Game Name Availablity

Nibbie
Posts: 1
Joined: 2013.09
Post: #1
I am working on my first IOS game and before I got too far along I wanted to see where do I check to see if the game name I want to choose is already in use. Is there a definitive place like whois for domain names that I can check to see if the game name is already taken?
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Moderator
Posts: 439
Joined: 2002.09
Post: #2
You can of course search the iTunes store. :-)

Seriously, by searching the internet carefully I've always managed to avoid names that are taken. That's good enough for most hobbyists. If you are sinking capital into this you may want to go about it more formally/legally.

Minor detail: When you register your game's name on Apple Developer's portal, you may find that the name isn't available even though no game of that name exists. Either its for sale in some other country, or someone has reserved it. As far as I know no game called Pawns ever showed up but that name was not available to me. (My solution was to change the name to "Pawns!"-- not just the iTunes Store, but also the title screen, website, etc. Kind of a pain but I didn't want anyone to accuse me of trying to step on the other game's name.)

Measure twice, cut once, curse three or four times.
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Moderator
Posts: 3,579
Joined: 2003.06
Post: #3
Speaking of stepping on someone else's name, let me assure you that if you use even a part of a word that some game company's lawyer feels they have claim over, they will be obligated to send a stern legal document to Apple and you, and Apple will take your game down instantly until the dispute is resolved. The end result is that you get to change your game's name and any related verbiage and marketing material (unless you'd rather spend a lot of money going to court). No real big deal, other than the hassle (and/or expense, if you prefer).

General web search, whois, iTunes search, and ultimately iTunes Connect submission are all we've used. That didn't save us from the lawyers in one instance, but otherwise we've had no problems. Don't worry too much about it, and don't get too attached to your game's name -- until you make a lot of money with it and hire your own lawyers to scare everyone away from it Wink
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Moderator
Posts: 439
Joined: 2002.09
Post: #4
In retrospect, I guess I shouldn't have named my game "American McGee's Alice". :-)

Measure twice, cut once, curse three or four times.
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