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Release game under your own name?

02-20-2010, 12:29 PM
#1
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 21
Release game under your own name?

Hi guys,

I'm getting close to submitting my first game and I wanted to ask your opinion on a big remaining question for me: Whether to release under my own name or a pseudonym/company name.

My friend Marco has just released his game ("Spirit" - check it out at spiritapp.com - it's good ) under his own name and it doesn't seem to have hurt (although he's got a cooler name than me ), but I'm somewhat wary for several reasons including:

1) The internet will find me and I'll never have any privacy or spam-free mail every again.
2) Someone will find out where I live and hunt me down.
3) Legal liability.

On the other hand:

1) As a lone developer I love the community that has sprung up around iPhone development and maybe releasing under my real name will encourage others.
2) It's my hard work and I should get the credit!
3) All the company names I come up with are lame or already taken

So: what did/would you do? Any horror stories? Opinions?

Cheers,

Peter
02-20-2010, 12:40 PM
#2
Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Munich, Germany
Posts: 754
Send a message via Skype™ to mobile1up
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoHeads View Post
So: what did/would you do? Any horror stories? Opinions?
have you thought about using "twoheads"?

honestly tho - using your own name doesn't hurt. mobile1up is a one-man-show, but i've been doing mobile development for 10+ years - so, it may be perceived that it is actually a larger place. people want to deal with both kinds - small indies = get lots of support, larger companies = provide more response/support, at least - thats how SOME (not all) people think of it.

// Aaron Ardiri
Mobile 1UP is a proud indie developer - support us!
developer of Caveman / Caveman HD and GW Series

Last edited by mobile1up; 02-20-2010 at 12:43 PM.
02-20-2010, 01:04 PM
#3
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by mobile1up View Post
have you thought about using "twoheads"?
Yup! But there's lots of similarly named companies:
www.2headsdesign.co.uk
www.twoheadsmedia.com.au
www.2headsstudios.com
www.twoheadsdev.com/
http://www.twoheadsdesign.net/
http://www.twoheads.co.nz/

So I'm worried that someone will do me for copyright/trademark infringement, and also that anyone searching for "Two Heads Games" would run into those other companies first. What do you reckon?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mobile1up View Post
small indies = get lots of support, larger companies = provide more response/support, at least - thats how SOME (not all) people think of it.
That's a good way of looking at it, thanks. I guess I feel that a company name gives more room for collaboration/expansion (== hubris) in the future too...

Peter
02-20-2010, 01:10 PM
#4
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 618
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoHeads View Post
1) The internet will find me and I'll never have any privacy or spam-free mail every again.
Spam is what it is. I highly recommend a GMail account to prevent a spam flood. Which is important because you're probably going to need to post a support address whether you use your real name or not. So choose wisely.

Quote:
2) Someone will find out where I live and hunt me down.
I've used my real name for quite a bit of popular stuff and I can't say this has ever been a problem. In fact, I haven't even had any online stalkers (i.e. fans that follow me around from site to site) much less real-life stalkers.

There's always a concern when your name is out there, but the actual risk is overblown, I think.

Quote:
3) Legal liability.
Sorry dude. Using a real name or a pseudonym won't help you here. You'll have the same legal liability in all cases. If you attempt to hide your identity, a suing party would simply subpoena Apple's records and obtain the information necessary to serve you with papers.

The only effective protection against liability is to form a corporation and do business as a corporation. Your corporation can still get sued, but you personally are shielded from liability.

Of course, such a step is exceedingly painful and requires the assistance of lawyers. Being a corporation also complicates the finances and places a number of legal burdens on your activities. It really isn't a good option unless your company grows large enough to support employees.

Again, the issue of legal liability is highly overrated. Bringing suit is an expensive process. No one is going to do it unless they can reasonably expect to collect more in damages than they will spend on prosecution. In result, most legal issues at a small business/sole proprietorship level are handled by sending scary letters between the two sides until one side relents.

(Fair warning, I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice. Though I have stayed at a Holiday Inn Express. )
02-20-2010, 01:43 PM
#5
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 330
That's what I do, lurk the app store looking for developers with their real names under the organization name, google them and maybe find an updated address, then go to it and....knock on the door? On more relaxed nights I simply go down the street and knock on someones door I don't have to google.

There are plenty devs w/real life names. Nothing you should worry about. Also, in iTunes it will still show your real life name under Seller. You can't avoid that.

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02-20-2010, 01:47 PM
#6
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 1,070
I will be releasing under my father's name until I'm 18, and then under my name. For that spam stuff, as soon as one of my emails is spammed too much, I switch to another one. Spam isn't a big problem anymore these days.
I haven't thought about stalkers yet, but I don't think that will happen. It's illegal here in Germany, so if anyone starts stalking me/my father, we'll bring him to court.