Stoic, developer of The Banner Saga, has revealed that it cannot develop a sequel due to King blocking its rights to the series’ title.
“We won’t make a viking saga without the word Saga, and we don’t appreciate anyone telling us we can’t,” Stoic said. “King.com claims they’re not attempting to prevent us from using The Banner Saga, and yet their legal opposition to our trademark filing remains. We’re humbled by the outpouring of support and honoured to have others stand with us for the right to their own Saga. We just want to make great games.”
Stoic’s Alex Thomas told Polygon today that the studio filed for a trademark for the game’s title before King filed its own trademark for the word ‘saga’. “They’ve blocked our trademark and extended the deadline for the opposition twice so that we are unable to have the rights to the name,” he said, in part. “Essentially, we are not allowed to own the name ‘The Banner Saga’ for our game about a viking epic, because King.com says they have claimed rights to the noun ‘saga,’ which means ‘a viking epic,’ forever more in the realm of games.”
King, the company behind the Candy Crush Saga, also issued a statement saying that it doesn’t believe Stoic is trying to build on King’s brand of content, “However, like any prudent company, we need to take all appropriate steps to protect our IP, both now and in the future.”
“In this case, that means preserving our ability to enforce our rights in cases where other developers may try to use the Saga mark in a way which infringes our IP and rights and causes player confusion. If we had not opposed Banner Saga’s trademark application, it would be much easier for real copy cats to argue that their use of ‘Saga’ was legitimate.”