Ubisoft Reclaims "Battle Isle" Trademark From Blue Byte Co-Founder

According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Ubisoft has filed applications for “Battle Isle.” The application is filed exclusively under Class 9 for game software.

Whether the trademark has been filed in hopes of a new game in the Battle Isle series unknown, as Ubisoft has not said head-or-tale regarding that series in quite some time. However, the more interesting story lies with the reclaiming of the trademark itself.

For those out of the loop, Battle Isle was a turn-based strategy game created by developer Blue Byte that was a moderate success in Europe. The first game in the series, Battle Isle first launched in 1991 and would produce eight other sequels and add-ons, becoming a cult-hit for many strategy PC gamers. Some of the games would eventually go on to sell over 600,000 copies.

However, the moderate-sized studo Blue Byte would eventually be acquired by Ubisoft, with co-founder Lothar Schmitt disappearing into the wind and co-founder Thomas Hertzler creating a brand new game studio, “Stratotainment, LLC.” Hertzler would later, in October 2012 file for ownership of Battle Isle‘s trademark.

From there, Hertzler and his studio Stratotainment launched a Kickstarter for Battle Isle: Threshold Run — an iOS reboot of the series looking to meet a $75,000 goal. Following the September 4 launch of the crowd-sourcing campaign, the Kickstarter project shuttered two weeks later raising $3,797 (5% of the total goal).

According to the statement issued at the end of the campaign, Stratotainment chose to cancel the campaign in favor of self-funding Battle Isle: Threshold Run. Hertzler seemed interested in perusing Battle Isle outside the realm of Threshold Run, announcing that he would “announce the direction of the Battle Isle franchise in the future.” After more than a few hiatuses, Threshold Run was placed on an indefinite hiatus in September 2014.

Since then, Hertzler and Statotainment have moved on from both Battle Isle and Threshold Run — according to their website, they are working on a free-to-play PC tank game called Gamma Protocol which is currently in a closed Alpha. With that said, news on the game is relatively silent — beyond the “Welcome” post, the most recent update showed solidarity for the Paris attacks.

Meanwhile, the Battle Isle property has been abandoned (since June 2016) after Statotainment and Hertzler reached the maximum amount of extensions available for an “intent to use” trademark application. And that leaves us to where we are today — Ubisoft has neatly swept up the trademark to the cult-classic series. And while this doesn’t guarantee Ubisoft’s subsidiary Blue Byte will be working on a new Battle Isle title, it certainly opens the door to that possibility.

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Lou Contaldi

Lou Contaldi specializes in both reviews and the business behind gaming. He began writing about tech and video games while getting his Juris Doctor at Hofstra University School of Law. He is maybe the only gaming journo based in Nashville, TN.

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