Brian Fargo Files for Meantime and Van Buren Trademarks

The folks at the RPG Codex have spotted some interesting trademark filings from Roxy Friday, LLC, the same company that originally trademarked "Torment" for inXile in preparation for the project's announcement and Kickstarter campaign. While back then, most of us only wondered who'd lead the new Torment and in what setting it'd take place, things look more confusing now, as filings for both the Meantime and Van Buren trademarks have been found.

Meantime is a canceled project from Interplay, a time-travel RPG based on the same engine as the original Wasteland. As such, it would be a natural fit for inXile's current MO: it's an interesting, quirky old-school idea that doesn't actually constrain the developer,  as we barely know anything about the original project, but still has some clout among the Californian developers' target audience. Van Buren, on the other hand, is a strange title to file a trademark application for. It was the project code name for Interplay's own version of Fallout 3, and all the materials connected to it are now owned by Bethesda. Some of the Van Buren designs ended up (in altered forms) in Fallout: New Vegas, so even if Fargo and his crew had the chance to re-use them, there'd be the risk of producing material that feels overly familiar.

Ultimately, the impression I get is that inXile has been doing a bit of pre-emptive trademarking and probably decided to throw some red herrings into the mix to fuel speculation over their next projects and avoid another Torment situation where the surprise was spoiled early. That said, it's definitely worth keeping an eye on this and seeing how it develops, given the developers have recently confirmed they've started working on their next project, and that it's one that has been "passionately demanded" of them.