Late last year, Microsoft’s attempts to renew the trademark for Rare’s N64-era fighting game, Killer Instinct, were denied over the fact that Fox held the same two-word trademark for a short-lived TV show from 2005. But yesterday, reports came through that Microsoft and Fox had managed to work the situation out, paving the way for whatever plans the publisher had for the Killer Instinct brand.
The news comes by way of a post on GameInformer, which reported that Fox and Microsoft signed a Trademark Coexistence Agreement. Based on that term alone, it would seem that both entities are agreeing to allow the other product to, I guess, be whatever it is without interference from the other party.
Of course, there’s no real clear indication that Killer Instinct is coming back in any way, shape, or form—but since Microsoft owns whatever Rare has become over the last few years, it stands to reason that a new installment (or a straight-up reboot, as is the fashion) could easily be on the way. Moreover, it’s possible that Microsoft may simply wind up releasing the original game and its sequel on XBLA first, perhaps to gauge interest in the franchise itself. If nothing else, releasing the old games (if, in fact, Microsoft can do that without any trouble from original co-publisher Nintendo) could simply be a nice way to earn a little cash with minimal investment.
On the other hand, Microsoft’s already gone to this much trouble to try to renew the trademark, and then clear the way for the trademark to coexist with Fox’s. Chances are pretty good there’s something new coming down the pike for Fulgore and friends.
And may I just reiterate: I know you have fond memories of Killer Instinct. I do, too. But, man, it was kinda stupid. If ever an artifact exemplified the ‘90s, it’s Killer Instinct. Also, the skeleton pirate guy was named “Spinal” because bones.