Nintendo Just Renewed the Trademark for ‘Duck Hunt’, Is a New Version of the Game Coming Soon?
Nintendo Switch Online has brought back dozens of video games from Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), Nintendo 64, and Sega Genesis, introducing a new generation of gamers to old-school classics and delivering a healthy dose of nostalgia. With this resurgence of the classics in mind, it’s the perfect time to give some titles a revamp. That’s why Nintendo‘s recent retro trademark renewals, including NES’ Duck Hunt, have caught some fans’ attention. Could the renewal mean a new Duck Hunt is on its way?
What is ‘Duck Hunt’?
Nintendo first released Duck Hunt on its arcade system, Nintendo Vs. System, in 1984. Then, it joined the NES as a launch title in North America just a few months later. Players used a Nintendo-brand light gun called the NES Zapper to shoot clay pigeons and ducks as they appeared on-screen, receiving points for every target hit. In later levels, a hunting dog would appear to send ducks into the air for the player to shoot.
Duck Hunt became a NES hit, along with Super Mario titles. The game paved the way for many other light gun shooter games found in arcades. Duck Hunt’s dog went on to make cameos in other Nintendo properties over the years, including WarioWare, Inc.: Minigame Mania and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
Nintendo renewed trademarks for ‘Duck Hunt’ and other titles
Gematsu reported on Oct. 25 that Nintendo renewed the trademark for Duck Hunt, as well as Excitebots, Happy Home Paradise, Mario Strikers, and Super Mario Land. This has led some fans to wonder if the company has some remasters up its sleeves.
Now, renewing trademarks is pretty routine for Nintendo, as it simply ensures other companies can’t use any of those titles. In the past, the gaming giant has renewed dozens of trademarks at once, so it could just be that time again. It doesn’t necessarily mean a remaster is on its way, though some fans have previously expressed interest in Duck Hunt Remastered.
A new version of Duck Hunt seems unlikely, but perhaps Nintendo plans to port it to Switch. In 2014, Nintendo brought the game to Wii U, so a similar Switch port might be plausible. However, nothing is confirmed at this time.
Is the NES game available via Nintendo Switch Online?
Nintendo Switch’s online gaming service, Nintendo Switch Online, includes a library of various NES games. Unfortunately, at this time, Duck Hunt is not included. However, according to Nintendo Switch Online’s FAQ, more titles will join the library in the future. Given Duck Hunt’s popularity back in the day, it’s hard to believe Nintendo would never include it in the online NES library.
Nintendo Switch owners can access the NES library via a Nintendo Switch Online subscription, available at a baseline annual price of $20 per year.