Capcom has filed trademarks for Onimusha in several regions around the world, prompting speculation and anticipation that the developer might announce a new game in the series. The Onimusha trademark is once again active in countries like Mexico, The Philippines, Canada, and Australia, along with the European Union.
Obviously, the initial reaction to an Onimusha trademark renewal is one of excitement at the prospect of a new game in the series. However, trademark renewals are not always an indicator of in-development games.
Publishers and IP rights holders renew trademarks simply to protect their brands and ensure that no copycat games are made. It’s possible that Capcom’s trademark for Onimusha was running out in these regions (or was close to expiring) and so the publisher decided to file new ones them in bulk.
That being said, Onimusha hasn’t been heard of for quite some time, so a trademark renewal could be our first hint towards a new game. Capcom has found a lot of success by rebooting its popular franchises, and Onimusha seems ripe for the reboot treatment.
It has been six years since the last Onimusha game released, but the browser-based game – it was eventually ported to consoles – was hardly what fans were looking for. In truth, the last genuine entry in the Onimusha series was Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams, which received mostly positive reviews when it released back in 2006.
Onimusha was a character action game in the same vein as Ninja Gaiden or, more recently, Nioh. It featured the rarely explored feudal Japan setting but mixed it with mythical creatures and some slight horror elements. Funnily enough, Capcom originally envisioned the game as Resident Evil meets feudal Japan, but eventually the concept evolved into something a bit different.
According to sales numbers, Onimusha is one of Capcom’s best selling franchises behind the likes of Mega Man, Resident Evil, Monster Hunter, and Devil May Cry. Which makes it surprising that the series has laid dormant for so long. All of the other franchises ahead of Onimusha have been in the limelight for a while and done very well for Capcom in recent years. So even if a new Onimusha isn’t in the works, perhaps news of these trademarks will generate enough excitement to convince Capcom it is time for a new game.