After what feels like millennia of fan outcry and occasional developer teases, it seem sthat Microsoft might finally be gearing up to announce
something new for Rare's brutal and bonkers Killer Instinct series.
Speaketh Microsoft in a Killer Instinct-themed post on the official Play XBLA blog:
all due respect to our friends in the media who like to frequent
trademark sites, we thought we’d break this one ourselves. :)
"Our legal eagles have authorized us to say: “We have either renewed
or refiled a trademark application in various jurisdictions.”
That’s it! Have a good Monday!"
Interesting. While companies renew trademarks all the time (usually simply to protect their own brands, whether or not they have any intention of using them any time soon), it's rare that anyone ever announces the fact. That Microsoft has, and has done it so flagrantly, knowing exactly what the fan reaction would be, is a rather exciting hint that something might be around the corner. Given the location of the post, an XBLA re-release of the original game(s) at least seems likely, particularly considering that Microsoft has already remade of a few of Rare's other big Nintendo 64-era hits in the form of HD remasters of Perfect Dark and the first two Banjo-Kazooie games.
What has prompted this seeming sudden interest in its long-overlooked fighting franchise? Tricky to say. Though the huge financial success that both Capcom and Warner Bros. have had in the 2D combat arena over recent years might be some small catalyst...