Prior to E3, Microsoft trademarks Xbox cult classic Phantom Dust's name

Microsoft has discussed the possibility of a Phantom Dust reboot in the past.

Image courtesy of Gamasutra

A decade after releasing Phantom Dust for the original Xbox, Microsoft has filed for a new trademark on the game's title in Europe, possibly signaling the company's intention to reboot the series as previously rumored.

The trademark (as first reported by Gaming Everything) was filed for just yesterday by Microsoft and falls into the "game software" and "entertainment services, namely, providing an online computer game" categories.

Microsoft still owns a trademark on the name in the United States even though it was Majesco that published Phantom Dust here in 2005. Originally published by Microsoft in Japan the year prior, it was developed by Microsoft Game Studios and directed by Yukio Futatsugi, the director of Sega Saturn classic Panzer Dragoon and, more recently, Xbox One launch game Crimson Dragon. A sort of hybrid of card games and shooters, it earned an 8.5 in GameSpot's review at the time.

Futatsugi has expressed interest in reviving the series in the past, telling USGamer last June, "I've been really interested in how the Kickstarter movement has been going, and I think it would be great if it actually stays part of the industry. The reason why I looked into Kickstarter is because I wanted to Kickstart a Phantom Dust game."

While Kickstarter has shown itself to be a viable avenue for funding cult classics--just look at Harmonix with Amplitude--the site's restrictions on where a project must be based out of would have made it difficult to leverage for the Japan-based Futatsugi. However, he may have found a different approach for getting a new Phantom Dust funded as Crimson Dragon's development concluded.

Late last year, now-Head of Xbox Phil Spencer told Kotaku that discussions had taken place about the possibility of rebooting Phantom Dust. "We're talking to [Futatsugi] about what we might want to do next with him," Spencer said. "There's some interest out there in some older [intellectual property]. Phantom Dust has come up around whether we would want to reboot that franchise. It's a discussion right now; there's nothing's signed. But we're talking. It does seem like there's a lot of interest around that. And we have a good long relationship with him and I think that would be good."

A trademark registration on its own is no guarantee that anything is in the works. But with E3 just a few weeks away, it's entirely possible a new Phantom Dust project will be among the titles Microsoft plans to reveal during its press conference.

What are you hoping comes of this Phantom Dust trademark application? An HD remake? A sequel? Let us know in the comments below.

Chris Pereira is a freelance writer for GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @TheSmokingManX
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Discussion

98 comments
Foppe
Foppe

Love that old game.

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

Didn't Phil Spencer say last month that they were looking to bring back a well-loved game with the help of a japanese studio...?

He later shot down the Shemnue rumour, so I'd pretty much put my house on this being what he was on about.

Never played the original, and I'm mostly a Playstation gamer. Hope it's good though for you Xbox kids :)

bourne714
bourne714

I wanted this game so bad back in the day. I always wondered why the kept it Japanese only. I really hope this happens and I also hope it has a badazz character creator so I can make some kind of Akira Super Saiyan mashup.

X-RS
X-RS

YESS!

With the surge in MOBAs and TCG online, its truly time fro some PD imo \m/

ceromaster
ceromaster

Keep it up MS, now you're cooking with fire.

Red122
Red122

Id be happy with a Shenmue remake.  

jayjay444
jayjay444

I would like a crimson skies sequel and a Phantom dust sequel with a remastered remake brought out in arcade first before the sequel is made,  because iv'e yet to have the pleasure of playing it thanks to Halo CE. :(

santinegrete
santinegrete

And it's not an MP focused shooter? bring it!

KamuiFei
KamuiFei

Phantom Dust was a lot of fun and one of Xbox's most underrated games imo. Color me impressed if MS brings it back and makes it right.

dark_rage864
dark_rage864

Microsoft trademarks 'TimeSplitters' - heart explodes!

Alucard_Prime
Alucard_Prime

Kickstarter or.....hmmmm a Billion $ company? Anyways, don't know anything about this game by I am intruigued by that amazing screenshot.

Synbi0s84
Synbi0s84

It may have already been said, but Panzer Dragoon Orta?

Maybe if they were to dub it in english, it would be more accepted by western gamers?

freedom01
freedom01 moderator

I would be happier if MS brought back Sudeki

kingcrimson24
kingcrimson24

many of old Xbox and Xbox 360 exclusives had the potential to be something amazing . hope phill spencer discovers them and bring them back !

inscript
inscript

This game is a classic title, can't wait ! They should raise the cap on muti player from what it was on xbox the og xbox

robertcain
robertcain

Bringing back franchises like this will really bring people back to Xbox; perhaps they might resurrect franchises like Kameo and Lost Odyssey as well?

b74kd3th
b74kd3th

Never heard of this game

sladakrobot
sladakrobot

I admit,i never played this game and i played alot of games.

