It has recently been made public that within the last ten days, Square Enix has filed trademarks for The Portopia Serial Murder Case and Paranormasight. The Square Enix trademark news comes along with other trademark news, such as Koei Tecmo Games and Bandai Namco Studios filing trademarks for various titles for many possible purposes.
Portopia Serial Murder Case, one of the more notable trademarks involved, is a lesser-known game in the West, but its impact on the storytelling potential of roleplaying games is nevertheless felt in video game franchises like the Danganropa and Ace Attorney series. Information regarding Paranormasight is currently unknown. The news certainly raises questions for the franchises involved.
Among all the trademark news, The Portopia Serial Murder Case trademark filing has fans speculating on what Square Enix has in mind for the game. Designed by Yuji Horii, creator of the Dragon Quest series, The Portopia Serial Murder Case was originally released in 1983. It is perhaps one of the most influential titles for the visual novel genre and has inspired many modern-day game designers. So, news of Square Enix’s filing for the title has brought about speculation on whether the publisher intends to revive the game via remastering or a remake.
In other news, Koei Tecmo’s recent trademark filings for several Metaverse games have been speculated to be purely for trademark protection, but there’s still no official information regarding these filings. Bandai Namco’s trademarks included a batch of titles and logos for the possible upcoming indie games: Endrays, Excycle, Hook & Kaiju, and Shigeru Planet. The company filed those trademarks on November 11 – the same date as Koei Tecmo’s filings.
Overall, the recent filings raise questions about each company’s intentions with these trademarks. In Square Enix’s case, it would be interesting to see a remake of such an influential game as Portopia Serial Murder Case for modern audiences. Maybe it would give the game the attention and reverence it deserves for its role in narrative-based gaming. Currently, the only English version of The Portopia Serial Murder Case is an amalgam of various fan translations and interpretations from over a decade of effort to give overseas audiences access to the interactive cinematic story. Unfortunately, since nothing has been said about what these trademarks mean, fans will have to wait with bated breath for more info on the companies’ plans with these new trademarks, if there are any at all.
The Portopia Serial Murder Case is available on retro platforms FM-7, MSX, NEC PC-6001, Nintendo Entertainment System, PC8800 series, and Sharp X1.