The story of Capcom’s PS4 exclusive Deep Down has been quite the odyssey. The game was introduced with great fanfare in February 2013, at the same PlayStation Meeting event in which Sony introduced the PS4, and it impressed many with its fantastic graphics, that were supposed to be Capcom’s new engine Panta Rhei‘s showpiece.
Yet, as production progressed it became clear that the development team had to overcome sizable obstacles. The announced beta test for the game was delayed several times, until Producer Yoshinori Ono announced that the game “will take a little bit more time” and that it would come in a “completely different form.”
That “little bit more time” turned in quite a lot, as not a single word about the game was officially uttered by a Capcom developer or executive since March 20th, 2015.
Yet, capcom has continued to renew the trademark regularly with the United States Patent and Trademark office. On August 2nd, they have requested the first extension of the deadline to provide a statement of use (which proves that the name is being used in commerce by the company).
The request states that Capcom “maintains its efforts in conducting product and/or service research or development with respect to the allowed good and services.” This statement is actually binding, as trademark law considers it equivalent to a sworn statement that the applicant intents to use the name commercially in the Unities States.
In this case, thought, the fact that the renewal is the fifth is quite relevant. U.S. trademark law dictates that the trademark can be extended only five times for a total of three years since the first filing. If the name is not used in commerce by when the fifth extension expires, the trademark is lost.
This means that the clock is ticking, and Capcom has only until February to actually use the Deep Down name in the United States, or the trademark will go the way of the dodo.
It’ll certainly be interesting to see if the publisher will fulfill Ono-san’s promise and finally unveil Deep Down‘s “completely different form” before February. Tokyo Game Show in September would probably be the most likely occasion, but many shows have come and gone without a word from the publisher.
Personally, I still have hope, but I have given up making predictions. We’ll have to stand-by and see what happens. While we wait, let’s have a walk down the memory lane, and watch all the trailers showcased so far.