Bandai Namco has recently registered new trademarks for the Baten Kaitos games, two GameCube RPG classics.
Whenever a new or renewed trademark for a game is discovered, some fans like to see it as proof of an imminent new release. For instance, Sony’s recent trademark of Sunset Overdrive has sparked theories of a re-release or sequel.
Bandai Namco has also been spotted registering new trademarks, specifically for the two Baten Kaitos games, a pair of Japanese role-playing games that released for the Nintendo GameCube in the mid-2000s.
Both trademarks were spotted on the European Union Intellectual Property Office website and a cursory glance shows that they were filed on May 7, 2021.
So, does this mean that Bandai Namco is planning on re-releasing the games in the near future? Honestly, it’s difficult to say. Trademarks can never be taken as proper confirmations of anything. Most of the time, they’re done simply for legal reasons and so companies can continue to hold onto their intellectual properties, even if they have no plans for them in the short term.
However, there have been instances in the past of trademarks being followed by announcements. For example, a new trademark for Mafia 2 was spotted in 2019 and a remaster of the game was released the following year.
What’s interesting to note is that the prequel game, Baten Kaitos Origins, never released in Europe and yet Bandai Namco has registered a trademark for it in the region. Originally, it only released in Japan and North America.
Both games were developed by tri-Crescendo and Monolith Soft, the latter many should recognise as the studio behind the Xenoblade Chronicles series.
Monolith has kept itself plenty busy working on its own titles, as well as supporting Nintendo with development on other first party games like Animal Crossing: New Horizons and The Legend of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild.
However, while the series hasn’t been touched since 2006, Yasuyuki Honne, who directed both games and is still at Monolith, expressed a desire to return to the series as recently as 2018.
According to French website Gamekyo, a third Baten Kaitos was in development but it wound up being cancelled.
‘Right after the release of [Baten Kaitos Origins], I was working on a sequel at Namco (now Bandai Namco) and we were onto pre-productions, however before Baten Kaitos 3 could become a reality, talk between involved parties ended due to circumstances,’ said Honne, as translated by Siliconera.
‘Had we released the game, it would’ve been something grand, and would take you to the bottom of the seas, the earth, and the sky. Bandai Namco still has a lot of my plan work that’s been sealed away. For those of you requesting a sequel, don’t just ask Monolith Soft and myself, but Bandai Namco as well.’
Given the timing, it’s possible that Nintendo’s acquisition of Monolith had something to do with the cancellation. But Honne’s statement seems to suggest that he’d be more than happy to collaborate with Bandai Namco again to make a new entry.
Remasters seem far more likely than a new game at this point, as Bandai Namco would likely prefer to gauge how much interest there is in the series before committing to a new project.
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