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Kotaku Hates Minecraft – Where Bad Writers Go To Make Money

Weeks ago a chick made some fast cash ‘bashing’ the Magic the Gathering guru over two dates and the ‘article’ she posted only really expressed what a terribly shallow person she was.  Even though the post was both badly conceived and edited, it still hit huge numbers and caused people to blog about it due to how scathing and nonsensical her thoughts were on the subject; as she went on to say “judging people on shallow stuff is human nature.” So when she so shallowly dismissed the lucky guy for no good reason, it wasn’t her fault.  She was just being human.  Nice spin there, right?

Found another ‘winner’ today, thanks to Notch’s blog.

Round two of the equally minded bad ‘journalist’ attacked today when a post on Kotaku immediately jumped to the conclusion as to why Notch is greedy and plans to wring every last dollar out of Bethesda.  I’ll give you a bullet point per paragraph to spare you the same headache I am now going through.

  • He played Minecraft this whole weekend.  So, you know.  …Trust him.  He totally loves the game.  He likes Notch.  Believe his words, friend.
  • Suddenly cites Notch to be the overly vocal and dimwitted leader of the Mojang Gang.
  • Bad mouths the entire team behind Minecraft, stating that they are “less reputable or successful than Zenimax/Bethesda” and that Notch isn’t so much inexperienced with lawyers, but actively using his twitter to strong-arm Bethesda into dropping the case:

…it’s entirely possible Mojang knows they have no case and are simply trying to do as much PR damage to Zenimax as they can before they have to admit they applied for a trademark that will never stand against a serious complaint. They may even be thinking that if they embarrass Bethesda enough, the company will relent. After all, this would not be the first time we’ve seen someone take their grievances against a larger company to the court of public opinion (WINK).

And yes I am completely aware that “WINK” has no link to go to.  Apparently they did not.

  • Further implies Mojang is going out of their way to stick it to Bethesda when they ignored a Cease and Desist order.  Admits utter lack of knowledge of how the law works in Sweden.
  • Goes off on a tangent about radios and television, casually saying he isn’t sure how innocent Notch is in a pseudo-friendly tone, which utterly clashes with the entirety of the ‘article’ already at this early point in time
  • Jumps to the conclusion that Notch not only wants the rights to the title “Scrolls” but that in owning those rights they would then dominate the rights to “The Elder Scrolls” though Notch has gone on to say several times he could change the title of his game, which Bethesda completely ignored.  Also, while I am not surprised to see a curse word online and in-game, I am quite surprised to see one as unabashed and public as it was placed it in this paragraph.
  • Again he describes the patent, and again he is mysteriously amazed at how the law works.  Notch wants to own all the rights to the name of his upcoming game that he announced months ago?  Not just a quarter of the rights, but ALL of the rights?  Dear me…

Let’s assume for a moment that Mojang knows that their trademark would give them leverage over Zenimax, and that they might actually be planning to take action by claiming trademark violation the next time Zenimax publishes a game containing the word “scrolls” in the title.

My, how wonderfully random and unsolicited!  I am sure glad you started out the first paragraph stating you liked playing Minecraft.  If it weren’t for that hollow opening I would begin to think you had sinister intentions to deeply misconstrue your ‘knowledge’ of this lawsuit to better promote one side than the other instead of merely pointing out the facts and calling it down the middle.

  • He frantically tries attaching the two dynamics (Notch and Evil Notch) by stating this happens all the time in the gaming world.  This vague answer is supposed to provoke you, the audience, into thinking “So since it happens all the time and Mojang might be in a good position, they MUST have been planning to do that since the first dev meeting.”
  • The first unbiased and well thought out paragraph thus far, he states that Bethesda couldn’t take the chance that Mojang wouldn’t try anything fishy. Maybe this is where the opposite side of the argument starts up, and we see strong evidence supporting Mojang and just how silly this whole thing has blown up to.

Besides, if Mojang were as naive and innocent as Notch claims, why the far-reaching trademark application?

Well there goes that idea >.>  Right back into zealot-laced diatribe.  Oh, bother.

