‘The Day Before’ To Become ‘Dayworld’ After Trademark Opposition From Calendar App Maker
from the into-the-fire dept
I swear, with some of the trademark stories we cover, it ends up feeling like we should have Yakety Sax playing on loop in the background for the readers. That’s certainly my sense when it comes to The Day Before‘s trademark struggles as of late.
Where to start? Well, let’s start with the basics: is developer FNTASTIC actually making a real game? Who knows! And that’s a pretty big issue as we dive into the rest of this. You can go see some of the concerns that have been expressed for yourself, but this game has gone from slick trailer to unimpressive gameplay trailer over several years, gets its funding from a Russian publisher that hasn’t produced anything remotely on the scale of this game, and has a release date that’s pushed back more than offensive lineman on a run play. And the latest change in release date supposedly centered around a trademark dispute, all due to FNTASTIC doing an oopsie and forgetting to register the trademark for The Day Before back when the game development cycle first kicked off.
That’s where Techdirt started paying attention, because that trademark dispute was absolutely silly. A guy who made a mobile app that functions as a calendar complained to Steam and YouTube that this was trademark infringement, getting content on both platforms taken down. But as I said in my last post on the subject:
Assuming Fntastic’s game is actually real and worth fighting back on this, the game studio shouldn’t have much trouble getting a declaratory judgement if it seeks one.
This is fairly basic business stuff. But here’s the thing: FNTASTIC never sought that declaratory judgement. Instead, the company is believed to have decided to simply change the name of the game as a result of the dispute.
As noticed by Well Played (via PCGamesN), a company called MytonaFntastic—a joint venture between the developer and publisher Mytona—applied on August 3 for a trademark for “computer game software” called Dayworld. There’s nothing in the filing that indicates specifically that Dayworld is connected to The Day Before, but given that Fntastic has previously said that its trademark issues were being handled by MytonaFntastic, it’s a reasonable assumption to make.
But if FNTASTIC was scared off of its first chosen name for its opus by a trademark holder from a tangentially related, at best, marketplace, then it appears to be potentially jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire.
The potentially sticky bit is that Dayworld is also the name of a series of novels (a trilogy and a prequel) by Hugo Award-winning sci-fi author Philip José Farmer. Publisher Open Road Media still offers the trilogy for sale through various digital retailers, and it’s not inconceivable that it could cause more headaches for Fntastic if it decides to launch its own dispute over the new name.
There’s been no official word from Fntastic about a potential name change, which is especially interesting because there’s also been no update on the planned release date. Fantastic said in January, when The Day Before was released from Steam, that it had decided to delay the launch from March 1 to November 10, and there’s been no update since—that remains the on-record launch date.
Yup. If you’re of the mind to look for shady dealings due to the history of this company and this specific game, you almost have to wonder if FNTASTIC isn’t essentially begging for more trademark trouble simply as an excuse to push the release date back again at the last minute. Now, to be clear, I believe any trademark issues between the publisher of those novels and FNTASTIC would be even sillier than the calendar app issue, given that books and video games aren’t the same thing… but we saw how that worked out with the first name of the game.
I’m going to be keeping a close eye on this. It will be quite interesting to see exactly what happens if FNTASTIC changes the name and the book publisher complains. If the company uses that as a reason to delay the game’s release date further, well, that would be telling.
Filed Under: dayworld, the day before, trademark
Companies: fntastic, mytona