It never did caught my attention...but it seems its pretty good game according to comments below.

Will have an eye on it.

digishah
digishah

To anyone whose played the game, what is you favorite skill? 

Mine was finisher, love the look on my bros face when I pin him down and he has no choice but to eat my finisher ;)  

Choad-Warrior
Choad-Warrior

Arguably the best Xbox game. This and Jade Empire.

digishah
digishah

OMG!!! If this happens I would have no choice but to get an Xbox1 against any and all better judgement...

DAAAAMN you Microsoft!!! You're pulling my nostalgia heartstrings like a harp...


P.S. I love how they describe the game as hybrid card and shooter because there is no other way to describe the unique mechanics of this game...

megakick
megakick

NICE!!! SONY PS4 is so behind on good original games...

xantufrog
xantufrog

Not familiar with this one, will be interested to see what comes of this news

Getesh
Getesh

I played the hell out of this game. Probably my favorite game on the xbox. If they do remake the game i hope to hell it's not on console only and they do a pc release.

hotwog21
hotwog21

so so desperate.


KIller Instict.


nuff said.


kind regards. skype, kinect, smartglass, fantasy football, rumble triggers, titanfall, cloud.


make it backward compatible with xbox 360 and xbox live arcade games


enable chat between xbox 360 and xbox one


separate the kinect properly




then you will be back in the race.

A8ADD0N
A8ADD0N

@bourne714 


It actually did come out in America and in full English. However, that version, unlike the Japanese version, was not published by Microsoft. The game itself was made in-house at Microsoft, but published stateside by Majesco. Kind of weird.

MAXAM999
MAXAM999

Its not like they wanted to bring it back , its just the lack of classic Japanese exclusives on the original Xbox force them to do that .. so they desperately bring it back to appeal the Japanese market .

sladakrobot
sladakrobot

@Synbi0s84 They dont need to dub it coz it was anyway not in japanese!

The language they speak is specialy made and not real.

And hell yes,Orta is damn amazing.

bliciant
bliciant

Aura backflow and excalibur

blackace
blackace

@Choad-Warrior Dying for a Jade Empire sequel, but Bioware isn't even thinking about that right now. I don't know how M$ could get that sequel done.

HonorOfGod
HonorOfGod

Why bash on Sony? I mean that was so pointless and if anything they have more IPs than MS.

_williamwallace
_williamwallace

@hotwog21 man, you get more and more boring everyday, youve already reach the roof of stupidity.

and for once instead of writing something stupid as shown and being to dense to debate or argue your fanboyish opinion, i would like to you break down each of your points and elaborate a bit.... 

only thing desperate here is you with your poor attempts for attention....

rasterror
rasterror

Man shut up! You say the same stupid thing. Why don't you go find a rock to kick or a brick to chew on.

A8ADD0N
A8ADD0N

@MAXAM999


You don't know what you're talking about. There were actually a significant amount of quality Japanese exclusives on the original Xbox. The Otogi series, GunValkyrie, Breakdown, Phantom Dust, Shenmue 2, Ninja Gaiden, Panzer Dragoon Orta, and JSRF were all awesome games.

northArrow
northArrow

@sladakrobot @robertcain Yup, Mistwalker still owns the IP and they only do IOS/Android games now. 


It would be difficult to convince them to release the game again considering that it was a financial flop for them

MAXAM999
MAXAM999

@A8ADD0N Denial, that's the best way to run away from facts

The damage is done , no need to damage control ^_^ 

rasterror
rasterror

MS could sweeten the deal and offer to buy the rights for a healthy sum.

blackace
blackace

@northArrow @sladakrobot @robertcain Only if Microsoft paid them to make the sequel. Money talks. Microsoft could also just buy the rights to the game and having someone else make it. We'll see what happens.


If Hironobu Sakaguchi walks on stage at Microsoft's E3 conference, we'll know for sure. lol!!

_williamwallace
_williamwallace

@hotwog21 @_williamwallace and what exactly did you add? oh nothing, thats right. there no reason to add argument with you, this post being an example, when some ask you a question, you either say what you just said, or laugh and call the other blind because youre to stupid to come up with a rebuttal...no reason wasting time arguing with you, id rather just call you stupid for repeating the same sh!t everyday.....