Konami Digital Entertainment has reportedly filed a new trademark for a mystery ‘Project Zircon‘ in the game software and arcade game categories, leading many to speculate about the origins and purpose of its filing. As pointed out by Gematsu and other fan theorists, the codename used here could be a direct reference to Castlevania, as ‘Zircon’ is a collectible jewel found in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and subsequent sequels.
While the filing does not guarantee Konami is working on new entries in the beloved franchise, the timing suggests something big may be brewing. In a recent interview, Konami producer Tsutomu Taniguchi claimed the company found growing enthusiasm and excitement for the Castlevania franchise, inspired by the launch of the Dead Cells: Return to Castlevania DLC, ‘motivating’.
‘We know that our fans always want more, and we do too,’ Taniguchi said. While he declined the opportunity to divulge more about Konami’s future plans, his comments seemed to imply the company was, at least, aware of renewed interest in the franchise.
Over the last several years, the passionate audience for new Castlevania adventures has grown – thanks to Netflix’s excellent TV adaptation, game re-releases, and a long absence. A fresh wave of enthusiasm for the series was also sparked by the Dead Cells crossover announcement, largely because it suggested Konami is now willing to work with third-party developers. Should that be the case, new mainline games are a major possibility, even if Konami itself doesn’t want to do the work.
At this stage, the Konami filing remains a mystery, and could also refer to a non-video game project. While the timing and atmosphere around Castlevania implies otherwise, it’s best to treat this trademark filing with a sense of scrutiny, regardless.
Konami’s recent leaps towards licensing more of its properties – Castlevania and Silent Hill – is a promising sign of change. We’ll have to wait to see how rigorous this change will be, and whether it will enable new Castlevania adventures to fly from the belfry. Stay tuned to see what Konami has in store for the future, and what exactly ‘Project Zircon’ turns out to be.