Microsoft ran into a bit of a wall last December when their re-application for the Killer Instinct trademark was rejected due to a Fox crime drama having the same name. Fighting game enthusiasts have long hoped for a rejuvenation of the popular SNES and Arcade classic from Rare, but hope seemed lost when Microsoft was unable to reclaim the rights.
Well, Fox and Microsoft sat down over a cold beer, or a legal document, and determined that their products were not seriously infringing on the other’s namesake. The signed a Trademark Coexistence Agreement, which would allow Microsoft to possibly create another Killer Instinct game as long as they don’t turn it into a generic failed television show.
I don’t think we’ll have to be worried about that any time soon. Fox’s television show has been off the air since 2005, so in all seriousness, I’m quite certain they didn’t really care, and this document is just a formality. But could this mean that Microsoft is finally getting serious about bringing the series back?
Killer Instinct was one of the few Western developed fighting games, and easily the best of them all, to reach the prominence of its Japanese counterparts. This is the peak of how far the West came to achieving fighting game perfection back in the day. Rare seemed poised to knock Mortal Kombat from relevance, but it sadly never happened.
Most of the former Rare staff have moved on to bigger and better things after the effects of restructuring of the company, so it remains to be seen if Microsoft can muster the old talent of 1990s Rare to make Killer Instinct HD or Killer Instinct 3 something special.
The document was uncovered and posted on NeoGAF by user Rösti. You can read it here.