Yesterday, Capcom revealed that they had renewed a staggering amount of old game trademarks at the end of last month.
On November 29th, as reported December 17th via patent tracker Chizai-Watch, Capcom renewed the trademarks for many franchises that we haven’t seen true new installments in for decades, including Darkstalkers, Dino Crisis, Power Stone, Cyberbots, Puzzle Fighter, Pocket Fighter, Capcom Fighting Jam, Red Earth, Super Gem Fighter Minimix, Samurai Sword, Powered Gear, Progear, and Last Duel, among dozens of others. Rockman, a.k.a. Megaman, was also on the list. The trademarks renewed number 50 in total, the largest batch the prominent publisher has produced all year.
What this means is not entirely clear. Capcom is in a good place right now, having just got off of the success of Monster Hunter World, Resident Evil 2, and Devil May Cry 5, with Resident Evil 3 and further updates for Monster Hunter World: Iceborne and Street Fighter V: Champion Edition coming in the next few months. Teppen is also pulling in a lot of praise and attention from long-time fans. However, due to Resident Evil 3 being outsourced and the rest of Capcom’s current public activities being post-launch support, we are not currently aware of any new projects Capcom is working on in-house. That’s where these trademarks come in — maybe.
The many retro franchises found in the renewals could be put to use in a number of ways. They could be rereleased for modern platforms which, while sounding underwhelming, would still reintroduce players to franchises that haven’t seen new entries in decades — not to mention a number of games so obscure that even the most Capcom-attuned source I found couldn’t place them. The trademarks could have been renewed for genuine new entries in a couple of the bigger franchises, as Capcom has been hinting at over the past two years. They could be used as card fodder for Teppen, or they might just sit around as trademarks Capcom wants to keep. And there is the possibility — slight as it is — that Capcom could have a big crossover game planned for next-generation consoles. Please… please make Capcom Vs. Capcom a reality.
Unfortunately, we have no means of knowing what all of these patents are for. Capcom is in a position where it can afford to keep its cards close to its chest, and no amount of yearning for old properties will guarantee them budging. Whatever happens, you can be sure that we’ll be keeping a close eye on news coming out of Capcom over the course of 2020. Here’s to one more “Capcom Presents…”