A recent update on Trademarkia says that Team Ico’s long-delayed adventure title The Last Guardian has had the status of its trademark changed to “Abandoned – No Statement Of Use Filed.”
Now, before you start to panic (like much of the internet today), know that this in no way means that The Last Guardian has been cancelled. Instead, it just appears that Sony has, for some unknown reason, decided to not renew the trademark of the game.
Gaming industry gossip Superannuation has a helpful series of tweets on the matter, explaining that Sony could file for extensions of The Last Guardian’s trademark for up to three years after receiving a Notice of Allowance — which essentially sets up a due date for a company to make good on their intent to use a given product — from the United States Patent and Trademark Office. At that point, the company would be forced to prove that the game has been used commercially.
Sony reportedly received this Notice of Allowance for The Last Guardian in January 2010, meaning that they then had until January 2013 to show commercial use. Since the follow-up to Shadow of the Colossus has been stuck in an exceedingly slow development process over the years, it’s not exactly surprising to hear that the game was not likely to make it to market by that time. Ipso facto, the trademark expired.
Of course, there’s also the possibility that Sony has either changed the name of the game and no longer needs the trademark, or that they simply forgot to file their paperwork in time.
As for what happens next, Sony can simply file to appeal or revive the trademark at any time they’d like in the future.
The Last Guardian, a PlayStation 3 exclusive, is without a release date at this time.