Business news Take-Two takes on It Takes Two
The publisher of Grand Theft Auto has taken on the game of Josef Fares, and Hazelight is forced to give up the brand …
Take-Two Interactive opposed the registration of the mark It Takes Two, because its name would be “too close” to the publisher’s name shortly after the game launched in March. We now learn thanks to Eurogamer than it’s done, Hazelight had to abandon the brand …
Is the It Takes Two franchise already dead?
It Takes Two is one of the big critical successes, both in the press and among players, this year, as shown by the test of 87 which gave it a score of 18/20. The co-op game was even elected best multiplayer game of the year at the Golden Joystick Awards. Unfortunately, the franchise could already be over … Indeed, Hazelight, the studio founded by Josef Fares and the originator of the title, confirmed in an official notice of abandonment issued by the USPTO (the United States Patent and Trademark Office), relinquish ownership of that name.
This therefore means that a potential sequel is already in jeopardy : either it can exist under another name, which risks losing some of the game’s fans who do not necessarily follow the video game news and will not recognize their game when the sequel comes out; or it can exist under the same name, but here we are in the dark. Indeed, Hazelight says she still hopes for a resolution of this case that does not force them to change their name, but what will it cost them? Worse, if the case drags on and does not turn on the side of amicable resolution, what can that mean for the game It Takes Two, which has already been released?
Take-Two, aggressive and procedural editor
What makes noise about this case is not just the idea of this David vs. Goliath fight. Is that Goliath is not at his first attempt. Indeed, Take-Two – editor at the market capitalization of $ 18 billion – has followed procedures of this kind in recent years. The records of the USPTO clearly show that Take-Two makes extensive use of complaints of this type.
Take-Two owns Rockstar, and therefore has changed the name of a brand of books dedicated to live music named Think Like A Rockstar, of a Florida ax throwing club baptized Rockstar Ax Throwing, tattoo artists, restaurants, etc … In China, Take-Two made abandon the name of a clothing brand baptized Max Fayne. And it goes even further: as “rockstar“, words as banal as”civilization” Where “mafia“, because they are the names of Take-Two game franchises, are targeted by the publisher in brands of different companies. We really hope the publisher doesn’t tackle their investigative game in the 1940s, or we risk not being able to use the name of a color in French anymore !
What is especially obvious is that the publisher Take-Two only attacks smaller than him. As pointed out Forbes, Pepsi has been selling its Rockstar energy drink brand for a while now without ever having been worried by the publisher of GTA. Lawyer Richard Hoeg explains in his podcast dedicated to the subject than Take-Two is clearly much more aggressive and procedural than the other editors with regard to patents and brand names:
If you look at the Trial and Appeal Board, you can see that Take-Two has filed extension requests for at least 25 disputes in the last three months. The majority of other video game companies must go back six or seven years to reach such a number. Take-Two is really very aggressive.
Finally, Forbes underlines a last point which will not prove the editor right: it is not at all the same “taking two“. “Take-two“refers to the jargon of the cinema, it is the”Take two“, which metaphorically can also mean “we take back“, in life in general. “It Takes Two“is to be taken in the first degree, that means”it takes two“, in the case of the game we are talking about players, because it is a cooperative game.
As a reminder, It Takes Two is in competition to become the Game of the Year of the Game Awards, which will take place on the night of December 9 to 10.