Update 2: Sony simply forgot to file the necessary documents for renewal, as we mentioned was a possibility in the original article. After Sony moved to regain it, the trademark is "live" once again as can be seen on its USPTO page.
Update: SCEE confirmed The Last Guardian is still in development, but has not yet explained why they abandoned the trademark.
Sony elected not to renew its trademark on "The Last Guardian" in the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
As shown in the picture above, the trademark became abandoned after "no Statement of Use or Extension Request timely filed after Notice of Allowance was issued." In other words, Sony made no effort to keep the trademark.
The trademark can be found here.
It is worth noting that this does not necessarily mean the project has been cancelled altogether, though that is a possibility. Another possibility is that Sony or Team ICO have simply elected to change the name of the game, or that the nature and structure of the game has changed to such significance as to warrant a name change. Information on The Last Guardian had been in the dark since its original unveiling in 2009, giving way to nearly six years of silence. Six years development can completely change a game from its original concepts, so for Sony to decide to rebrand the game to avoid confusion could explain the disinclination to reregister the trademark.
Another possibility is that Sony simply forgot to renew the trademark, which as unbelievable as it may sound, has already happened before.
Sony formally unveiled The Last Guardian in 2009 at the Electronics Entertainment Expo. general reception to the games trailer was excitement, especially because its development team, Team ICO, had worked on the critically renowned ICO and Shadow of the Colossus. Sony's silence on finite details about the game or its release led many to speculate about the development studios situation, and what could be holding the game back. The game would use Trico's (the cat like creature) "natural behavior", with puzzles built around getting the creatures attention by throwing objects or getting the creature to sit still to solve them. Players interaction with Trico had also been based partially on players interactions with Agro the horse from Shadow of the Colossus.
What is your take on this? Do you think The Last Guardian has bit the bullet, or is this less serious than some may claim? Will we ever see The Last Guardian again, in one form or another? Sound off in the comments below!