Notch challenges Bethesda to Quake 3 duel over 'Scrolls' legal dispute

There's nothing particularly funny about Markus “Notch” Persson's battle with Bethesda's (read: ZeniMax's) lawyers over the alleged misuse of the name 'Scrolls' for Mojang Studios' next game, however there is something refreshingly awesome about his proposed solution. Hoping to end the dispute as quickly and honorably as possible, the Minecraft creator today challenged Bethesda to a Quake 3 duel, the outcome of which will determine if the trademark case goes to court or if it dies in the arena. And yes, he's completely serious.

“Remember that scene in Game of Thrones where Tyrion chose a trial by battle in the Eyrie? Well, let’s do that instead! I challenge Bethesda to a game of Quake 3. Three of our best warriors against three of your best warriors. We select one level, you select the other, we randomize the order. 20 minute matches, highest total frag count per team across both levels wins,” wrote Persson on his blog, explaining, “If we win, you drop the lawsuit. If you win, we will change the name of Scrolls to something you’re fine with.”

The lawsuit stems from ZeniMax's concern that using the word 'Scrolls' in the title for Mojang's upcoming card-based battle game will confuse fans of Bethesda's Elder Scrolls series. Naturally, there's next to zero chance Persson's proposal will fly, however it does show his willingness to be reasonable and not have this issue become larger than it needs to be. Further demonstrating his desire to make peace, Perssons promises: “Regardless of the outcome, we could still have a small text somewhere saying our game is not related to your game series in any way, if you wish.”

“I am serious, by the way,” he added.

We're sure he is; and in the extremely narrow chance this happens, you can bet we'll be cheering on Team Notch from the virtual sidelines

Aug 17, 2011




  • andrewmajkut - August 21, 2011 10:47 a.m.

    A lot of people are talking smack about Bethesda, but in reality isn't it ZeniMax that's suing Mojang, and not Bethesda? There IS a difference, you know. If this actually goes to court (which it unfortunately will), there is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that Mojang will win. There is hardly a case here (actually, there is NO case.)
  • monicleman - August 18, 2011 9:45 p.m.

    Notch is a bad ass and we all could learn from his method of negotiation.
  • copedude - August 18, 2011 8:21 p.m.

    For people wondering why Bethesda (and other big companies for that matter) sue over small copyright infringements such as this is because if they don't protect every single one of their little words then it sets legal precedent. For example lets say they never sued Notch for "Scrolls", then when they do sue someone for naming their game "The Ender Scrolls: Skymorrow" the defendants could argue (probably successfully) that "You didn't have a problem with Notch using Scrolls, so you lose the right to Have a problem with our name" I know it's stupid but that's how copyright law works.
  • Leweenie - August 18, 2011 5:10 p.m.

    I've never played Minecraft but I love Morrowind and Oblivion(except the bugs and crashes). Still, I now have more respect for Notch than Bethesda(I still like them a little bit).
  • Jesse1066 - August 18, 2011 2:25 p.m.

    Notch is awesome. Also, speaking of Q3: Arena, why didn't Bethesda sue Id for using the word arena? The Elder Scrolls: Arena came out first, and Zenimax didn't buy Id until 2009.
  • Darkhawk - August 18, 2011 1 p.m.

    > (Excuse the language, kids) FUCK Corporate assholes!
  • NightAce84 - August 18, 2011 11:27 a.m.

    This is awesome as awesome as when Notch tweeted that the full name of "Scrolls" will be entitled "The Ender Scrolls". Also, I'm sure Todd Howard has nothing to do with this. Both of them are very good friends and met up for an interview a few months ago. Highly, highly respect them both, by the way.
  • reach110 - August 18, 2011 4:08 a.m.

    It's all about money. Apparently they're demanding a ton of cash up front before there's even any kind of action taken. It's just Bethesda wanting to screw over the newcomer who's cleaning house. It's always. about. the. damn. money.
  • ZigzMagoo - August 18, 2011 4:04 a.m.

    @Linktoreality I didn't realise that. Regardless, they have a case. Whether they win or not doesn't really matter. They won't win any money from it, and people who were going to get Scrolls will get it anyways. Its not like its getting any advertisement
  • mockraven - August 18, 2011 2:54 a.m.

    As most people have pointed out already, it's pretty hard to confuse "Scrolls" with "The Elder Scrolls" since one is a single-word game name and the other is a 3-word series name which is hardly ever used in conversation and typically printed in little letters. This is truly just pettiness on the plantiff's part. The next thing you know, people will be suing each other for using words like "The" or "A" in their titles. As for the duel request, that's pretty cool but I doubt ZeniMax/Bethseda (or whoever) will agree to it. One company has a huge wad of cash they can afford to throw away over petty things while the other might have a financial handicap. It's possible the bigger company will turn down the duel request and try to muscle the other into submission.
  • Hullonotna - August 18, 2011 midnight

    Notch your my hero. Now if only politics could be solved the same way :)
  • D0CCON - August 17, 2011 11:53 p.m.

    I think I'm the only one of my friends who knows it as Elder Scrolls anyways. I'll ask them are they getting TES5. They'll reply with huh? I'll say it's the sequel to 4, they'll still say huh, I'll say it's the sequel to Oblivion and then they get it.
  • Linktoreality - August 17, 2011 11:46 p.m.

    @ZigzMagoo Didn't Notch push the release to a week later for precisely that reason? Pretty sure it's the 18th instead of the 11th now. Either way, Minecraft =/= Scrolls, so that's not a very good excuse.
  • TheHolyHandGrenade - August 17, 2011 11:44 p.m.

    Amazing, simply amazing
  • Robx - August 17, 2011 11:04 p.m.

    @raptorak I had really forgotten it was called Call of Duty anyway - wasn't it called World at War, Modern Warfare, Black Ops? Idiocy...
  • Bobishungry - August 17, 2011 10:51 p.m.

    They should sell tickets to watch them play live!
  • raptorak - August 17, 2011 10:46 p.m.

    I had really forgotten it was called Elder Scrolls anyway - wasn't it called Morrorwind, Oblivion, Skyrim? Idiocy...
  • shadowreaper72 - August 17, 2011 10:36 p.m.

    Wow, that is an awesome proposal from Notch. Unfortuantely I seriously doubt Bethesda will take such a bet however. Really there shouldnt be a conflict going on between these two in the first place. Its Scrolls not Elder Scroll Bethesda! Do you honestly think we're so fucking stupid that if Scrolls was to keep the name we would'nt know the fucking difference. As much as I like Bethesda, they are really acting complete assholes right now.
  • CraigSpanner - August 17, 2011 10:26 p.m.

    I really could care less about this. I just want to see something new in Minecraft. Notch spends so much time doing other shit, why does he even have staff?
  • QWERTYCommander - August 17, 2011 10:08 p.m.

    GR, why don't you just put ZeniMax in the title. Seriously, putting "Bethesda" in the title is just outright misleading, and for some reason everyone is doing it when reporting this subject. Now everyone's getting mad at Bethesda for something they didn't do.

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