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Bethesda taking Minecraft creators to court

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Last month, Bethesda’s lawyers sent a cease and desist notice to Mojang, the independent studio behind Minecraft. The reason? They seem to think they own the word “Scrolls,” and that Mojang’s upcoming game by that name infringes on, and would cause consumer confusion over their own “Elder Scrolls” franchise.

Mojang head Markus “Notch” Persson responded by offering to settle it all over a game of Quake. that would have been awesome, but it’s unfortunately not happening.

According to Notch’s Twitter, it seems the case is headed to court. "The Scrolls case is going to court! Weee! :D," he said yesterday. Previously, Notch asserted that "If we’re going to court, I will fight this for as long as it takes. It’s a bogus claim."

“Just got a letter from Bethesta’s [sic] lawyers,” Persson said on Twitter when the original name claim surfaced. “They claim ‘Scrolls’ infringes on their trademark and everyone will confuse it with Skyrim.” “I still <3 Bethesda,” he said. “This is hopefully just lawyers being lawyers.”

For reference, they’re not similar games in the slightest; Skyrim is a huge, open-world RPG while Scrolls is a tournament-friendly fantasy Collectible Card Game. "At the core it’s a collectable card game, but it’s also a board game," Persson told RockPaperShotgun. "It’s combining the two. As you place your units or your buildings, or your siege weapons, you place it on the game board to play against your opponent. It’s not only about designing a proper collection of scrolls [cards], and the tactical aspect of that deck, but it’s also about the tactical sense of how to place your units on the game board."

Oh yeah, I can see where the confusion comes from, then.

Last Updated: September 28, 2011

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