Atari files for trademark on Rogue, a 44-year old game it did not make and does not appear to own

Atari—once a major U.S. game maker, now a French company with a brand-licensing contract taped to a photocopier and a growing stable of interesting products and acquisitions including game developers—has filed for a U.S. trademark on Rogue. Dating to 1980, Rogue is a classic dungeon-crawling computer game whose simple yet evocative text-based graphics spawned a genre leading to modern hits such Dwarf Fortress and "roguelites" such as Diablo. Atari has not announced a new game by the name.

Developed by Michael Toy and Glenn Wichman, and later by Ken Arnold, Rogue was at one point published by Epyx, a company whose close relationship to Atari before its 1993 liquidation may explain the latter's claim on the name now.

According to Wikipedia, howevever, Epyx's intellectual property was sold to a UK media company called Bridgestone—which, it turns out, recently updated and republished Rogue under the Epyx marque on online storefronts, along with many of that company's other 1980s classics. As Atari recently bought a number of 80s game IPs, the just-posted filing could signify an undisclosed aquisition of the Epyx portfolio. I've asked it for comment and will update if and when we receive it.

The recent filing covers game software and related interactive entertainment purposes, "blockchain software technology and smart contracts" and digital "collectibles" of characters, art, skins and what-have you.