The trademark, which is for the phrase ‘Project Zircon’, was applied for last week and published today. The trademark was sought for use in a large number of fields, including “software for commercial video game machines”. As noted by Gematsu, the name ‘Project Zircon’ may be a reference to an item found in the Castlevania series. Zircon is a jewel that is found in several Castlevania games, and first made its appearance in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.
It should be noted that the Project Zircon trademark also covers Konami for use in arcade machines and other “commercial prize-winning game machines,” meaning it’s not a certainty that it refers to an upcoming console game. Like many of Konami’s core gaming series including Metal Gear Solid, and (until its recent resurrection) Silent Hill, Castlevania has been dormant for several years – the last mainline installment, Lords of Shadow 2, was released in 2014, and was outsourced to an external developer, Spanish studio MercurySteam.
While older titles have been released as part of compilations, no announcement of a new title in the series being developed has been made, despite persistent reports. VGC first reported in 2021 that Konami was softening its stance over licensing more of its game properties to external studios. Our article noted that a Castlevania reboot was also in the works internally in Japan, as well as multiple Silent Hill games in development at numerous external studios.
The latter was eventually proven to be true in October 2022, when Konami announced a number of external Silent Hill titles, including a remake of Silent Hill 2 by Bloober Team, the Polish studio behind The Medium and Blair Witch. A Konami developer recently acknowledged the “excitement and enthusiasm of the fans online” for the Castlevania franchise, saying that the buzz was “really motivating for Konami.”