Earlier today we learned that Bethesda’s parent company, Zenimax Media, filed three trademark applications with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for the phrase “Nuka-Cola.” The slightly radioactive soft drink from the Fallout universe is almost synonymous with the franchise, and has become iconic among fans of the post-apocalyptic games.
Naturally, this led many to speculate that a new Fallout (rumored to be in development) was on the horizon. Whether Bethesda is planning on announcing Fallout 4 any time soon (and if they do, it’ll probably be at E3) is unknown. What we do know is that their decision to trademark “Nuka-Cola” has nothing to do with plans for upcoming games.
According to a representative, “We are simply protecting an important mark that is associated with one of our most popular franchises.” Makes sense. I own a Nuka-Cola shirt that I didn’t buy from Bethesda, meaning “that guy on Red Bubble” got money and they didn’t. There’s a huge market for Fallout merchandise, so I’m not surprised Bethesda wants to cash-in.
Anyway, Nuka-Cola is now Nuka-Cola™. Those selling unauthorized merchandise will probably end up using the same loophole as the people who sell knockoff designer handbags on the streets of Manhattan: changing the spelling or design ever so slightly.
I can’t wait to see shirts branded with “Nooka-Cola.”