Iron Maiden Files a $2 Million Infringement Lawsuit Against Video Game ‘Ion Maiden’

Video game developer 3D Realms is facing a $2 million lawsuit from the heavy metal band Iron Maiden.

The group says the developer’s game ‘Ion Maiden’ is blatant trademark infringement.

A lawsuit filed earlier this week in the Central District of California on behalf of the band lays out allegations of “trademark infringement, dilution, and unfair competition.”  The video game in question is an early access title called Ion Maiden, which released on Steam last year.

The game has garnered overwhelmingly positive reviews since it debuted.  It’s an homage to old-school first-person shooters, which often featured heavy metal soundtracks.  Unfortunately for its creators, that early success has drawn the legal barbs.

3D Realms is a well-known developer in gaming circles as the former owner of the Duke Nukem IP.

According to the filing, the band thinks the game’s logo is nearly identical to their own.  Check out a comparison of the two logos below.

I’m not a lawyer, but the style choice between these two logos is vastly different. The game’s music stylings also sound nothing like Iron Maiden’s heavy metal work.

Still, the name Ion Maiden does seem to be an homage to the band, and the lawsuit points out other similarities.  The lawsuit further argues that the game’s protagonist, Shelly Harris, is named after the band’s songwriter, Steve Harris.  The suit also says the skull bomb icon featured in the Ion Maiden logo is too similar to the band’s skeleton mascot, Eddie.

The filing also argues that Ion Maiden has the same look and feel of a mobile game developed to promote Iron Maiden’s 2017 world tour.  3D Realms has responded to the lawsuit on Twitter, saying it will review its options once they receive official notice of the legal action.

The active lawsuit isn’t stopping the game’s development, however.

“Regardless, everyone continues to work diligently on Ion Maiden to deliver the best possible experience later this year.”

Just for fun, check out one of the songs from the Ion Maiden soundtrack (before it gets ripped down).

3 Responses

  1. Avatar
    Twilight Phantom

    Concerning a potential lawsuit on the subject of entertainment products, if the material used by another manufacturer was not yours then you don’t have a case. In this case, I would say that the defendant is not guilty.

  2. Avatar

    So why is this band trying to shakedown this company?

    • Avatar
      Shelly Harris

      The standard for this kind of lawsuit is whether or not the the infringing work (in this case a video game) is similar enough in certain respects to create a possibility of confusion in the public (or public consumer) confusion. Would a member of the public be induced to buy this thinking it was associated with Iron Maiden? Maybe not a hard core or long time fan, but it is possible for a person or new fan or fan from a country where English is not the primary language to think this is an Iron Maiden-related product.