Microsoft Renews Killer Instinct Trademark; May, May Not Mean Anything

Want a sign that people are giddy about a franchise? When they become thrilled that a company has renewed a trademark. In some way, it shows a company cares… a little. Microsoft, in this case, doesn’t want their stake in Rare’s bombastic Killer Instinct franchise to dissipate, but that doesn’t mean they’re in the midst of development. It’s no different than Disney renewing a trademark on one of their classic features. If you don’t renew, you lose, and doesn’t mean anything is happening behind the scenes.

Killer Instinct featured pre-rendered sprites and booming vocals in addition to increasingly heavy combos as its hallmark. The series saw three entries – the original, a sequel, and a pseudo-sequel/home port called Killer Instinct Gold on the N64. Ports were made to the Super Nintendo and Game Boy, all before the series fizzled, never to be seen again.

An ex-Rare employee Donnchadh Murphy was interviewed by Joystiq and provided the following talking point on the topic of a reboot:

“We all wanted to make KI3, but Microsoft [was] more interested in broadening their demographic than making another fighting game. So it never got made, I doubt it ever will.”

Then again, markets change. Hopefully it changes enough for this series to hit “3.”