Redfall is the setting of the upcoming The Elder Scrolls 6. Redfall is also a prior trademark by best-selling author Jay Falconer. Thus, the writer has started a legal quarrel against Bethesda’s parent company, ZeniMax Media.
ZeniMax made the trademark application for the name “Redfall” on mid-2018. There’s a high chance it will be the official subtitle of the 6th entry of the series.
Could the case stop The Elder Scrolls 6?
Hay Falconer’s case could extend well into 2020. Potentially, it could stop Bethesda from using the name “Redfall” in the trailers, previews, title, and whatever else they may have planned.
However, it’s worth noting Falconer cannot stop Bethesda finishing and distributing the game. This is already a reality, although there’s no official release date for the title yet. Probably, the game is going straight for next-gen consoles.
Gaming portal GamesRadar noted the dates of conferences, hearings, and disclosures that will run as of March 2019 and August 20, 2020. It means the trial will extend for about a year and a half.
The site noted there wouldn’t be any trial court publishers as Falconer’s publisher, BookBreeze, is opposing the application, not claiming trademark inflictions.
I should also state that The Elder Scrolls 6 doesn’t have a proper title yet. Or, at least, Bethesda hasn’t announced it.
All in all, the dispute could push the game back to 2021.
Why is Falconer suing Bethesda?
Falconer claimes his lawyers approached ZeniMax to work the licensing deal to use the Redfall name. However, they were ignored. So far, Falconer has written two books in the Redfall series so far.
Jay Falconer said on Twitter:
@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.
The trademark dispute could potentially disrupt the schedule of the game studio. There’s not even a hint about a release year for the title, let alone a release date.
The Elder Scrolls 6 is likely very far away, trademark problems or not. Even more, Bethesda will have to consider changing the name of the fictional land.
ZeniMax Media has not made a statement about the trademark document.
The original Redfall
Jay Falconer’s Redfall has nothing to with a magical, medieval land filled with dragons. Instead, it’s a dystopian world where former Special Ops Simon Redfall rebuilds his life after losing everything.
Falconer is not trying to stop the game nor get any money from developers. He’s trying to protect his “ability” to sells his books.
In summary, the dispute is only for the trademark name. On his webpage, the author states he’s looking forward to chatting with the company. He believes the developers filed for a trademark not knowing Falconeer already developed a brand with the same name.
Having two brands with the same name could difficult Falconer’s ability to keep selling in developing the Redfall series. Otherwise, Falconer is already a best-selling author for its Bunker series.