Although Blizzard only just announced their competitive shooter Overwatch a few months ago it looks like they are already facing a bit of trouble. Not major trouble, mind you, but we wouldn’t be surprised if the game re-appeared with a new title sometime soon.
According to the US Trademark and Patent Office, Blizzard’s trademark for Overwatch has been suspended due to a conflict. Apparently another company, Innovis Labs Inc., filed a trademark for the same term before Blizzard did and therefore they are entitled to the name.
While it’s still unclear what will happen to Blizzard’s Overwatch, chances are the developer will end up changing the name for their forthcoming FPS. Strangely, though, that will make plenty of Blizzard fans happy, as the Overwatch name was deemed pretty generic. Perhaps now they will be able to come up with something that fits the game’s approach a little better.
There’s a lot of excitement surrounding Overwatch, if only because it’s the first new IP Blizzard has revealed in close to two decades. For years, the company has been switching between Warcrafts, StarCrafts, Diablos, and spin-offs, but Overwatch felt like something genuinely new…at least for them.
Whether or not Blizzard fans were excited to see Blizzard emulate Team Fortress 2 some 8 years later was up for debate, but it’s hard to deny the developer knows how to make a genre their own. They got into the CCG genre much later than most, but somehow Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is now anyone will talk about. And we wouldn’t be surprised to see Heroes of the Storm challenge League of Legends and DOTA 2 for MOBA supremacy.
So, while gamers were hoping that Blizzard might change the Overwatch name at some point during development, now it appears the USPTO has forced their hand. Sure, Blizzard could operate without a trademark, but a major publisher/developer like this is unlikely to move forward with a title they can’t trademark. It may not be a while before we see Overwatch again, but when Blizzard does present it to the public we wouldn’t be surprised if it’s called something completely different.
Do you think Blizzard will change the name for Overwatch? What do you think they should change the name to?