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That's one reason to delay a game.
January 26, 2023
1 Min Read
Fntastic's The Day Before has been delisted on Steam, simply for being titled The Day Before.
The zombie survival MMO is one of the platform's most wishlisted games, and its developer explained that a trademark for the game's title was filed before its announcement in 2021. Looking at the trademark website USPTO, The Day Before was registered on January 25, 2021 by one Sun Jae Lee, and had it approved in August 2022.
"A private individual...filled out an application before us to register the trademark The Day Before in the United States," wrote Fntastic. It claimed that it wasn't aware of the trademark prior to announcing the game, and only became aware when the anonymous individual filed a complaint and a request to speak with the studio.
On the USPTO website, Jae Lee's trademark for The Day Before covers "cover the categories of downloadable electronic publications," including online games, which Fntastic's game falls into.
The developer explained that it would contact Jae Lee and "solve everything," but the trademark issues have resulted in The Day Before being delayed to November 10. However, some outlets such as Kotaku have noted that the game's status as a real product in development may be shaky to begin with.
Back in 2015, attorney Stephen McArthur argued for why it's best to register a game's trademark right away, which you can read here.
Update: This post has been updated to clarify that the game developer is Fntastic, not Fnatic as previously written. We regret the error.
About the Author(s)
Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com
A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.
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