From Software Acquires Elden Ring Trademark: A Game-Changing Move in the Gaming Industry Landscape

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Elden Ring has become a sensation in the gaming community, capturing the hearts of players worldwide. Crafted by From Software and brought to life by Bandai Namco, this iconic game has achieved remarkable success since its launch in February 2022, selling over 20 million copies in its first year due to its immersive gameplay and compelling narrative.

The recent spotlight on Elden Ring revolves around the ownership of its trademark. A document uncovered from the US Patent and Trademark Office discloses that the Elden Ring trademark shifted from Bandai Namco to From Software in March 2023, about 13 months post the game’s release.

The document states, “Assignor [Bandai Namco] hereby assigns to assignee [From Software] all right, title and interest in and to the trademark, together with the goodwill of the business symbolized by the trademark and the identified registration therefor, and with all claims arising out of or relating to the use of ownership of the trademark.”

This trademark transfer specifically pertains to the game’s name and not the game itself, which remains under copyright protection. Typically, the transfer of intellectual property like Elden Ring would involve a contractual agreement and might not mandatorily require public registration.

The outstanding success of Elden Ring has inevitably influenced From Software’s decision to acquire the trademark. Given the game’s immense popularity, it is a strategic move for the developer to secure complete ownership of the brand and potentially explore new avenues for its growth.

It is noteworthy that while From Software developed and released Elden Ring in Japan, Bandai Namco handled the game’s international publishing duties. This collaboration broadened the game’s reach, establishing it as a must-play title globally.

In August 2022, Kadokawa Corporation, the parent company of From Software, announced plans to sell shares to Sony and Tencent, resulting in a collective 30% ownership stake by both companies in From Software. This investment aims to boost From Software’s development capabilities and potentially enable self-publishing on a global scale.

Kadokawa Corporation stated, “Through the implementation of the fund procurement, FromSoftware will aim to proactively invest in the development of more powerful game IP for itself to strengthen From Software’s development capabilities and will seek to establish a framework that allows the expansion of the scope of its own publishing in the significantly growing global market.”

The unveiling of an Elden Ring expansion dubbed “Shadow of the Erdtree” occurred just three days after the game’s first anniversary. However, details about this highly-anticipated DLC have been scarce since its announcement.

Bandai Namco has voiced concerns about industry consolidation, noting that smaller publishers are facing challenges as larger corporations like Sony and Tencent expand their influence and invest in established developers.

Recent reports have indicated that Tencent is developing a mobile version of Elden Ring. This endeavor could pave the way for a new gaming experience on mobile devices, broadening the game’s accessibility and appeal.

In essence, the transfer of the Elden Ring trademark from Bandai Namco to From Software marks a significant milestone in the game’s ownership journey. With its resounding success, it comes as no surprise that From Software is keen on taking full control of the brand. The trademark acquisition, coupled with investments from Sony and Tencent, underscores From Software’s dedication to expanding development capabilities and potentially venturing into global self-publishing.

As enthusiasts eagerly anticipate updates on the Elden Ring expansion and mobile adaptation, the future of this acclaimed title appears promising. The trademark transfer represents a crucial step in Elden Ring’s enduring legacy, and enthusiasts are eager to witness how From Software’s ownership will elevate and broaden this beloved franchise.

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