Minecraft Wants to Settle Gaming Lawsuit with 'Quake 3' Duel?

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on August 19, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Gamers, if you haven't heard of the Minecraft Quake duel, listen up.

In the face of threatened legal action by Bethesda Softworks, Notch, developer of indie building game Minecraft, has challenged the company to an epic Quake 3 battle--a delightfully appropriate way of settling Bethesda's trademark infringement complaints.

And proof that some disputes are better resolved through virtual feats of strength.

As a bit of pre-duel background, last year, Minecraft's developer applied to trademark the word "scrolls", which is the intended name of an upcoming game.

According to Notch's blog, Bethesda, which owns the RPG series The Elder Scrolls, got wind of this, and sent a cease and desist letter, ordering him to stop using the word, asking for money, and threatening to sue.

Like any true gamer, he spent at least part of his recent honeymoon thinking about his computer, in turn causing him to post the following:

I challenge Bethesda to a game of Quake 3. Three of our best warriors against three of your best warriors. We select one level, you select the other, we randomize the order. 20 minute matches, highest total frag count per team across both levels wins.

If we win, you drop the lawsuit.

If you win, we will change the name of Scrolls to something you're fine with.

Regardless of the outcome, we could still have a small text somewhere saying our game is not related to your game series in any way, if you wish.

And thus, the Minecraft Quake duel was born, and strangely enough, it is a completely legal, and even responsible, way of settling a potential lawsuit--even though frag counts have yet to make their way into the legal lexicon.

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