We’re a long ways away from The Elder Scrolls VI, but the wait could potentially be a little longer. A Redfall trademark was filed by Zenimax in September of last year, but said trademark is currently being disputed by an author. This dispute could potentially push back the release of The Elder Scrolls VI depending on how it plays out unless a settlement is reached or the developers change the game’s name.
What is Redfall exactly? In the context of The Elder Scrolls, no one knows. The Redguard come from Hammerfell and Redfall isn’t one of the provinces of Cyrodil, so it seems like this is more a thematic name than anything else. If it’s not the name of a place, it would certainly be breaking with tradition—Daggerfall, Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim are all the names of places in the universe of The Elder Scrolls. It could, of course, be a brand-new location that we haven’t yet seen.
The issues surrounding the Redfall trademark have come to light thanks to author Jay J. Falconer. Mr. Falconer is the man behind the Redfall series of post-apocalyptic books, and now you can see where there might be a problem with the whole Redfall trademark thing. Mr. Falconer tweeted to GamesRadar about this subject:
@zoe_dels Your Redfall Article. My lawyers made attempts to contact gaming company to work out a simple licensing deal for them to use my Redfall name. They ignored me every time. Shame. Left me no choice. All could have been avoided. Just call my attorneys back.
— Jay Falconer, Author (@JayJFalconer) February 20, 2019
Trademark law can be a real pain in the butt. Unlike copyrights, it is actually possible to lose your trademark should you fail to vigorously defend it. This may have been one of the motivations behind the Redfall trademark dispute that is now ongoing.
This isn’t the first time Bethesda got caught up in a dispute with Mojang’s now-defunct card game Scrolls, a matter that was eventually settled to the satisfaction of both parties. Unfortunately, it seems like Bethesda and Zenimax are going to have to deal with someone who is a little less friendly to them than Notch was about the whole affair. Let’s hope this doesn’t result in some kind of delay for the next Elder Scrolls game—the wait is going to be bad enough as it is.
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What do you think of the dispute over the Redfall trademark? How do you think the situation will play out? Let us know in the comments below!