Discovered by a NeoGAF poster, Microsoft has allegedly filed a new trademark for the long-dead Battletoads property. As Microsoft owns Rare Ltd., the developer behind the property, it's certainly something it has access to. With one of the most frustrating levels in all of gaming and years of jokes and prank calls behind it, Battletoads also has plenty of name recognition on the Internet as well.
Before we get excited, this could mean a few things.
It could be a simple re-release of the classic Battletoads game for arcades and consoles from the early 90s – a straight-forward remake with higher resolution art.
It could, also, be one of the new games Phil Spencer has been hinting at in interviews.
In the darkest timeline of this story, it could also be, as one NeoGAF user suggests, a skin pack for one of Microsoft's other games. One possibility was that the registration was a hoax as we've recently seen with Fallout – Battletoads is certainly the type of thing someone would latch onto for a prank like that – but Microsoft confirmed to Game Informer that they did indeed register the trademark. What they aren't saying, though, is what they plan to do with the license.
It would be surprising if a franchise like this were resurrected for an actual boxed game, though. Expect to see whatever comes of this trademark (if anything) hit Xbox Live. It's unlikely we'll be able to call GameStop and pre-order Battletoads anytime soon.