3D Realms issued a statement about a trademark lawsuit that was filed by the rock band Iron Maiden over the game Ion Maiden, which they claimed allegedly infringing on a number of items. The rock band is asking for $2 million in compensation.
The story was picked up by music website Blabber Mouth, which reported that the suit alleges the game could create “confusion among consumers” and that the game is almost identical to the music band.
The suit states…
“Defendant’s Ion Maiden name is nearly identical to the IRON MAIDEN trademark in appearance, sound and overall commercial impression. Defendant also uses the Ion Maiden name to sell merchandise including shirts and mouse pads, […]
“Defendant’s misappropriation and use of a virtually identical imitation of the IRON MAIDEN trademark creates a likelihood of confusion among consumers. Customers who view Defendant’s video game and merchandise are likely to believe that IRON MAIDEN is somehow affiliated with Defendant. The results of searches for Ion Maiden merchandise, t-shirts, posters and mouse pads relate to IRON MAIDEN.”
3D Realms was tipped off to the news and made a response to the allegations of trademark infringement via Twitter on May 30th, 2019.
Across a series of tweets they explained the situation and noted that they’ll make the necessary decisions at the appropriate time.
… (2/4) Shelly Harrison, originally debuting in 2016’s Bombshell, is based on their musician Steve Harris; our skull bomb icon found in-game is based on their skeleton mascot Eddie; our logo in itself is based on theirs; and other frivolous claims anyone who has played…
— 3D Realms (@3DRealms) May 30, 2019
(4/4)… lawsuit and will make any necessary decisions at the appropriate time.
Regardless, everyone continues to work diligently on Ion Maiden to deliver the best possible experience later this year.
— 3D Realms (@3DRealms) May 30, 2019
The reference to Shelly “Bombshell” Harrison being similar to musician Steve Harris is in fact mentioned in the suit that Blabber Mouth quote.
The actual quote insinuates that Shelly is a gender-swap of Steve…
“That evidence includes the fact that Defendant has exhibited its intent to trade off on the IRON MAIDEN mark by adopting Shelly Harrison as the name of its main character which is an attempt to copy the name of Steve Harris, an IRON MAIDEN founder and primary songwriter; adopting a similar steel cut font for its Ion Maiden name knowing that IRON MAIDEN also uses a steel cut font for its iconic IRON MAIDEN mark; creating a video game that has the same look and feel as the IRON MAIDEN video game, ‘Legacy Of The Beast’; and choosing to use its Ion Maiden Yellow Bomb emoji in its Ion Maiden video game and merchandise which is graphically similar to IRON MAIDEN’s Eddie character who appears in all of IRON MAIDEN’s video games and virtually all of IRON MAIDEN’s compact disc covers, t-shirts and other merchandise.”
For those of you unfamiliar, Ion Maiden is a first-person shooter designed on the Build Engine by Voidpoint. The first-person shooter is a prequel to the isometric shooter Bombshell. The appeal of the shooter is that it hearkens back to the gameplay stylings of games like Duke Nukem 3D. You can check out the gameplay preview below courtesy of YouTuber pagb666
While the names are definitely similar, it’s highly unlikely that most gamers would confuse the two as being connected or part of the same trademark.
However, in today’s highly litigious society this kind of lawsuit is to be expected.
As for Ion Maiden, the game has been in Early Access on Steam since February of 2018. The game is scheduled to graduate from Early Access and launch on Nintendo Switch, PS4, and Xbox One as well.
You can pick up a digital copy of the Early Access version from the Steam store for $19.99. Depending on how the lawsuit turns out it might be best to grab it now just in case it gets pulled or blocked or DMCA’d for a stupid reason.
(Thanks for the news tips Mad Lucied and Gameplay)