Killer Instinct

The big meanies over at Microsoft are playing around with the emotions of Killer Instinct fans around the world today.

The company announced that its legal team has renewed the trademark for arcade fighting game Killer Instinct in various jurisdictions around the globe, but that’s all it said on the subject. This is a bit unusual. Typically, publishers and developers are pretty quiet about their trademark actions. That Microsoft would come out and announce that it’s performed this simple legal act points to a bigger announcement still to come.

Killer Instinct is a Rare-developed brawler from 1994. The developer produced a sequel which it released to arcades in 1996. Both games eventually appeared on Nintendo home consoles.

In 2002, Microsoft purchased a 100 percent stake in Rare, and the series has remained dormant in that time.

It’s likely — especially since this announcement came from the XBLA team — that any Xbox 360 version of Killer Instinct would be an HD update similar to the XBLA version of Perfect Dark.

We’ve contacted Microsoft and Rare to determine the future of the Killer Instinct trademark and will update with any further developments.