A spooky graffiti-covered room in horror game Madison

Horror Game Madison Delayed Over Trademark Dispute

December 8, 2021

By: Joseph Allen

 
 

An ongoing trademark dispute has resulted in a Madison delay. The horror game now has no release window as developer Alexis Di Stefano has been told he must change his studio's name, despite his protestations that the claim is "objectively not true".

What is the reason for this Madison delay?

In a lengthy image post on Twitter, Di Stefano explains the reason behind the Madison delay. He says that when gearing up for the release of Madison, he decided to name his publishing company Nosebleed Games, after the nosebleeds from which he frequently suffers as well as his love for horror. Di Stefano says he performed trademark checks, domain name availability, and consultancy over the name, and "everything was OK, so I moved forward". Shortly after doing so, however, Di Stefano was contacted by an indie company he doesn't name in the post with a trademark dispute. Supposedly, his company's name was "confusing and trouble-causing" to this studio.

 

A corridor featuring a ghostly presence in Madison
Madison was due to launch in January next year, but it's been indefinitely delayed due to a trademark dispute.

Di Stefano says he tried to work with the indie company in question, replying to their letters promptly, but "got no answer". As a result, and given time pressures in releasing Madison, the developer says he's changing the name of his company from Nosebleed Games with immediate effect. The new name he's opted for is "Bloodious Games", which is now the name of his Twitter account too, although the Steam page for Madison still lists the developer as Nosebleed Games. Unfortunately, Di Stefano goes on to say that Madison is "delayed until further notice", with the release date now "bound" to paperwork involving the company's name change. On the bright side, Di Stefano does say there's some good Madison-related news coming for console gamers, so you'll have to stay tuned for that.

Why was Di Stefano's trademark disputed?

Trademark disputes are fairly common in the gaming world. Just last week, It Takes Two creator Josef Fares was slapped with a trademark notice by Rockstar's parent company Take-Two Interactive, forcing the studio to abandon its It Takes Two trademark. In a similar fashion, earlier this year, a trademark dispute emerged between Activision and indie dev Randy Ficker's Warzone browser game. This is a fairly common way for developers and publishers to battle over their intellectual property.

 
 
Cody and May in It Takes Two
Indie co-op platformer It Takes Two was also the victim of a trademark dispute earlier this month.

We'll have to wait and see what the future holds for Madison. In the meantime, you can head over to the game's Steam page and wishlist it right now. While we don't have a new release date for the game, Di Stefano says he's been told the company's name change "can't take more than a few weeks", so it'll likely be a little while before we hear more about this. Naturally, we'll bring you more on this as soon as we get it.

Are you disappointed by this Madison delay? Let us know in the comments below!