Nintendo of Japan, officially known as Nintendo Co., Ltd., has recently filed eight applications for some new Japanese trademarks, according to Japanese Nintendo.
These trademarks were filed on September 2, 2020 and were published by the Japan Patent Office on September 15, 2020. The eight applications are for:
- エンテイ (Entei) (商願2020-108959)
- GAME & WATCH (商願2020-108997)
- BOWSER’S FURY (商願2020-108998)
- MARIO KART LIVE HOME CIRCUIT (商願2020-108999)
- HOME CIRCUIT (商願2020-109001)
- マリカーライブ (Mario Kart Live) (商願2020-109003)
- FURY WORLD (商願2020-109002)
- DONKEY KONG COUNTRY (商願2020-109000)
At this point, we know a few details about nearly all of these trademarks.
Entei, for those of you who aren’t aware, is from the Pokémon franchise. It is a legendary fire-type Pokémon who first appeared in the Pokémon Gold and Pokémon Silver games. The Entei trademark application is actually a joint trademark application with Nintendo Co., Ltd., Creatures Inc., and Game Freak Inc. Some sources are speculating that based on this application, maybe Nintendo plans to release a Let’s Go game featuring Entei, similar to the likes of “Let’s Go, Pikachu!” and “Let’s Go, Eevee!” There has been news of a ‘Let’s Go’ sequel since June of this year called “Let’s Go, Johto,” so there is an assumption that Entei will play some major role in that game whenever it finally releases.
The Game & Watch trademark application is actually for the Game and Watch logo. On September 3, Nintendo officially announced the “Game & Watch: Super Mario Bros.” system in connection with the 35th anniversary of the Super Mario Bros. franchise. It releases on November 13.
Bowser’s Fury is a new title that Nintendo also announced on September 3 as part of the Super Mario Bros. 35th anniversary trailers. It will be sold as a combination bundle along with Super Mario 3D World, which originally released for the Wii U in November 2013. Since the Wii U was one of Nintendo’s lower selling consoles, it makes sense that they would port this game over to the Switch. Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury is scheduled to release on February 12, 2021. Fury World might be a location, or even the main location in Bowser’s Fury, but as there is no information about Fury World to be released as of yet, we can only continue to speculate as to what relevance Fury World will have, if any at all.
Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit is the next entry in the Super Mario Bros. 35th anniversary series. With the same official announcement date of September 3, it releases next month on October 16. It is an alternate-reality type game that uses real-life toys that you operate using your Switch console, and the radio-controlled cars respond to how the player moves within the game. As this is the first and only Home Circuit game, it may be possible that the separate “Home Circuit” trademark application might hint at plans for a larger franchise of various mixed reality games.
The one mark on this list that’s shrouded in the most mystery is the “Donkey Kong Coutry” (DKC) application. The DKC trademark covers over 45 different goods and services including for “home video game program”, “downloadable video game program”, “smartphone program”, and more. The only recent news out there about DKC is that ‘DKC 2: Diddy Kong’s Quest’ is going to be released for Nintendo Switch Online on September 23. Diddy Kong’s Quest was originally released on November 20, 1995 for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, or SNES as it is popularly shortened to.
While securing a trademark for your IP is a common practice, and any entity who creates an IP would be wise to secure their rights in said IP, the public disclosure of trademark applications can often negate any surprise or secrecy surrounding new video game titles. Even so, a trademark application isn’t enough to give away crucial information about a video game, and most speculations concerning a trademark application, are just rumors. Despite this, I believe that the reveal of trademark applications are just one of many things that keep people excited for new developments within the industry.