Konami Trademark Hints at the Possibility of a New Castlevania Title
As fans of the beloved Castlevania franchise anxiously await news about a potential new game in the series, a recent Konami trademark filing in Japan has sparked speculation that the wait may soon be over. On March 7th, the company filed for a trademark for "Project Zircon," a name containing elements of the Castlevania universe. Is this a forthcoming game announcement?
The Castlevania series is one of the most influential and beloved franchises in video game history. Starting with the original title in 1986, the series became the blueprint for the Metroidvania genre, which features exploration-focused gameplay and interconnected levels that open up as players acquire new skills. The success of subsequent installments made Castlevania an iconic brand that has been kept alive through recent titles like Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night and the recently released Dead Cells DLC, which contained a crossover with the series.
Despite the franchise's continued relevance and devoted fan base, the last mainline Castlevania game was 2014's Lords of Shadow 2, which received mixed reviews. Fans have been clamoring for a new title ever since, and the "Project Zircon" trademark registration has given them fresh hope. The trademark's filing does contain the typical video game software designation, and zircons, a type of gemstone, do appear in some Castlevania games.
Since the franchise's inception, Konami has downsized its traditional game development efforts in favor of a larger focus on arcades. Last year's pandemic-induced lockdowns appeared to offer a potential window for the company to reevaluate its strategy and surprise fans with a new Castlevania title. But despite the record low revenue from its pachinko ventures, Konami posted both record revenues and profits for the previous fiscal year, suggesting the company is doing better than ever.
Whether or not "Project Zircon" is, in fact, hinting at a new Castlevania game remains to be seen. But the positive response to the Dead Cells DLC and the ongoing success of the Netflix anime series suggests that the franchise is still very much in demand. Fans will just have to keep their eyes on the horizon in anticipation of any potential announcements.
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