Handsome Woman Productions' upcoming "gay-themed" fighting game, Ultimate Gay Fighter, is changing its name following legal pressure from an unnamed mixed martial arts promotional company, the developer announced today.
According to Handsome Woman Productions, the company in question "believes the UGF brand and related mobile gaming product threatens one of their reality TV series/fighting competition brand." As a result, the developer is unable to defend the game's current name against what founder Michael P. Venker calls a billion-dollar company.
"We have a trademark pending, but the prospect of a potential lawsuit is very intimidating," Venker said. "We don't have the funds to compete with their take-no-prisoners approach. We offered them solutions, but this company remains firm in believing our Ultimate Gay Fighter brand threatens their brand, despite vast differences in our customer base and product."
A new name has not been announced, though the developer says it will reach out to the fans to pull a new title. The game's content will also remain the same.
In a letter to the game's fanbase, Handsome Woman Productions said the decision wasn't an easy one.
"The underlying message beyond the campy entertainment presented by the game — an ironic commentary on how we all label and fight each other, when the real enemies are the ones oppressing us through shame, hate, and bullying — is a commentary on these everyday detractors," the letter reads. "It's a conversation and belief that to win, you must fight an oppressor who seeks to destroy your happiness, dull your shame, and make you feel unworthy. Sometimes, the oppressor is our own community or even ourselves."
" ... This potential legal situation already delayed the game several months as we deliberated our options. Our mobile gaming product is vastly different from their brand and related products. At the end of the day, our strong belief in releasing this game remains most important, and we did not want to lose everything we have worked so hard for.
"We wanted to give our fans a chance to come up with a new name for Ultimate Gay Fighter, knowing we've had your support throughout this journey — from the fan art you've given us to the heartfelt messages we've received. We owe this to you."
For more on Ultimate Gay Fighter, check out our report on the game's use of gay culture.