Crowdfunded toys-to-life game Fabulous Beasts has been rechristened as Beasts of Balance after encountering trademark registration issues.
Developer Sensible Object previously revealed its run-ins with movie studio Warner Bros regarding potential confusion with the upcoming Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
“It’s a very complex situation,” the studio told Kickstarter backers in April. “On the one hand, we chose the name in the belief it was sufficiently different from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, based on sound legal advice at the time. […] Our view is that even to someone just glancing at the two properties, our game, branding, theme and content are unmistakably different.
“However, we have to be realistic and prudent. We have to consider what is important to us, and fighting lengthy and expensive legal battles with a hugely well-funded and litigious company isn’t high on our list of priorities… Put really simply, we could choose to spend our time and your money defending the name, or we could do what we promised you we’d do during the campaign – make and ship the game this year.”
Regarding its game’s new name, Sensible Object reassured fans that: “We explored the best options with lawyers so we could be sure it’s ours forever.”
It previously admitted that while it is “frustrated with the situation”, “we also see where Warner Bros is coming from”.
“They aren’t being malicious,” it added. “We just happen to be in the way of a juggernaut. They are (within the limits of being a giant company) giving us as much latitude as they can, and making a small contribution to the costs of changing the name that we will incur.”
The studio has updated its social media accounts and logo in line with the Beasts of Balance branding, ahead of the game’s launch.
Sensible Object’s legal troubles mark the second recent naming battle for a British indie developer, after Hello Games revealed the positive outcome of its three-year fight with broadcaster Sky to retain the No Man’s Sky title.