Sony Computer Entertainment Japan files to trademark the phrase ‘VRPG’, leading some fans to suggest that a virtual reality role-playing game is on the way.
Sony has been incredibly busy with its trademarking lately. Just last week the company made headlines when its plans to trademark ‘Let’s Play’ were revealed. Backlash from gamers and the YouTube community ensued and the USPTO soon denied the request for being too similar to an existing trademark. The company’s Day’s Gone trademark also made the rounds, with Sony filing for it in relation to a game that may have some sort of online component. Apparently the company’s not done yet, having filed a trademark for the phrase ‘VRPG’.
Filed by Sony Computer Entertainment Japan (SCEJ) back in December, the trademark filing was listed online by the Japanese Patent and Trademark Office. The document is entirely in Japanese but DualShockers states that the filing is Class 9 (which is used for games) and “includes pretty much all the standard definition for game trademarks.” Unfortunately, there’s little else to go on, but one popular theory from fans is that VRPG actually stands for Virtual Role-Playing Game and relates to a new PlayStation VR game.
If the trademark does relate to an upcoming virtual reality RPG, then PlayStation VR early adopters will no doubt be overjoyed. The upcoming headset already has a strong lineup of games including Psychonauts: In the Rhombus of Ruin, Robinson: The Journey, and Tekken 7 and a fully-fledged role-playing game would only bolster that list. The PlayStation VR headset is predicted to sell 1.9 million units in 2016 alone but if Sony can show gamers that the device has a varied list of games coming to it, then the actual sales may even outpace that prediction.
However, the team behind these VRPGs will have to be careful, as they can’t just function like normal RPGs. Fallout 4 is one ‘traditional’ RPG that has over 400 hours worth of content in it, but trying to do the same thing with a virtual reality headset may not be feasible. Consumers may not want to have the headset on for that long and so the developer may have to think about ways to break up the gameplay and make it playable in bitesize chunks.
Moreover, Masayasu Ito, EVP, Division president of PS Product Business and VP (Software Design Division) has said that the name PlayStation VR “directly expresses an entirely new experience from PlayStation.” Fans will expect something different, then, and will not just want to play a Witcher 3 clone (even if it has been voted one of the best games of last year). The trademark is just speculation for the moment, though, so it could be some time until this ‘VRPG’ shows its face.