trolling, show Stoic your support and pick up the game. (if it helps, it’s really really good.)