Is Soulburst ZeniMax’s New F2P Shooter?
Bethesda and ZeniMax Media established a pattern with The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, first filing for trademarks on names like Hearthfire and Dawnguard before officially unveiling them as the titles of expansions. The publisher and developer are playing the name game once again, trademarking “Soulburst” with the US Patent and Trademark Office on September 2nd. Given that Bethesda announced in April it was no longer working on new content for Skyrim, we’re left wondering, what’s a Soulburst?
According to the USPTO filing, Soulburst is “Computer game software for use with computers and video game consoles; downloadable computer game software offered via the internet and wireless devices; computer game software for use with on-line interactive games.” ZeniMax also filed for Soulburst as “Entertainment services, namely, providing on-line interactive computer games; entertainment services, namely, providing information relating to electronic computer games via the Internet.”
Based on the dual game/service filing, I have an educated guess about Soulburst. In October 2012, ZeniMax opened Battlecry Studios, a new developer led by former Star Wars: The Old Republic executive producer Rich Vogel. Based on job postings for Battlecry’s first unannounced project, it will be a “AAA” online shooter with RPG elements designed using Crytek’s CryEngine 3. Previous Battlecry job postings also suggest this unannounced game will be free to play, and that perfectly fits the Soulburst as entertainment service USPTO filing.
So based on all that info, I believe Soulburst is a free-to-play shooter/RPG in development at Battlecry Studios. Given that Hearthfire and Dawnguard were officially announced roughly one month after Zenimax trademarked the names, I’m guessing we’ll find out exactly what Soulburst is in early October.
I’ve contacted ZeniMax for comment on Soulburst and will update this post with any response.
Nice spot, Siliconera.