Brands & Merch Business News Digital Legal

Iron Maiden sue makers of video game Ion Maiden

By | Published on Friday 31 May 2019

Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden have sued gaming company 3D Realms – which is perhaps best known for creating the ‘Duke Nukem’ franchise – over a new game it launched back in February called ‘Ion Maiden’. For its part, the gaming firm calls the metal band’s various claims “frivolous”.

The lawsuit, filed with a Californian court earlier this week, stresses that the band haven’t just taken umbrage over the similar name, though that is part of it.

Other elements of the game also seem to deliberately suggest links to the band, the legal claim argues. That includes the use of a “steel-cut” font, like what Iron Maiden use; a skull icon similar to the band’s Eddie mascot; and the fact the main character in the game is called Shelly Harrison, which is surely a reference to the band’s bassist, primary songwriter and founder member Steve Harris, reckons the lawsuit.

And let us not forget – because certainly the legal filing won’t let us – Iron Maiden have been involved in the gaming business since 1999 when they released a greatest hits album and accompanying video game called ‘Ed Hunter’. Others Iron Maiden games have followed, most recently the 2016 app game ‘Legacy Of The Beast’.

With all that in mind, the band reckon, 3D Realms’ infringement of their trademarks “is incredibly blatant. [The gaming company] is undoubtedly aware of Iron Maiden’s existence and is attempting to trade off on Iron Maiden’s notoriety”.

To back that up, the lawsuit adds that plenty of fans have assumed ‘Ion Maiden’ is formally linked the band, with online chatter cited in which fans discussed how 3D Realms had managed to get a licence to make a game exploiting Iron Maiden’s intellectual property.

The gaming company is having none of it though. In a statement on Twitter it writes: “From what we’ve heard, the suit claims our main character Shelly Harrison, originally debuting in 2016’s ‘Bombshell’, is based on their musician Steve Harris; our skull bomb icon found in-game is based on their skeleton mascot Eddie; our logo in itself is based on theirs; and other frivolous claims anyone who has played ‘Ion Maiden’ would find more over the top than Shelly’s ‘Loverboy’, her signature eighteen round triple-barrelled revolver”.

It goes on: “We at 3D Realms, our co-publishers 1C Entertainment, and developer Voidpoint, will review our options once we receive official notice of the lawsuit and will make any necessary decisions at the appropriate time”.

The band are seeking $2 million in damages.