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Steam's 'Most Hyped' Zombie Game Is In The Weirdest Legal Battle

Screenshot:  The Day Before
Screenshot: The Day Before

For a while now—or at least until last month, when it was delisted—The Day Before was one of the most hotly-anticipated games on Steam. That was until the wheels started falling off the project, with a delay announced, doubts raised over whether its gameplay footage was even real and now a legal dispute over the game’s name that comes from the unlikeliest of places.

The dispute itself isn’t new; developers Fntastic cited this as the reason the game was taken off Steam last month:

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Dear fans!

Right before the release, Steam blocked our game page at the request of a private individual, because of the name The Day Before.

As you know, our game was announced in January 2021. At the time of the announcement, The Day Before game trademark was available.

After the announcement of the game, the above mentioned individual filled out an application before us to register the game trademark The Day Before in the United States.

What’s next?

Previously, we were not aware of the existence of claims. We found out about this only on January 19, 2023, when we received a complaint from him and a request to contact him.

Now we find out all the circumstances of the incident and we will definitely solve everything.

But where the issue was initially believed to have been an individual filing for the trademark, Eurogamer has confirmed that the existing owner of the name The Day Before is actually...a Korean calendar app that first released in 2010.

The developer and its CEO Lee Sun-jae say they first registered the trademark in Korea all the way back in 2015, and also claim they currently hold trademark rights for the name in “Korea, the United States, China, Russia, Japan, Vietnam, and the European Union”. It should be noted that Lee’s application in the United States wasn’t granted until August 2022, supporting Fntastic’s claim that the trademark had been available in January 2021.

As we reported last month, the US trademark granted to the calendar app covers “artwork, artistic performances, music, show entertainment, leisure activity [and] online [games].”

“Knowing that the game of the same name was produced”, they say in a statement, “we are taking measures to protect trademark rights.”

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