Activision calls dibs on Guitar Villain, Drum Villain

Trademark applications filed late last year suggest a pair of Guitar Hero spin-offs in the publisher's future.

With MTV's purchase of Guitar Hero developer Harmonix and development duties on the franchise handed over to Neversoft, it seems inevitable that the game will undergo some changes. A pair of trademark application filings uncovered today by GameSpot indicate those changes could extend well beyond the studio making the game.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office Web site currently shows a pair of applications from Activision for "Guitar Villain" and "Drum Villain." The applications specifically state that they are intended to cover computer game software in a variety of forms, including downloadable games, games sold together with controllers, arcade games, and games sold with electronic toy guitars. The filings also mention entertainment services, such as online leaderboards that keep track of players' high scores.

The Guitar Villain mark was filed for on November 29, 2006, with the Drum Villain mark following days later on December 1.

These filings don't necessarily mean these games are coming soon, or even at all. Before it was acquired by Activision last year, RedOctane filed for trademarks on Keyboard Hero, Drum Hero, and Band Hero.

A representative from Activision acquisition and original Guitar Hero publisher RedOctane offered the following statement when asked about the trademark filings: "RedOctane is fully dedicated to, and currently focused on the production of Guitar Hero II for the Xbox 360. There have not been any announcements, or further information, on any titles and projects outside of this."

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