Sony Interactive Entertainment filed a new trademark for Knack earlier this month in Japan.
As spotted by Gematsu, the trademark, which was made public today, March 28, covers the terms for use in several categories including “downloadable or installable home video game machine program and additional data”.
It’s unclear what the intended use of the trademark is. The last game in the franchise, Knack 2, was released on September 5, 2017.
While these may simply be routine trademark updates or periodic renewals rather than being indicative of any new product, it could imply that Sony intends to do more with the franchise, which despite a poor critical reception, has developed a cult fan following.
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Both games in the series were directed by Mark Cerny, the system architect of the PlayStation 5. The original game, which was a launch title for the PlayStation 4, was seen by many as a tech demo of the console’s capabilities.
However, both games were developed by Japan Studio, which formally disbanded in 2021.
Sony reorganised Japan Studio into “a new organisation” on April 1, 2021, and the vast majority of its development staff was let go, VGC exclusively reported at the time.
The iconic developer behind Ape Escape, Gravity Rush and more saw the vast majority of its development staff leave after their annual contracts were not renewed ahead of the company’s next business year starting on April 1, 2021
It’s unclear which studio would handle any future Knack titles. While Sony’s Team Asobi remains as a standalone Japanese studio, it’s unclear if it would cease development on its Astro Bot franchise to make a new Knack game, especially as Astro Bot has been adopted as a defacto PlayStation mascot during the PlayStation 5 era.