Dark Deception: Monsters & Mortals hasn’t ever crossed our desk before, not being anything resembling an MMORPG, but it’s multiplayer with PvP and co-op play, so it’s close enough to highlight, albeit for less-than-pleasant reasons.
Apparently, last week indie games studio Glowstick Entertainment was threatened with legal action over the name and logo of the game by Coca-Cola-owned Monster Energy – yes, the energy drink.
According to Glowstick’s Vincent Livings, the threat from Monster Energy’s lawyers at Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear LLP demands that Glowstick cede an absurd number of claims and privileges regarding the words monster, beast, and unleash; claw iconography; anything using green and white and black; and even monster-ish fonts. Under the terms demanded by Monster Energy, Glowstick would be permitted to continue using Dark Deception: Monsters & Mortals but basically no other variation; Monster Energy’s legal team even demands final approval on a new and required DDMM logo.
As Kotaku recounts, Monster has garnered a reputation as a trademark bully and copyright troll in recent years, hassling restaurants, welders, and an “aquarium hobby forum,” in addition to other even more obscure victims. It even pressured Ubisoft to change the name of Gods & Monsters (to Immortals: Fenyx Rising).
A pity a large company like Ubisoft didn’t fight it. Dark Deception: Monsters & Mortals is one of the smaller entries in the Dark Deception franchise – it averages a few dozen players a month – but it is putting up a fight; the studio actually generously agreed to several of the demands, but Monster has already rejected that counter. Glowstick has since called for a boycott.
Here are the overreaching settlement terms that #MonsterEnergy sent me. Basically, it demands that in exchange for allowing us to use the name "Monsters & Mortals", we agree to never name any other game any variation of the word "Monster". #indiegamedev #gamedev #ign #kotaku pic.twitter.com/YyXntK7PLn
— Vincent Livings (@VincentLivings) March 29, 2023