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.
2 thoughts on “Kickstarter Funded Terrible Things Game Being Forced to Change Name”
I am curious how that trademark was ever authorized in the first place. Next will be a trademark of any game which uses tokens?
The trademark is for “Things…” with an ellipsis. Without the ellipsis at the end, it’s not a valid trademark. Unfortunately, trademark cases are notoriously expensive and protracted affairs that usually end up with the victory going to the party that can afford to fight the longest. The general rule is “my lawyer can beat up your lawyer.”
Too bad the makers of “Things…” are complete jerks who want to destroy the value of their precious trademark by making the whole world hate them.
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