Earlier this week, Trion announced that they were changing the name of the most recent RIFT expansion Starfall Prophecy in order to avoid confusion with an educational children’s charity that also used “Starfall” in its name. As it turns out, the whole thing wasn’t quite as benevolent as Trion made it sound in the Producer’s Letter. As Massively OP discovered (via a tip from one of their readers) the change was brought on by a lawsuit.
According to the tip, Starfall Education Foundation filed a trademark suit against Trion Worlds in March. The suit was settled out of court at the end of April and Trion elected to change the name. Massively OP’s Bree Royce contacted Trion regarding this new information, asking if the suit was indeed what instigated the change. The response from Scott Hartsman verified it.
“Yep, that was indeed how we became acquainted. Sure, a phone call would have worked too, but they’re good people doing good work and I felt this was the right thing to do. This weekend’s promo was already scheduled – our changing the name just gave it an easy theme. Everyone wins.”
As noted in the response, Bree also inquired as to whether the free expansion promotion was part of the settlement.
Some have speculated as to why Trion would roll over so easily when it would be fairly difficult for anyone to confuse a video game expansion with an educational charity — meaning they believe Trion could have won had they gone to court. One answer is that while that may indeed be the case, the company would have simply ended up looking bad for fighting with such an organization. This way, they made a fairly simple change and they don’t end up being known as “those guys that hate kids.”