Thu, May 09, 2013 | 09:22 BST
GMOD creator: “If a lawsuit is the only other option left we’d rather rebrand”
Olympus Games CEO Skylar Kreisher has issued a statement addressing Garry’s Mod creator Garry Newman’s willingness to go to court over the question of who can use the term “GMOD”. The developer expressed regret that it has come to daggers drawn, swearing it had no intention to “attack” another developer and vowing only friendly intentions.
“We fully support Garry Newman’s work and have no intention of ‘attacking’ a fellow member of the modding community. When I reached out to Garry the goal was to avoid any legal action and come to an amicable agreement. But rebranding isn’t an easy or cheap process, we couldn’t just ‘change the name’ right before our Kickstarter launched.”
Kreisher said Olympus had approached Newman to try and reach an amicable solution, and has no desire for a lawsuit. GMOD has a community of 40,000 and an eight-year history, he added, and changing the name of the product isn’t as easy as you might expect.
That said, the developer is considering its option, as it apparently has no desire to be the bad guy. Kreisher also noted that he has been in touch with Newman over the matter and is confident an understanding has been reached.
The executive’s full statement, edited for readability, is reproduces in full below.
“Olympus Games and GMOD are aimed at nurturing the modding community and supporting developers by making mods easier to find, use and manage. We want to be very clear that this is our mission and we’re listening to feedback and guiding our decisions based on this goal,” Kreisher write in a statement provided to VG247.
“We wouldn’t have the support of great developers like Chris Taylor from Gas Powered Games and Patrick Wyatt from Blizzard and ArenaNet if that wasn’t the case.
“We named and trademarked our platform back in 2005, using ‘GMOD’ as an abbreviation for ‘Game Mod’. The confusion with Garry’s Mod is actually something that developed over time as Garry’s Mod increased in popularity and was commonly abbreviated. We’ve both invested significant time and resources into our brands, so it’s an unfortunate position for us to be in.
“To be clear, we fully support Garry Newman’s work and have no intention of ‘attacking’ a fellow member of the modding community. We’ve had friendly communication over the years; I contacted Garry to try and resolve the branding confusion, hoping to come to an agreement that would leave both parties satisfied, not to threaten him.
“When I reached out to Garry the goal was to avoid any legal action and come to an amicable agreement. I emphasized this point as much as possible – regardless of lawyer or investor pressure we were against going down that route, which wouldn’t be good for the community or proper use of our Kickstarter funds. But, rebranding isn’t an easy or cheap process, we couldn’t just ‘change the name’ right before our Kickstarter launched.
“I suggested options that included Garry helping us clarify the brand distinction or alternatively a brand purchase. We were hoping for the first option as we’ve invested more than eight years into our brand and have over 40,000 members in our community (much smaller than the Garry’s Mod community, but very important to us). Unfortunately, at the end of the conversation the only options on the table were either we take Garry to court or rebrand GMOD.
“As I said, Olympus Games has the utmost respect for Garry Newman and the work he’s done, along with the entire modding community. So, if a lawsuit is the only other option left we’d rather rebrand. This will take time and resources; it’s not something that can happen immediately, or before the end of our Kickstarter. But, until we’re able to announce the rebranding we want to put to bed any speculation that we may sue Garry in the future and risk damaging either party – that’s not what we’re about.
“We’ve reached out to Garry to clarify our position and there are no hard feelings. He understands that our heart is in the right place and the modding community needs to stand together.”
Since word broke of the negotiations between the two companies, the GMOD website has been brought down by DDOS attacks, which Olympus credits to Garry’s Mod forum users unhappy about the perceived assault on the popular modding suite.
Kreisher has also posted a video update with a similar statement on Kickstarter.