After numerous delays and the departure of a number of designers on the game (including the game’s creator Fumito Ueda), things look troubling for The Last Guardian. Team ICO’s third game has now taken another blow, the game’s trademark seems to have expired. But it’s not as bad is it sounds.
According to the trademark website Trademarkia, a few days ago the trademark for the game was changed to the following:
“Status Update! On Monday, August 6, 2012, status on the THE LAST GUARDIAN trademark changed to ABANDONED – NO STATEMENT OF USE FILED.”
According to Kotaku, while this may sound like bad news, it’s likely just a simple screw up by someone over at Sony. All this means is that the trademark has expired because Sony had three years to make use of it and they didn’t. They still have until January 2013 to use it, though, and if they don’t’ they can still re-register it.
Even if the game does get cancelled, Sony would still not simply give it up because they have a vested interest in protecting the trademark and possibly re-using it in the future. All they have to do now is simply request an appeal or easily complete a new registration for the trademark. U.S. laws will protect it from getting stolen by some random person, so Sony is safe.
After this story broke, Sony sent out a statement clarifying the situation to Chris Kohler from Wired. He posted the following on his Twitter:
“The Last Guardian is still in development.” — Sony rep. Sigh of relief, etc.
— Chris Kohler (@kobunheat) August 9, 2012
So fans of the game should not fret, while things do indeed look bad for the game, according to Sony the game is still being made. When it will actually arrive, though, is anyone’s guess.