The Last Guardian loses its trademark, leaving fans to wonder what the hell is going on (Updated)
Update: Shortly after the news spread that the game’s trademark lapsed, Sony issued a statement claiming it was an administrative error. Sony went on to confirm to GameSpot that the game is still in development.
Sony’s long, long, long in development title, The Last Guardian, may be in trouble. Well, more trouble than an eight year development cycle with no notable progress signifies.
GameSpot is reporting the U S trademark for the title “The Last Guardian” has been abandoned by Sony. Officially, it has been “abandoned because no Statement of Use or Extension Request timely filed after Notice of Allowance was issued.”
There are a few possible reasons for the trademark being abandoned. The first is that the game is changing titles. The second is that Sony just forgot to renew it. . The third is that Sony has given up on the property and no longer cares about it
The first is possible, but it isn’t like trademarks cost millions of dollars. Even if the game has changed name, there’s no reason for Sony not to keep the old trademark as well just to avoid confusion and any potential legal issues.
The second could be true as well, meaning Sony simply overlooked it. The game has been in development for nearly a decade now, so an issue that is basically just paperwork may have fallen through the cracks. You’d think someone at Sony would at least have a calendar notification, but it happens.
The third, however, may be the most likely.
The Last Guardian has been in development since 2007. It was meant to be Team Ico’s follow-up to Shadow of the Colossus, and was in development for the PlayStation 3. It is – or maybe was – an action and puzzle game that focused on a young boy who meets and befriends a giant creature. Footage was shown off in 2009, but since then there have been a series of delays and excuses.
For those eagerly awaiting this game though, there is still cause for hope. As recently as December 2014, the game’s director Fumito Ueda claimed that the title was moving forward under “completely new directions.”
If that is true, the trademark lapse may be deliberate. The project might have been so completely transformed, Sony decided to essentially scrap it and rebrand it. After eight years, the name The Last Guardian may also carry some negative connotations that Sony wants to avoid.