Indie developer Notion Games renamed the title of the upcoming retro-styled platformer Super Ubi Land to Super Ubie Land following concerns from Ubisoft about possible brand infringement and confusion, the studio revealed via Twitter.
Notion games tweeted: "The great @NotionGamesLLC and @Ubisoft debate is over! We have settled on the name #SuperUbieLand! Ubisoft has been a great help!" and "'Super Ubie Land.' Same game, now with extra vitamin E."
Notion Games' founder Andrew Augustin explained to Polygon that Ubisoft didn't bang down the studio's doors to change the name. As Notion are official Nintendo developers, the company has been helping the studio out "here and there," so it was Nintendo who was a "bit curious" if Ubisoft would have a problem using the word Ubi.
"So just to make sure everything was fine, we sought out to get written approval from Ubisoft to ease Nintendo's mind," Augustin said.
Notion first used "Ubi" in early 2012, when it released an iOS game called Up Up Ubi with a main character called Ubi. As Augustin pointed out, Ubi is a word utilized in many languages and locations.
"So we didn't figure there would be a problem to use the word," he said. "Also the name came about from us trying to figure out something cute that would go well with the words ‘Up Up' in the title."
When it came to the recent events, the developers were concerned that as a small studio, it didn't have the finances to do a "complete re-branding" of a product it has marketed for more than a year. So retaining the character's name was an issue for Notion, but at the same time the studio didn't want to "have bad blood with anyone in the industry."
"Ubisoft overall was pretty understanding and at the same time wanted to protect their company name as well," Augustin told Polygon. "We completely understand that because even we, a small business would do the same. So after a couple of discussions, we've settled with the name ‘Ubie' and feel that should be enough to not confuse gamers. It also allows us to re-brand much much easier and everyone is happy."
Even during the name change fiasco, the indie developer stated it understood Ubisoft's stance and that the company was only "protecting their business just like any small business would."
Published by Maestro Interactive, the Super Ubie Land will see a release onU, PC, and . The game launched as a Kickstarter campaign in February, and surpassed its funding goal of $5,000 in April, with a total of $6,333 in pledges.
We have reached out to Notion Games for comment.
Update: This article was updated with Notion Games' comments.