Square Enix has filed new trademarks related to its series of Final Fantasy rhythm games, Theatrhythm, fueling speculation that a new installment may be on the way.
The unlikely series first popped up in 2012 with Theatrhythm Final Fantasy, a “theatre rhythm action” game where players used the touch screen to tap and hold notes in time with the score, thereby either progressing across an in-game map or performing attacks on bosses. It used a signature paper doll art style previously seen in Kingdom Hearts Mobile, and included a greatest hits of tracks and characters from the series’ history. A sequel, subtitled Curtain Call, arrived in 2014 and included over 300 songs by the time its DLC was complete.
A mobile version ran on iOS from 2012 to 2017. Meanwhile, the series hit Japanese arcades in 2016 with Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: All-Star Carnival, which has seen regular content updates ever since. However, its online service will terminate at the end of this month. The machines can remain operational—unlike its sister game, Dissidia Final Fantasy, whose machines which will also lose functionality come April—but no new content can be added without its online infrastructure.
As Gematsu reports, Square Enix has registered new trademarks for the Theatrhythm name in Canada and Australia, classified under various video game categories. This move may be simply preserving one of the company’s titles, or it could indicate that a new game could be on the way to fill in for All-Star Carnival‘s absence. Back in January the company also trademarked the titles “Ever Crisis” and “First Soldier,” which were revealed almost two months later as Final Fantasy VII Remake tie-ins.
With over 60 playable characters and an absolutely massive library of songs, a Switch port of All-Star Carnival would be welcome news for Final Fantasy fans. The arcade version included tracks from Final Fantasy XV, which the 3DS games predated, and grew in time to include not only unlikely pulls from various mobile titles like Final Fantasy Record Keeper, but also other Square Enix titles like Dragon Quest, NieR, and Octopath Traveler.
But for now, fans can take this as a sign that the show may yet go on for Theathrythm, in some form—or at least take comfort in the knowledge that Square Enix hasn’t entirely forgotten about it.