KI fans rejoice! Microsoft has renewed its trademark for the classic, 90s fighting game. After waiting for a decade and a half, we can now look forward to a possible remastered version for Xbox Arcade, or even a long-awaited sequel. Did I mention Killer Instinct on the SNES was my favourite game of all time?
Announced on Microsoft’s PlayXBLA, the company’s ‘legal eagles’ authorized this statement about the KI franchise “We have either renewed or refiled a trademark application in various jurisdictions.”
For the past few years, there were complications regarding the franchise’s licensing, with its developers Rare/Rareware moving from Nintendo to Microsoft…I don’t fully understand the story, but there was a large standstill with the franchise (as well as other Rare IPs such as Banjo Kazooie), that led fans to believe that there wouldn’t be anymore KI games. With large number of people waiting for a sequel, or even an Xbox Live Arcade port, there was no news on the franchise, until now.
If you were a 90s Nintendo gamer, you would have heard of this awesome fighting game. Rival to Midway’s (or NetherRealm’s) Mortal Kombat, Killer instinct was firstly an arcade game, and was ported for consoles. The latest title Killer instinct Gold, was released in 1996 on the Nintendo 64, so it has been far too long since anyone has heard about this franchise. Killer Instinct was a mixture between Street Fighter’s fighting style, and Mortal Kombat’s finishers, as well as having its own distinguishable features that made this game unique to other fighting games. Also having unique roster of characters such as the cyborg Fulgore, Orchid, an assassin who flashes her opponents as a finisher and even a dinosaur, and creating the popular saying “C-C-C-Combo Breaker“, Killer Instinct is one of the best fighting games of all time.
It’s possible that we’ll see a HD remastering of the classic SNES or N64 version for XBLA, and the fact that NetherRealm Studios have had their eyes on this franchise, I wouldn’t be surprised if they were given the Killer Instinct IP. WIth the success of Mortal Kombat, and with their new fighting game Injustice: Gods Among Us underway (Fact: Killer instinct’s health bar system will be used for NetherRealm’s Injustice), NetherRealm have my vote for taking care of the franchise, with their great experience with the fighting game genre, as well as their relationship with Killer Instinct (Fact: Killer Instinct Arcade version was published by Midway).
Hopefully we see a new game in the franchise in the next few years, but that would probably depend on the sales of the Arcade HD remake. A next-gen release would be awesome, and hoping that Microsoft doesn’t mess around with the franchise, since fans have waited far to long for a Killer Instinct game. No Kinect Killer Instinct please Microsoft.