news\ Sep 30, 2013 at 7:00 pm

Wasteland Kings gets a new name: Nuclear Throne

Nuclear Throne

Vlambeer has changed the name of its next game, Wasteland Kings, to Nuclear Throne.

On its blog, the developer explained that InExile Entertainment, the company behind 1988's Wasteland and the Kickstarter for Wasteland 2, was concerned about possible brand confusion. Gamers could misinterpret Wasteland Kings as part of InExile's Wasteland series, it said.

"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," wrote Vlambeer co-founder Rami Ismail. "We realize 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."

Ismail said the studio appreciated InExile's approach to the matter, which played into its final decision. "There was no extravagant Cease & Desist-letter, nor a threatening letter in an envelope labeled ‘URGENT’," he said. "The email 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."

Vlambeer chose Nuclear Throne after "about 90 emails" and says the new title is "more gender-inclusive."

Nuclear Throne is an action "roguelike-like" about mutants in a postapocalyptic future. It's launching on PlayStation 4, PS Vita, and PC via Steam and Humble. PC owners can try out Early Access in October for $13.

Vlambeer has endured legal issues before, usually on the losing side of cloning with its titles Ridiculous Fishing and Luftrausers.

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Stephanie Carmichael Twitter: @wita
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