Scalebound may have gotten the axe back in January of this year, but that doesn't mean Microsoft Studios wants to relinquish every piece of its dragon-filled title just yet. News broke earlier this week that Microsoft has renewed the Scalebound trademark. Exactly what the publisher will do with the refreshed IP is still unknown.
Renewal details were first discovered by Twitter user y2konya, and are posted in full on the trademark data and copyright website, Justia Trademarks. Regarding Scalebound specifics, the site shows that no movement occurred from October 2016, when the trademark was cancelled, to May of this year. However, activity kicked up again at the beginning of this month, with Microsoft apparently filing a second Trademark Electronic Application System (TEAS) extension for the Scalebound brand.
It's interesting to note that the Scalebound trademark didn't appear to be facing any immediate threat of losing its registration. Additionally, the Scalebound trademark history notes Microsoft as the current and only owner, so it's anyone's guess why Microsoft renewed the trademark for a game that has been shuttered for so many months.
As expected, speculation has stirred up already. Some believe that Microsoft is gearing up to shop Scalebound with a new developer. Others argue that the publisher is protecting itself from a legal standpoint, wanting to reserve the right to restart Scalebound under a new name in the near future. Another idea is that the renewal was carried out to prevent other developers from creating a title using the same name. The company has already been in hot water in the past, almost facing a lawsuit involving an Xbox 360 defect.
Microsoft pulled the plug on the PlatinumGames-developed project early this year, and shortly after began deleting any mention of Scalebound from its social platforms. Fans noticed that Scalebound videos were, ironically enough, falling like scales off the Microsoft YouTube account. This seemed to add insult to injury, as Scalebound's cancellation was met with uproar from fans and industry executives alike.
Despite a seemingly sincere apology from game director Hideki Kamiya in which he confirmed he took time off for his mental health, Scalebound hopefuls were left pretty blindsided when the title bit the bullet. Microsoft's official statement simply mentioned that the decision came after "careful deliberation," and that the publisher is continuing to work hard "to deliver an amazing lineup of games."
Though Microsoft renewing the Scalebound trademark certainly makes the cancelled game's status even more confusing, fans can look forward to everything else the publisher has to offer this year. Microsoft will take the stage for E3 2017 on Sunday, June 11, where the company's mysterious Project Scorpio will be unveiled in full.