Action roguelike Wasteland Kings has been renamed as Nuclear Throne after inXile Entertainment worried people would think it was part of the Wasteland franchise.
Vlambeer's Rami Ismail broke the name change news during a developer session at EGX over the weekend (you can watch it in the video below).
After Wasteland Kings, as it was then known, was announced during Sony's Gamescom press conference in August for release on PC, PlayStation 4 and Vita, inXile, developer of upcoming post-apocalyptic game Wasteland 2, got in touch to express concern that the title might have caused confusion.
"They explained that inXile CEO Brian Fargo and some of the team were worried about possible brand confusion and argued that Wasteland Kings could be misinterpreted as a title in the 'Wasteland' franchise," Ismail wrote on the Vlambeer website.
"We've been through a lot of trouble with people riding on things of ours, and we understand that American trademark law is pretty strict in that not defending a trademark weakens it. We realise that both games are set in a similar setting, that the names are similar and that inXile obviously felt the need to reach out. Although we aren't sure Wasteland Kings and Wasteland are confusing enough for this to be an issue, both us and inXile really don't want to spend development time on arguing over trivialities.
"Most of all, we appreciate that the first contact between us was by a normal employee, and not a lawyer. There was no extravagant Cease & Desist-letter, nor a threatening letter in an envelope labelled 'URGENT'. The e-mail we received was short, amicable and to-the-point. It was followed up by a quick conversation on Skype, in which we established that it would be the right thing for us to change the name.
"This is the way business should work nowadays: between people, not companies, not lawyers, not departments. There's so much paperwork between one and another that it's easy for people to forget that they're dealing with people instead of numbers and dossiers. Things can be friendly, rather than formal for the sake of formality."
Vlambeer, developer of Super Crate Box, Ridiculous Fishing and LUFTRAUSERS, has spent the last week trying to come up with an alternative name. Suggestions included Genetic Miracles Fish & The Gang Vault Runners, Trash Monarchs, Kingstarter and GUN GODZ: Legend of Yung Venuz: Originz (my favourite).
Now, "after almost 90 emails" it's decided on Nuclear Throne, a title "we felt not only resolved the trademark issue but is also more gender-inclusive".