Blizzard’s Overwatch has been garnering all kinds of positive praise ever since the reveal at BlizzCon 2014 last year. This free-to-play first-person shooter borrows heavily from Saturday morning cartoons for its excellent aesthetic, and it is the first original franchise from the popular World of Warcraft studio in over twenty years!
And it just might need to be called something else.
NeoGAF has obtained an official notice from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) that shows that Overwatch’s trademark has been suspended because of a “a likelihood of confusion” with another product already using the name.
What is this other product using the word Overwatch? It comes to us from Innovis Labs, Inc. which owns an app called “Overwatch” designed “to enhance airsoft, paintball and first-person shooter gameplay” with an overhead viewpoint. It looks like this when viewed through an iPhone.
Not a bad idea really if Innovis can ever get it up and running. Now, nobody could possibly mix the two up when comparing screenshots, but seeing as how this Overwatch app could someday be used to monitor the gameplay in the Overwatch game, it’s easy to see where the confusion could arise.
The USPTO also points out that Blizzard was given a chance last July to make an objection or an argument against the threat of confusion with its trademark, and the suspension occurred because Blizzard did not respond or take the chance to do so.
So, it doesn’t look like Overwatch is going to end up being the title of this game unless Blizzard can work out something with Innovis Labs. A name change sound like a simpler option at this point, leaving many fans wondering what it will become.
When I see videos and screenshots of Overwatch, the first thing that comes to mind is Insomniac’s Overstrike, the gloriously cartoonish and violent trailer from E3 2011 that sadly was turned into Fuse. Maybe Blizzard can use that name! Insomniac isn’t using it. In fact, let’s check out that trailer once again for old time’s sake.
Man, that’s still awesome. Better yet though, maybe Blizzard can take this time to think of something a bit more original.