A new WWF No Mercy game could be possible, if a U.S. trademark application is a sign the WWE has revived its interest in the event brand.
New trademarks filed by the dominant pro-wrestling league, WWE, are raising the possibility that the company could follow up one of the most popular wrestling games ever made – WWF No Mercy for the Nintendo 64. On April 10th, applications for two trademarks appeared at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, “Commander Azeez” and “No Mercy.” It’s not certain that either of them will be applied to games.
Developed by Asmik Ace Entertainment and AKI Corporation, 2000’s WWF No Mercy has influenced many subsequent games, especially since most wrestling titles haven’t received good reviews. In fact, the backlash to WWE 2K20 led a 2K executive to promise that WWE 2K22 is borrowing from WWF No Mercy, even though gameplay and technology standards have advanced substantially in the past two decades. AKI would later go on to make games like Def Jam Vendetta, but the studio is now known as syn Sophia and has moved away from wrestling and is now working in different genres.
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The new “No Mercy” trademark covers merchandise, such as shirts, shoes, hats, and bandanas – as noted by Heel By Nature. In fact, WWE owns four other related trademarks, and there’s no specific indication that it’s planning a game license – the more likely scenario is that it’s trying to protect its intellectual property, sell more clothing, and/or bring back live broadcasts with the name. The last pay-per-view No Mercy event aired in 2017. Without a matching event, it might be hard to justify developing a game. Then again, it’s equally difficult to justify selling merch for an event that isn’t currently utilized by the company.
A trademark for “Commander Azeez” was also filed alongside the No Mercy trademark, but it that is less likely to be associated with the No Mercy product. There’s no prior WWE/WWF wrestler with that label, and a recent PWInsider rumor suggests that it will be the new moniker for Dabba Kato, previously known under his real identity, Babatunde. Azeez may be the ring name of the wrestler who interfered on behalf of Apollo Crews at Wrestlemania 37.
If there is hope for a new WWF No Mercy game, it rests in WWE resurrecting the dormant PPV brand first. Any game would also have to be a spinoff, given that WWE 2K22 is in development, and it’s not clear how the title would distinguish itself from its sibling or predecessor except by roster. It could hypothetically borrow from non-WWE games like Fire Pro Wrestling World, which have cult fanbases of their own and sometimes are better reviewed. Still, WWF No Mercy‘s original director Hideyuki Iwashita is working on an All Elite Wrestling title, which indicates that he’s not stepping up to work on revamp of the N64 classic any time soon. Iwashita’s current project is a collaboration between AEW and Yuke’s, which was taken off WWE games after WWE 2K19.
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