It seems Microsoft might be digging deep into its archive of underutilized IPs to help bolster the Xbox One’s library as a new trademark has been registered for Phantom Dust in Europe.
For those who were either too young, can’t remember, or didn’t have the pleasure of playing it, Phantom Dust released for the original Xbox way back in 2005. It was produced and directed by Yukio Futatsugi, the creative mind behind the rail shooter series, Panzer Dragoon. Phantom Dust has a post-apocalyptic setting with gameplay that blends action and strategy with combat based around frenetic card-based mechanics.
There have been plenty of times when registering new trademarks has yielded nothing fruitful, but there’s at least some cause to be excited by this one. As recently as November of last year, Futatsugi has expressed interest in developing a sequel to the cult hit.
In an interview with Siliconera, he said, “Of all the games I have created so far, Phantom Dust is my favorite. Microsoft owns the IP, so if Microsoft would say they want to do it, I’m ready to jump on board immediately. I’ve already got ideas for a sequel in mind.” Last year, Futatsugi even looked into crowdsourcing a sequel, but Kickstarter’s policies proved to have too many hurdles to launch a campaign.
Intriguingly, this filing does give credence to Microsoft’s allegedly leaked E3 2014 press conference where an episodic sequel called Phantom Dust: Sacrifice will debut.
Phantom Dust didn’t light sales charts on fire when it released nearly a decade ago — it’s considered a “cult hit” for a reason — so it’s refreshing that Microsoft is even considering bringing the title back in the first place.