Nintendo has filed a new trademark for Eternal Darkness reserving the rights for a downloadable version of the Gamecube title, according to a listing from the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
The original, now-dead trademark was filed in April 1999 and lists Eternal Darkness for use with "computer game discs; computer game programs; computer game software; electronic game programs; electronic game software; video game discs; video game programs; video game software." The game, developed by studio Silicon Knights, was published in 2002, and the trademark expired in 2009.
The more recent trademark, filed on July 23, 2013, lists Eternal Darkness for the same uses above, but with two additions: the new trademark mentions "downloadable electronic game programs" and "downloadable electronic game software."
This suggests a downloadable version of the Gamecube original. To date, Nintendo has released no downloadable versions of Gamecube titles for the Wii or Wii U Virtual Consoles in any territory.
In February 2010, Nintendo filed a trademark for Eternal Darkness that lists the name for use with video games and "interactive electronic game programs," but makes no mention of downloadable software. The trademark is still active and Nintendo was granted a fifth extension on ownership as of Dec. 20, 2012.
On May 3, Precursor Games, a studio made of former Silicon Knights members, announced Shadow of the Eternals, the spiritual successor to Eternal Darkness. Three days later, the company launched a crowdfunding campaign for the psychological horror title, asking for $1.5 million to make the first part in the game's planned episodic structure. In addition to its own independent fundraising plan, the company launched a Kickstarter campaign on May 16. This second campaign asked for $1.35 million, the remaining amount Precursor's personal campaign had yet to raise. One month after announcing the game, both crowdfunding campaigns were pulled, and the Kickstarter re-launched on July 25 with a new plan — the game will no longer be episodic — and a funding goal of $750,000.
Nintendo has shared no further information on its plants to port GameCube games to the Virtual Console. Polygon has reached out to Nintendo to inquire about these plans, as well as what may be in store for Eternal Darkness, and will share more details as we have them.