Iron Maiden are suing video game company 3D Realms over the game Ion Maiden, which they describe as an “incredibly blatant” infringement on their trademark.
The lawsuit, which demands $2m (£1.58m) in damages, argues that the game’s title will cause “confusion among consumers”, “is nearly identical to the Iron Maiden trademark in appearance, sound and overall commercial impression”, and “is attempting to trade off on Iron Maiden’s notoriety”.
It argues that the name of the game’s protagonist Shelley Harrison is a play on Iron Maiden bassist Steve Harris, and that a skull icon is similar to the band’s mascot Eddie. It also argues the game is similar to Iron Maiden’s own game Legacy of the Beast and gives examples of fans writing online that they presumed the game was a band tie-in.
3D Realms, who previously developed the Duke Nukem and Max Payne franchises, responded on Twitter, saying they “will review our options once we receive official notice of the lawsuit and will make any necessary decisions at the appropriate time”. The game is still in development, and 3D Realms adds that “everyone continues to work diligently on Ion Maiden to deliver the best possible experience later this year”.
The case follows another recent copyright infringement case in the world of hard rock: in May, Guns N’ Roses sued a Colorado craft brewery over a beer named Guns ‘N’ Rosé.