I'm currently developing a browser game with a focus on economy, trading and industry. For that I'm building a fictional world with countries and cities. To avoid political drama within the games player interactions, I'd like to avoid using real countries that currently exist/are recognized. I tried to come up with several fictional country names, but I'm reaching the limitations of my creativity where they are still OK-sounding... My questions are now...
- Can I use fictional countries e.g. from movies/comics etc (e.g. Sokovia from the Marvel universe)? Maybe with slight adjustments?
- Can I use older country or empire names (e.g. Babylonia)? Maybe also with slight adjustments.
- Can I use city names from the real world? I need a lot of them, so coming up with thousands brings me to my limit and there may probably be overlaps without me knowing. Based on the following question that should be fine, also since they have nothing to do with the real-life equivalents. Do I need licensing to use real city names in my game?
- What about using planet or galaxy names which are public domain (or how are they protected, if at all)?
I found some generators in the internet which are helpful to a certain degree, but I'd rather write my own to be honest. Since the game might be monetized, are there any licensing issues involved? I'm pretty new to this from a legal perspective.
Another thing are the fictional company names the users can choose. I guess I can set certain restrictions there to exclude real world companies and provide a "report" button for real companies to request the removal/change to be on the safe side.
Thanks in advance
PS: Since I also needed flags, I already found a nice generator, in case someone is interested: https://www.reddit.com/r/vexillology/comments/4ha19q/flagmaker_20/?st=jb6e4qyk&sh=c1544079