A quarterback for the University of Wisconsin football team, the Wisconsin Badgers, has unveiled his brand-new logo–and it looks awfully similar to Horizon Forbidden West developer Guerrilla Games’ insignia.
Graham Mertz, who started his career as the Badgers’ quarterback in 2019, dropped his new logo on Twitter following a ruling approving of NCAA players’ ability to earn profits from their name, image, and likeness (commonly abbreviated to “NIL”). Mertz even opened an official merchandise store full of apparel emblazoned with this new emblem.
Twitter users were quick to recognize that Mertz’ logo resembles something else: Guerrilla Games’ trademark. While there are subtle differences–the lines form an “M” in Mertz’ image, something absent from Guerrilla Games’ emblem–there is no denying the two symbols look a lot alike.
I think it would be really hard to get anything out of it. Yea they’re similar but both logos are so simple changing positioning of the lines could make it legally usable. pic.twitter.com/aRQBFkCDkp
— Horrible4 (@Horrible45) June 28, 2021
Mertz’ image doesn’t just remind people of Guerrilla Games’ crest but other monograms as well, like anti-virus computer software McAfee or the Nintendo GameCube or even former pro footballer Calvin Johnson’s logo.
It’s unclear what Guerrilla Games thinks of Mertz’ mark. We’ve reached out to the developer for comment and will update this post if we hear back.
The NCAA recently approved a new policy letting college players make money for activities professional athletes perform, including endorsement deals, signing autographs, and social media content. Previously, college athletes had limited compensation packages through things like scholarships or other forms of educational payments.
The ruling might even affect upcoming college sports titles, with publisher EA saying it’s looking into the possibility of adding real player names to the EA Sports College Football game. No decision has been made yet.
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