EA abandons Skate trademark, killing potential Skate 4
According to data spotted by various outlets, Electronic Arts has neglected to file the necessary paperwork to renew ownership of the Skate IP. Rumors have been circulating for a fair few years now that Electronic Arts was holding on to the franchise with hopes to revive it. And even though fans of the hardcore variety held out hope for such a thing to happen, it now looks like a Skate 4 won’t happen, at least not anytime soon.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (UPTO) maintains a record of all the trademarks filed as a mechanism for checking who owns what property as part of their official duties. From time to time though, rights have to be updated. There are a whole host of legal precedents and laws at play here, but the gist is this. If a company effectively fails to maintain and defend ownership of a property, it lapses out of their ownership. This is why film studios will often push out a cheap reboot of an older film franchise, like the infamously bad Fantastic Four reboot from 2015, simply so that they can hold onto the rights.
Although in the case of video games, the lines are a bit blurrier, and it can often lead to some confusion and rights disputes over who owns what game IP. But this particular case is pretty clear.
The last game in the franchise, Skate 3, was a bit mediocre for hardcore fans. The 2010 title from EA Black Box ditched the more organic feel of the previous two games for a much more bright and often over-the-top feel. The fictional locale of the latest game was much more more colorful and friendlier compared to other settings, did OK but wasn’t stupidly successful.
Back in 2017, EA shut down rumors of a potential sequel during an earnings call, saying Skate 4 wasn’t in development. Fan hopes were renewed when the publisher had re-filed its ownership of the IP with the US Trademark and Patent Office back in February of last year. However since then, judging from the filing history, no action has been taken. Around December of last year, UPTO officials tried to reach EA to begin the process of renewing the rights, only to not hear anything back. As of now, the franchise remains in limbo.
If you’re looking for something to soothe that broken heart, check out Session, a spiritual successor to the hyper-realistic skateboarding sim that’s actually looking pretty solid even in its early stages of development.
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