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I'm making a racing game, I've made my own game engine from scratch, but not the tools for building the game assets such as textures, 3D models, etc.

And I was thinking, I have this credits scene at the end of the story, where it basically shows some concept arts used during the development, and some photos of people involved in the development, and so I thought to add a list of software tools that were used to make the game.

Is it okay to do this? Of course this is in good faith, but is there a possibility that someone could come after me because I used their trademark without permission?

I mean this would basically be "free advertising" but I don't know...

What do you the gamedev community think of this?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't think you should ask the gamedev community this, we are not lawyers. Instead you should probably either consult a real lawyer andor study any logo/brand guidelines provided by the software you want to credit. \$\endgroup\$
    – user35344
    Oct 20, 2021 at 14:54

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I'm not a lawyer. This does not constitute legal advice.


You can mention them, yes. Nothing prevent you from doing this.

In fact, some license agreement require mention, and end credits is a good place to do so.


For trademark and logos, you need to find what guidelines the author has for using them. If there are no such guidelines, it is probably better you ask the authors about it.

In general is it OK to show the logos as long as it is a way the way its holders agree with. And you would want a legal disclaimer (something along the lines of making it clear that they didn't make your game, and you don't work for them, ask a lawyer about such disclaimers).


Screenshots of the software is a different thing. If the tool is open source (under a license approved by the open source initiative), then you would be in the clear to use screenshots.

Otherwise, I'd avoid doing it without permission of the authors to be safe. Although - in my personal opinion - legal action is probably not very likely because you are not competing with them. But remember that screenshots could include icons and other GUI elements that could be under copyright. It is also possible to argue that an screenshot is derivative work.


About the "free advertisement" approach, end credits is not the most visible place. You may consider selling a space in a splash screen, for example for an sponsorship. But that is an entirely different thing.

The flip side is, of course, that as I said above, some license agreements require mention. Which is common with free tools and assets. Thus, you can think of this "free advertisement" as what they get in exchange. Review your licenses.

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    \$\begingroup\$ My understanding is that as a general rule, you want to make sure you're naming/showing third parties' logos only in ways that do not imply affiliation or endorsement. Imagine if someone put out a very low-quality game and slapped the Autodesk logo prominently somewhere. A consumer might misinterpret that to mean that this was produced in official partnership with Autodesk or that Autodesk in some way approved and endorsed this game, which could then give them a negative impression of that company's standards of quality. That's the type of scenario I know of where this may be unappreciated. \$\endgroup\$
    – DMGregory
    Oct 20, 2021 at 16:35
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Contact the makers of the tools you are describing and ask them. You might get some free advertising in return from them!

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