The recently funded Kickstarter game, Terrible Things, comes with the tagline “The party game where everyone loses”. Apparently some of those losers are the game designers themselves, as the euphoria of funding their project was squashed by a cease and desist letter telling them they must change the name of their game.
The letter came from a law firm representing Quinn and Sherry, creators of The Game of Things, a game published by the Parker Brothers division of Hasbro. You can read the letter in an update from the game’s creators, but the gist of it is that they believe the public will become confused by multiple games with the word “things” in their titles and that The Game of Things owns the trademark of games with “things” in the title. Never mind there have been a dozen or so games with the word “things” in their titles, both before and after the release of The Game of Things – swift reaction from the gaming community is that this action is not only silly, but bullying, as well.
Terrible Things, while also a card game, is a party game for adults. It has more in common with Cards Against Humanity and the multiple mechanics of another Hasbro game, Cranium, than it does The Game of Things. While it is the game creators’ right to protect their brand, as they claim on their Facebook page, it’s also within the rights of the game buying community, those who play and recommend games, to boycott accordingly, as many are calling for this morning.
One thing is for certain, Terrible Things or Stuff or whatever it ends up being called, just got a healthy dose of publicity.