Microsoft’s PlayXBLA teased today that the company has renewed their trademark for Rare’s mid-1990′s fighter, Killer Instinct.
The post is intentionally vague, and states that they wanted to break the Killer Instinct trademark news before their “friends in the media”. Adding that the company’s lawyers authorized the following statement about the IP:
“We have either renewed or refiled a trademark application in various jurisdictions.”
Rare released the original Killer Instinct arcade machine in 1994, and then ended the series two years later with the release of Killer Instinct 2 in arcades and the Nintendo 64 title Killer Instinct Gold. Since then nothing has happened with the IP, and Microsoft likely took it over when they acquired Rare in 2002. Today’s trademark announcement is the first hint that they might actually do something constructive with the languishing series.
Considering the recent statements by former Rare employee Don Murpy, who revealed that Microsoft was not interested in making Killer Instinct 3, it is doubtful that the renewed trademark is for a new game. What seems more likely is that the company has decided to test the waters and is planning to release an HD remake on XBLA.
That is all just hopeful speculation at this point, but we will let you know as soon as Microsoft announces their intentions for Killer Instinct.