With so much talk focused on Street Fighter, Marvel vs. Capcom (RIP) and Monster Hunter in recent months, it’s easy to forget that Capcom had another interesting game lying around: Deep Down. However, while most of us have forgotten about it, Capcom certainly hasn’t and recently extended the game’s trademark, suggesting the company still has plans for it.
To refer to Deep Down as a mystery would be an understatement.
Deep Down made its first public appearance back in 2013 during the same presentation that unveiled the PlayStation 4 to the world; and between the interesting gameplay, setting, aesthetic and Phanta Rhei engine, fans were immediately hooked and wanted to know more about Capcom’s upcoming game. Of course, Capcom was more than happy to oblige, offering a steady stream of news between 2013 and 2014.
However, things suddenly came to a grinding halt: we got our last batch of screenshots in Dec. 2014, the last bit of footage from the game came a few months later in Feb. 2015 and the official Twitter page stopped updating soon after.
Of course, games being unveiled at one point only to go dark and reemerge years later as something else isn’t uncommon (Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE and NiOh are strong examples here) and producer Yoshinori Ono indicated in 2015 that this was another example of that, stating Deep Down was still alive, but the game’s concept was completely changed.
And, indeed, this appears to be the case.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) dictates that a trademark can only be renewed five times (earning a six month extension) within a three-year period before a statement of use is provided, indicating that the trademark is being used in commerce (i.e. the game is released). In the chance this period expires, the trademark is forfeit and another company can potentially pick it up. Simple napkin math reveals this already happened. Back in 2016, Capcom extended the Deep Down trademark for the fifth and final time, but managed to retain the rights to the name by registering it again in 2017.
Now, with the current trademark extension in place, Capcom has two years before the name becomes forfeit in June 20, 2020.
What makes this situation so odd is just how quiet Capcom has been about all of this. At one point, Deep Down was seen as the next-gen Dragon’s Dogma and left the affiliated community at the edge of their seats. In fact, the game was actually playable at a previous Tokyo Game Show, so we know it was fairly far along in development. But now it exists as a game that Capcom has spent copious amounts of time renewing a trademark for, despite it not being mentioned in any official capacity.
Regardless of how quiet it has been, however, this recent filing indicates that Capcom is still working on Deep Down. But when it will be revealed to the public is anyone’s guess.