Killer Instinct, one of Rare’s earlier experiments in arcade gaming, is still considered to be one of the seminal fighting games of the 1990s. Notable for its creative character designs, attractive, rendered sprites, and absurdly long combos, Killer Instinct only ever saw one sequel and then disappeared, much to the chagrin of fans.
Recently Microsoft, current owners of Rare, have been gunning for something to happen with the license, but have been blocked by an existing trademark by Fox for something entirely unrelated. Fox claims that the existence of a videogame with the same name as their project would create consumer confusion.
It appears that something has changed, as NeoGAF user Rösti has posted an image of a “Trademark Coexistence Agreement” between Fox Television Studios, Inc. and Microsoft Corporation over the Killer Instinct trademark. The assistant secretaries of both Fox and Microsoft signed the contract on March 27 and March 28 respectively. The agreement grants Microsoft the license to use the Killer Instinct name for Microsoft Goods and Services.
Could it finally be time for a new Killer Instinct game?