I have had a game in development since October 2020. There is an audit trail in the form of public GitHub code commits showing how long I have been using the name. Unfortunately I had not yet done any public marketing for the game so there isn't really anything in the way of press or social media presence.
In November 2021, a wordmark application was filed for the same name by a major studio and the game was released on major retailers later that year. I could find no public usage of that name by them or even an announcement that they were working on such a game at all until that point.
I am now under a year away from being ready for release and am wondering what my options are.
I understand that trademarking is a "first come, first serve" deal and I imagine I have no legal grounds (or resources) to stop them from using it but my question is, do I have any protections or options that I can take to allow me to continue using the name/prevent them from forcing me to change it? Or if I must change it, am I still bound by normal rules that would prevent me from making the name too similar to the existing name?