Top of the morning to ya! After much thought, deliberation and bargaining, we have decided to drop the word DROID from the title of our current project and agreed on a new title: “Stop the XOID!”
To catch up on all the back-story of how this game came to life see here. Basically, I decided to create a game from an idea that my 5yr old (J) came up with. I knew that the path forward would be fraught with peril and that putting a kid in charge of designing a game concept would be very challenging. One of the main concepts I have been trying to explain to him is originality, and with that, we have had one looming issue.
For a couple of months I would listen to J lay out the idea for this game. You fight off little alien robot creatures in a series of underground bunkers and try to defend your base. Along with his description of the game was the pitch for the title “Stop the Droid!” When I first heard the title, I liked it immediately, and thought it would work. I had no idea about the Lucas Arts Trademarks on DROID and the many variants thereof. I had heard about the mark DROID alone being licensed by Verizon, but I really didn’t know all the details of how it happened and was astonished to find out that usage of the word could be problematic for us. Here is a reddit post about it.
It is totally amazing to me that the first usage of the word DROID was in the original Star Wars movie from 1977. The word Droid is ubiquitous in popular culture. Could it really not have existed in writing in or film prior to 1977!? After about a months worth of research I have been unable to disprove by finding any other usage of the word prior to 1977. The purpose of a trademark is to protect a brand from being used in a way that might cause confusion among consumers. DROID is apparently an original and novel creation by Lucas Arts and for this reason we have decided to abandon all references to the word in the title and in the game.
We have decided to use ‘XOID’ as the name of the antagonist alien species.
XOID (pronounced zoid): A bio-mechanical race of robot-like creatures who scour the galaxy for planets to strip-mine for resources.