The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt developer CD Projekt RED has issued a statement on Twitter that aims to allay concerns over its trademark of the word ‘Cyberpunk.’ Having been brought to the wider attention of fans by way of a post over on Reddit (via VG247), questions regarding the developer’s reasons for registering the trademark and what it planned to do with it immediately started to appear. Given that the word itself is widely used as a general term to reference an entire subgenre of film and other forms of entertainment – including video games – it’s a sound query to make, although CD Projekt has provided an equally valid answer.
For the unaware, CD Projekt’s next game is called Cyberpunk 2077, an RPG that’s based on the pen and paper tabletop game Cyberpunk. The trademark registration has, therefore, been submitted due to the studio wanting to protect itself against the “unlawful actions of unfair competitors,” rather than for nefarious or greedy means. In fact, the statement also explicitly states that the trademark won’t be used offensively and is purely being sought as a “self-defence measure only.”
As for what this means for people who want to use Cyberpunk in the name of their own game, CD Projekt says that assuming it’s not a blatant infringement, it’s highly unlikely to be contested.
The role of the trademark is only to protect words, signs used as titles of games, names of products, etc. If someone names their game: “JOHN SMITH: ADVENTURES IN A CYBERPUNK DISTOPIAN SOCIETY” or “20 SHORT VIDEO GAMES SET IN CYBERPUNK WORLDS” none of them should be treated as an infringement of our rights.”
Well, there you go – crisis averted. For the full detailed response, you can check out the statement below, although far more important than any of this is when does CD Projekt plan to release Cyberpunk 2077? Not even the smallest of hints has been given so far, although last we heard, its dev team is considerably larger than The Witcher 3‘s, so progress should hopefully be coming along nicely. Fingers crossed for a showing at E3.
Information about Cyberpunk trademark. pic.twitter.com/4mufRCp9Gf
— CD PROJEKT RED (@CDPROJEKTRED) April 6, 2017