Bethesda and Mojang have settled their differences over Mojang’s intent to call its next game Scrolls. (Here’s a hint: everybody wins!)
You may recall that in the long-ago summer of 2011, Bethesda and Minecraft studio Mojang got into a beef over Mojang’s plan to use Scrolls as the name of its next game. The name came a little too close to The Elder Scrolls for Bethesda’s comfort and thus, in the finest sad tradition of the modern era, the lawyers were called.
The wheels started turning in earnest in September 2011, but little else about the matter was heard until a couple of days ago, when Mojang’s Carl Manneh revealed that the matter is now settled to everyone’s satisfaction. “We have settled the lawsuit over Scrolls and Mojang and Bethesda are friends again,” he wrote. “To answer the big question – yes Scrolls is still going to be called Scrolls. To answer the second question – we aren’t going to keep the trademark. For us this was never about a trademark but being able to use Scrolls as the name of our game which we can.”
The terms of the settlement award all ownership rights of the Scrolls trademark to Bethesda parent ZeniMax, which has in turn licensed the use of the name to Mojang for its upcoming game and any related add-ons. It may not use the name in a sequel, however, or in any other future game.
“We are pleased to have settled this matter with Mojang amicably,” said ZeniMax Chairman and CEO Robert Altman. “The Elder Scrolls is an important brand to us, and with this settlement we were able to protect our valuable property rights while allowing Mojang to release their digital card game under the name they preferred.”
Minecraft creator Markus “Notch” Persson confirmed the settlement on Twitter in somewhat simpler terms. “The settlement is that we give them the trademark, get to keep the name, and won’t make an Elder Scrolls competitor using the name,” he wrote. “The actual document I signed was like a billion pages, so at least we know a bunch of lawyers got rich. Good, wouldn’t want them to starve.”
“All is right with the world,” he added.