[Sony says that the trademark abandonment was due to a filing error and reiterates that The Last Guardian is not cancelled.]
For fans of undeniably talented developer Team Ico, the wait for the team’s latest game has become something of a contentious one. For some, the prospect of The Last Guardian holds so much promise that they are willing to accept delay after delay in the hopes that all will make the game better in the end. Others have simply accepted that The Last Guardian is never coming out.
Unfortunately, for those who have firmly planted their feet in the former camp, we have some bad news as it pertains to The Last Guardian. According to a recent post by the US Patent and Trademark office, it appears Sony has abandoned the trademark for The Last Guardian.
The trademark abandonment comes after Sony filed three extensions for The Last Guardian at several points between November 20, 2012 and now. Apparently, Sony had either seen the writing on the wall and decided not to go any further with the trademark; that, or the USPTO only allows a certain number of extension requests before the trademark is “abandoned.” Some will remember the trademark was abandoned before, but Sony quickly picked it back up.
That second scenario bodes well for The Last Guardian, if only because it could mean Sony has not given up. Sure, every E3 and Tokyo Game Show that pass without so much as a peep from The Last Guardian serve to remind us how unlikely the game’s release is, but no one has come out to proclaim the game dead…yet.
There’s no doubt that the long development time has hurt The Last Guardian’s status among casual gamers, though. For one thing, the game was originally envisioned as a PS3 release, but so much time has passed that it now needs a bump up to PS4. And with that bump comes even more time.
Last we had heard, though, The Last Guardian was still on the way, only under new conditions. The game may have skipped Tokyo Game Show last year, but it’s still making progress under Team Ico’s new agreement with Sony. What exactly that new agreement might be is unclear, but it sounds as if the developer and publisher had to reconvene and decided how best to proceed.
Then again, that was a few months ago, and this trademark abandonment is nothing to ignore. Sure, it could just be a part of the trademark process, and Sony may be able to simply purchase a new trademark for The Last Guardian, but nothing says they have or want to do that.
Do you think The Last Guardian is still coming? How do you feel about this trademark abandonment news?