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Sony just filed Knack trademark — could a PS5 game be on the way?

knack
(Image credit: Sony)

Remember Knack? This unassuming PS4 launch title got a sequel and a strangely dedicated fan following, but it’s otherwise been dormant since 2017. Still, if a new trademark filing is any indication, Sony may have additional plans for its blocky hero — or it may simply be doing some legal housekeeping.

This week, Sony filed a new trademark for the word “Knack.” You can see for yourself on Chizai Watch, a Japanese site that keeps track of trademark filings. Gematsu, which reports Japanese gaming news, translated the findings.

There’s not much to the filing. Sony simply applied to trademark the word “Knack” on March 28, as it relates to video games, animation and similar media. The company did the same thing before Knack first came out in 2013.

There are a few possible ways to interpret this, and they’re either exciting or disappointing, depending on how much affinity you have for the Knack IP. The most extreme possibility is that Sony is planning a brand-new Knack game for the PS5, and needs to re-up the trademark before that happens. This doesn’t seem likely, since Knack was never a heavyweight, either in terms of sales or critical acclaim. But game companies do occasionally revive cult series, so it’s not impossible.

What’s more likely is that Sony is simply filing the trademark as a matter of course. Companies like holding onto old IPs, even if there’s no new content planned, since it keeps more options open in the future. If Sony didn’t file this trademark and a different game company made a whole new, legally distinct series, also called Knack, Sony wouldn’t be able to do much about it.

The timing of the trademark filing is interesting, however, since we might see Sony announce Spartacus, its purported Xbox Game Pass competitor, this week. If Sony does intend to launch a new streaming and download service, having a familiar game or character to go along with it wouldn’t be the worst idea. Granted, Knack is probably not a system-seller, but some fans would be happy to see the character return, in any capacity.

For now, the Knack trademark is probably nothing to get worked up about one way or another. It probably doesn’t mean that a new PS5 game is in the works. But Sony isn’t quite ready to dismiss the character just yet, either, so perhaps there’s hope.

Marshall Honorof is a senior editor for Tom's Guide, overseeing the site's coverage of gaming hardware and software. He comes from a science writing background, having studied paleomammalogy, biological anthropology, and the history of science and technology. After hours, you can find him practicing taekwondo or doing deep dives on classic sci-fi.