If you're reading this, the odds are good that you 1) hate your job and 2) can't really do much about it. But if you, say, were working on a project that would be seen by millions of people, then you could get creative about expressing your displeasure. We recently pointed out comic book artists who hid "screw you" Easter Eggs in their work, but really, nobody does this better than video game programmers.
5Skyrim Tributes Minecraft Creator (While the Company Sues Him)
Even if you don't give a shit about video games, you're probably aware that two of the most popular games of the past year were Skyrim and Minecraft, because anyone who plays either of them won't shut up about it. And while these two games are at the exact opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to graphics, they do have some things in common, like fantasy-inspired open-ended game play, gigantic interactive worlds and rabid fan bases prone to spewing out nonsensical memes on your Facebook feed (also an awesome lawyer-aggravating Easter egg, but we'll get to that in a moment).
After we finish methodically setting fire to teenagers.
But there is a less friendly connection between the games: Bethesda Softworks (Skyrim's publisher) is now suing Minecraft's creator over the name of his next game. Why? Because the game is called Scrolls, and they claim people could confuse it with The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (even though it's mostly known as just Skyrim).
Whereas Minecraft is best known as "Where the hell did my week go?"
When Minecraft's creator Markus "Notch" Persson first heard from Bethesda's lawyers in August 2011, he offered to add a subtitle to his game or even flat-out drop the trademark, but Bethesda refused the offer and went on with the lawsuit anyway. Notch then proposed to settle the matter by playing a Quake 3 deathmatch (a Bethesda game -- an obvious show of good faith), but the other side didn't even acknowledge the offer. Clearly, Bethesda's lawyers weren't in a very friendly mood.
"And then we're going after The Legend of Zelda, for using the letters 'THE' and 'ELD'."
However, the part of Bethesda that actually makes the games feels differently ... and apparently went so far as to include a righteous dig at their own corporate legal department in Skyrim. At the top of a mountain called the Throat of the World, players can find something called the Notched Pickaxe, a pretty transparent reference to both the creator of Minecraft and the primary tool you use in the game. While the lawyers were doing everything possible to distance the games, the programmers actually brought them closer together.
If you turn it upside-down, it kinda looks like a middle finger, too.
It turns out that Skyrim's creator Todd Howard is still chums with Notch, who acknowledged the shout-out, tweeting: "Adding the Toddhowared Pickaxe to Minecraft." It seems that not even corporate law shenanigans can keep a good game-design bromance down.