Dark Deception: Monsters & Mortals studio reportedly menaced by energy drink lawyers

Monsters & Mortals

“Monster Energy’s lawyers are coming after us,” claims the developer of Dark Deception: Monsters & Mortals.


Multiplayer horror outing Dark Deception: Monsters & Mortals has had a legal claim made against it by fizzy drink vendor Monster Energy. That’s according to the game’s designer (and Glowstick Entertainment founder) Vincent Livings.

In a Twitter thread first reported by Eurogamer, Livings writes that “Monster Energy’s lawyers are coming after us right now” because “they claim that our game is confusingly similar to their energy drink.”

Livings then published a screenshot of the terms laid out by Monster Energy’s legal team. Amid the various demands – “Applicant shall not use or seek to register any trademark or mark that includes the word MONSTER” – there’s one standout. The lawyers’ main contention, it seems, is that the logo designed for Dark Deception logo is “confusingly similar” to Monster Energy’s own branding. “Applicant shall revise its current design to comply with these terms and send to MEC for approval.”

Livings clearly hasn’t been cowed by the situation so far. “It’s well known that @MonsterEnergy is a notorious trademark troll,” Livings writes. “Unfortunately, they’re at it again. For a company that likes to target their drinks at gamers, they also like to try to bully & bankrupt game studios with lengthy high dollar litigation.”

He then adds that, “Rather than roll over, I’m going to fight them in court.”

As both Livings and Eurogamer point out, Monster Energy has form when it comes to legal disputes over branding. In 2020, it was reported that Ubisoft changed the name of its then-in-development RPG Gods and Monsters to Immortals: Fenyx Rising following a legal challenge from Monster Energy. Ubisoft later insisted that the name change was made for creative reasons.

At any rate, exactly how anyone could confuse a video game with a can of fizzy pop hasn’t been established. Nor does Monster Energy seem particularly consistent in its claims; as others have pointed out, the word ‘Monster’ and its derivatives are in everyday use. As far as we can tell, the company’s lawyers haven’t yet taken umbrage with, say, Pixar’s Monsters Inc, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, or REM’s 1994 album, Monster.

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