  • Mojang = Tim “Edge” Langdell.  Basically, if it quacks like a duck, and looks like a duck, but swap out “duck” with “thief” and “a hack”.
  • He then tries to further compare Langdell with Mojang, as his duck concept is foolproof and needs no further evidence or detail.
  • Yet again he brings up his infatuation with radio and tv programming rights.  He feigns being non-biased by using Notch’s words but ultimately only sets up a strawman to break it down in the following sentence.
  • After a convoluted and conspiracy laden paragraph he finally gets to his second actual non-biased fact: Bethesda would be stupid not to fight the claim as it hits so close to home with The Elder Scrolls.  If this get nasty, they could lose the rights to the name of their monstrously popular series.
  • As a final slap in the face against Mojang, he mentions a trademark someone has to use the word “Scrolls” on a t-shirt, but with the last “s” backwards. It is a great deal more than a ‘bit of a stretch’, but if you actually ate up his ‘article’, at this point you’ll continue eating out of his hand at this shoddy statement.

You know how late-night ads are surrounded with the usual jargon of “we do not condone, nor endorse the views or products shown” and all that?  Well, after Notch got wind of this highly fantastical viewpoint, he responded and so too did Kotaku:

UPDATE from Kotaku: Notch has responded to this story, saying that Bethesda declined his company’s offer to add a sub-title to their game and give up the trademark.”

Oh, so you mean a big, huge part of this was purposely left out in order to blow it up into something to cause enough commotion to warrant attention, and thus page views and their juicy, juicy ad revenue?  Heaven’s, what a thought!  If that was the case I almost have half a mind to think that Russ Pitts planned that from the beginning.

And the very end of all is this hilariously over-stated message:

Russ Pitts is the former Editor-in-Chief of The Escapist and former Producer of TechTV’s The Screen Savers. Currently he is looking for work…

Lot of emphasis on “former”, there.  No wonder why he is looking for work.  Such a cheerful, knowledgable, and un-biased guy.  Hey, wait a minute.  Hey, Notch!  You claim to not know a lot about the law, and this guy surely is water-tight in that department.  He seems to be down on his luck, why not give him a shot?

6 responses »

  1. Research for an article is hard, man. Especially on the internet where you can, y’know, email and ask someone for their side of the story. Or Google. Best just to skip it all together, avoid the finger cramps. WINK.

  2. I’ve never liked Kotaku much myself, so I’m not terribly surprised…

    • I knew about the site for a few years, but honestly haven’t read much off it. Some of it was obviously sensationalized and titled to get attention, and I understand you have to tweak words to get a reaction now and then, but this was utter garbage. Two years ago I stopped even casually viewing Massively when I heard them admit via microphone on a view podcast to purposely blowing up an issue with Wow and RealID. The guy was smiling the entire time and you know he was doing the “hee hee hee” laugh mentally. That isn’t journalism, that isn’t even writing an editorial. There is a certain point you trade in your soul for extra hits, and I think at that point they passed it. I hope they enjoyed the one hit I gave that article, as the site itself will never get another hit from me again.

  3. If Zenimax (Bethusda) wins what ever they are trying to win by doing this should anyone who ever produced a game that featured “scrolls” have to pay Zenimax money? or do they get to counter sue Zenimax for using the word scrolls? :)

    It may be a small matter for me to do so but until Zenimax drops their “Langdell-esque” activity I will not be buying another game they have anything to do with. It’s only a shame they didn’t do this before I spent good money on the “Great idea but totally messed up” game, Brink!

    • Yeah, it’s a shame man. The game devs have *nothing* to do with it, and the lawyers are messing it up. They just lost the Fallout series, by the way. They used the people they bought it from and lost hardcore, so even though they didn’t hand-make New Vegas the court counts that as a game so at the moment they can make is Fallout 4 or whatever, and that’s it. Original company keeps the rights AND can make the MMO.

      Now they are going after Minecraft for a stupid reason, Notch even said they could change it to “Scrolls: Banana Edition” which they didn’t accept, or his idea to drop “scrolls” entirely. They just want the word “scrolls” for whatever reason, though ironically everyone always refers to their games as “skyrim” or “oblivion” and never even say the elder scrolls at all XD

      Notch holds no ill will to the game devs, by the by! While he’s pissed at their lawyers, that is the publisher and not the game people. He even said he plans on getting Skyrim and supports it and all that.


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