Friday, August 19, 2011

Notch vs. Bethesda Softworks: Quake 3 at Dawn!

After the threat of a lawsuit from Bethesda, Notch (the maker of Minecraft) challenged them to a duel. We’re still waiting for the bigger software developer to respond.

Notch Demands Satisfaction, Challenges Bethesda to Trial by Combat” by Kyt Dotson:

“I challenge Bethesda to a game of Quake 3,” proclaims Notch, proudly offering the gauntlet to his esteemed legal foe. “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.”

While I wouldn’t have chosen Quake 3 myself, it seems like an excellent arena to test the mettle of the champions of both sides. However, the legal veracity of which a duel might be questionable. Notch might want to get his legal team to draft a contract that causes the outcome to become binding.

The stakes are simple, he explains: “If we win, you drop the lawsuit. If you win, we will change the name of Scrolls to something you’re fine with.”

Champion trial-by-combat is an old tradition that has grown out of a multitude of cultures who sometimes used the show of armed prowess as a deciding factor between armies to reduce bloodshed. However, contemporary societies including Sweden and the United States—the respective countries the contestants are headquartered in—have grown into legalistic bureaucracies and generally settle things using regulations and money.

Minecraft Creator Challenges Bethesda to Quake 3 DM Over Patent Case” at

Will Bethesda accept this challenge? Probably not, as the Skyrim development team had nothing to do with the legal action, and it's highly unlikely that its parent company's lawyers even know what Quake 3 Arena is…

Bethesda has a strong chance for some good PR here; but these corporations very rarely play to their fans.

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