Tales Producer Hideo Baba Explains Why They Register So Many Tales Trademarks


imageAt least once a year we see a surge of Tales trademarks like Tales of Favorite, Tales of Jin, and Tales of Zestoria. Unlike other game publishers, Namco Bandai seems to file a rash of trademarks for Tales of games, but only some end up being used like Tales of Link and Tales of Bibliotheca.


Why are there so many Tales trademarks? That’s one of the questions Siliconera asked Tales producer Hideo Baba.


A short while back it was discovered that Namco Bandai registered a bunch of trademarks, such as Tales of Zestoria, Tales of Bibliotheca, et cetera. What’s with all these funny names? Do you have fun with coming up all these?


Hideo Baba, producer: Well, the Tales development team and I are always thinking about new stories and themes for future games in the series. And whenever we do come up with something interesting, we’re always thinking about, wouldn’t it be great if we could call this game by a certain name, to go with its story and theme?


There is always the possibility that we may end up actually making a new Tales game by that title [we’ve registered the trademarks for], but before that, we need to first check if it is okay to use that title both in Western markets and in Japan.


So, there is a possibility there that of all these ideas we’ve come up with, one of them may end up being put into development, but at the moment, we’re just checking that these names can be used. Nothing’s been decided yet.


Is the current situation, where you’d go out and register a bunch of trademarks in advance, prompted by past experiences like running into a scenario where you actually really wanted to call a Tales game by a certain title, but simply couldn’t because the name was taken already?


Yes, that’s exactly right.


Can you name a concrete example?


Actually, there were a lot of names I wanted to use but couldn’t.


A lot of them?


Yes. So for instance, even this time around when we were registering the trademarks… there was one that we couldn’t use because it was the name of a company in Canada. 


When checking for possible trademarks, we’re checking for names that are registered not only in the video games category, but also those used for company names and such, all over the world. So, there were a lot of names we couldn’t use. Please excuse me from giving you a specific example because a lot of these names we wanted to use are famous trademarks that I shouldn’t really mention!


On the flipside, the funny thing [about registering all these trademarks in advance] is that, just before we released information about Tales of Xillia, some fans found out that we registered the trademark for a "Tales of Unitia". So they thought, "okay, the next game in the series must be called Tales of Unitia!"


At the time I really wanted to spill the beans on Xillia, because what they thought was going to be called Unitia, was really meant to be called Xillia. So, there’s a really fun side to all of this, too.

Cheng Kai