The Latest On Killer Instinct – Where Has It Been?

Ah, the 90s.  It was a good time to be a fighting fan with many options in the arcades like Street Fighter, King of Fighters, Mortal Kombat, and my personal favorite, Killer Instinct.  Kind of a cross between the controls of Street Fighter and the unrealistic gore of Mortal Kombat, Killer Instinct was developed by Rare (which at the time was owned by Nintendo) and I can remember losing so many quarters to it in those stale and neon lit local arcades.  It’s hard to believe but it’s been a long 16 years since we were given Killer Instinct 2 in the arcades.  Fans constantly barrage the now Microsoft owned Rare in the hopes of some (any) information on a possible new game in the franchise.  Unfortunately for them, they’ve only been greeted by silence….until now.

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News broke earlier yesterday that Microsoft had been denied when it tried to renew the trademark for the popular fighter.  The US Patent and Trademark Office refused them over the “likelihood of confusion” with another similar trademark.  So what gives?

Fans, you’ll want to direct your angry at FOX Television Studios, as they created a television drama back in the mid 2000’s also named Killer Instinct.  it was a short-lived television program that lasted only 13 episodes.  The patent office felt the confusion came from the fact that both trademarks look and sound the same which would confuse consumers into believing the goods and services came from the same place.  I mean, honestly people, one has a cyborg with blades on its hands, an undead skeleton, and a guy made of ice.  Is it really possible to confuse that with a short-lived crime drama?  Oh wait, is that the one with the Tibetan Ninja or am I confusing that with the other one….

While this is certainly tough news, it does give me hope that at the very least the wheels over at Microsoft are turning.  Perhaps with the recent fighter revival started by Street Fighter 4 and Mortal Kombat, Microsoft felt it was an appropriate time to revisit the long dormant franchise.  Still, we don’t know the end game here so it may be the next game or it could be some HD remakes of the first two games.  I hope this news doesn’t discourage or force Microsoft to shy away as I’d love to see the friendly faces of Jago, Sabrewulf, and the rest of the gang.  Also, C-C-C-Combo breaker!

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