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Nintendo register new Donkey Kong trademark as game rumours return

A new trademark suggests rumours of a new Donkey Kong game may be true, as Nintendo plans to bring the great ape back into the limelight.

As much as they have a reputation for inscrutability, there usually is some method to Nintendo’s madness, but the way they handled Donkey Kong’s 40th anniversary last year was odd even for them. Especially considering it was, by association, also the 40th anniversary of Mario.

In short, they did absolutely nothing, despite in the past having made a huge song and dance about other much smaller anniversaries. That’s probably the fault of the coronavirus but at the time there were rumours of a new 3D game and they’ve never entirely gone away.

And now it’s been noticed that Nintendo has registered a new trademark for Donkey Kong, not just a renewal of the existing one but a new one that specifically mentions ‘downloadable programs for portable and electronic consoles’.

Although it is unusual to register a new trademark if there’s not an associated game coming out soon there could be all manner of boring explanations for it. For example, perhaps it’s something to do with new merch for the upcoming Super Mario animated movie, in which Donkey Kong is voiced by Seth Rogen.

The original game rumour from 2021 suggested that the new title was a major new release from the same team behind Super Mario Odyssey, which would explain why they haven’t announced anything new lately.

Subsequent versions of the rumour suggested that Nintendo was intending to push Donkey Kong as a new ‘multimedia juggernaut’, with not just a new game but a new animation, a theme park expansion, and a lot more merch.

If that’s true it would explain the new trademark but the original rumour said all this was going to happen last year and, clearly, it didn’t.

If the game just wasn’t ready, and missed the 40th anniversary date it was aiming for, it’s easy to imagine Nintendo taking their time, since there was no longer a rush, but until they announce something official, we’ll never know exactly what’s going on.

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