Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Random Shots: I've Been Thinking About The Scrolls Thing

  • What "Scrolls" thing? Educate yourself, friend.

  • If your clicky-thingy isn't working, the gist is that ZeniMax Media, parent company of Bethesda Softworks, the publishers of The Elder Scrolls games, decided that they own the word "Scroll". This is pertinent because Mojang AB, the company headed by Notch, creator of Minecraft, is making a game called Scrolls. There would obviously be so much confusion between a first person action oriented immersive role playing simulation and a card game that Mojang has no choice but to change their name.

  • I agree with ZeniMax.

  • Trademark/patent/copyright law is so messed up right now as to be a joke, so I'm not supporting ZeniMax based on those grounds. Here is the real reason:

  • Scrolls is a damn stupid, boring name. Elder Scrolls is doubly so. Triply if you include The.

  • There you have it. Notch, ZeniMax is doing you a favor. Get a better name and leave the lame for the companies who deserve it.

  • Aside: This would have been a News Filter post if I hadn't written it five days after the fact. I'm not feeling all that well (ah, babies and their new germs) but I'll try to keep up with the posting here. Have a great day, friends.

© 2011 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.


  1. From a 'I hate everything Minecraft' point of view I think this is great.

    In all seriousness I can see why Bethesda would do this. I like probably many others often refer to The Elder Scrolls simply as Scrolls. I think it's a petty lawsuit but it's understandable.

    Now if only they could rid the world of Minecraft.

  2. "I like probably many others often refer to The Elder Scrolls simply as Scrolls."

    I beg to differ. I have never referred to that series as Scrolls, or even Elder Scrolls. In fact, if I mentioned Elder Scrolls to most of my friends who have played and enjoyed the games, they would have no idea what I'm talking about. They refer to them as Morrowind and Oblivion respectively.

    And just in a in-game context, I've played both of those extensively and still have only a vague idea of what the Elder Scrolls are in the game world.

    But yeah. Scrolls is kind of boring. I wouldn't suggest the name, but I think it will hold up in court. The big loss for the guy would be the money to fight it though, so it would probably be in everyone's best interest to just change it.

  3. @ Jayedub - I can see why ZeniMax would be so protective. But I'm with Straw Fellow, I've never heard of anyone refer to the series as a whole, much less truncating it that far. (I must be hanging out with the wrong people to do so.) The branding lays so heavy on the individual title in almost every case. Back in the day, most RPG franchises hit the whole Roman numeral thing really hard (Ultima 6, Might & Magic 7, Wizardy 8) so much so that it would be difficult to remember the titles. Just look at the hype for Skyrim. Elder Scrolls is bearly mentioned.

    @ Straw Fellow - I thought about posting a poll to see how many people actually no what the Elder Scrolls are in the games. I don't, off the top of my head. I'd have to look it up.

  4. I guess it depends on the kind of circles you travel in. I've never referred to the games simply as "Scrolls" but I have seen not-an-insignificant number of others on RPG or general gaming forums do so.

    The lawsuit is still dumb though. I agree, Notch can and should come up with something so much better.

  5. @ MMOGC - So weird! I've never seen that before you and Jayedub brought it up. You learn something new every day.