According to trademark filings, the promising and short-lived battle royale game Radical Heights could see a revival from Squanch Games (opens in new tab), the studio co-founded by Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland in 2016 which has turned out games for some of the best VR headsets.
First noticed by sleuthing fan itsGerth on the Radical Heights subreddit (opens in new tab), Squanch Games quietly acquired the Radical Heights trademark from developer Boss Key Productions in August 2018. After a recertification process with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the updated trademark (opens in new tab) was fully ratified on May 7.
Despite its shutdown only three months after launching last year, Radical Heights was well-received (opens in new tab) by players and critics. In his statement following the shuttering of Boss Key Productions (opens in new tab), founder Cliff Bleszinski described Radical Heights as “too little too late” to save the studio from closure.
It might seem random that a VR developer would pick up the trademark for a dead battle royale game, but Boss Key's ties to Roiland date back to its first project, Lawbreakers (opens in new tab). In that game’s Blitzball mode, Roiland voiced the titular blitzball that players fought over to score points. In a 2017 interview with PushSquare (opens in new tab), Bleszinski described Roiland's small role in Lawbreakers as favor from a friend.
Players who enjoyed Boss Key’s futuristic 80s take on the burgeoning battle royale genre were disappointed when it all went away so quickly. Now, in the ghost town of Radical Heights’ subreddit, what fans remain hope the game will see a proper return.
“If Radical Heights comes back I will uninstall every game on my hard drive just to have space for this glorious game,” reads a comment (opens in new tab) by panderinggamer on the original post revealing Squanch’s acquisition. It’s a nice idea, but it’s unclear what, if anything, Squanch will do with the trademark.
Since 2016, Squanch has focused on offbeat comedy VR games Accounting and Trover Saves the Universe. Taking the reins of a large-scale multiplayer project would be a very different challenge for the studio, if it does plan to use the trademark in that way. It’s also possible that the humor and style of Radical Heights will be used in a project more in line with the studio's past work.
One notable feature of the trademark is the address on the filing, a building in Raleigh, NC. Squanch is based out of Burbank, CA, but is currently hiring for its Raleigh office (opens in new tab). That's significant because Raleigh was where Boss Key itself was based before closing.
Still, nothing's certain until we hear something out of Squanch. PC Gamer contacted the studio to clarify its plans for Radical Heights, but has not heard back. We'll update this article if we learn more.