Microsoft’s ‘Gunpowder’ has something to do with gaming… we just don’t know what yet


What is Microsoft’s “Gunpowder?” Good question. We’re asking ourselves the same thing.

On January 15, a trademark application was submitted by Microsoft to the United States Patent and Trademark Office for something called “Gunpowder.” This being a mere trademark application, details on what exactly it applies to are scant, but we do know a few things. First, the application lists Gunpowder as a piece of “game software,” so we don’t need concern ourselves that this thing might be a new peripheral or that long-awaited Microsoft-branded handheld gaming device that will probably never exist. Second, we have the following description of Gunpowder’s intended purpose: “entertainment services, namely, providing online video games.”

That’s not much to go on, is it? Initially we’d thought that Gunpowder was simply a new video game or franchise that Microsoft would be introducing in the near future, but the claim that Gunpowder is capable of “providing online video games” sounds very intriguing. This could simply be a reference to a game that features online multiplayer components, but if that’s the case the description seems oddly specific in its wording. The other idea we’ve had is that Gunpowder might be an integral part of the online gaming strategy for Microsoft’s next Xbox, but in truth that concept is mostly rooted in a lack of solid facts and the timing of this trademark’s appearance. Microsoft is putting its console together at this point, so it stands to reason that as new ideas are pitched and accepted by the development team that the corporation backing them would attempt to trademark/patent anything it sees as potentially valuable.

We probably won’t receive an accurate picture of what Gunpowder actually refers to until Microsoft opts to unveil its next swath of big projects. At the latest we’d expect everything to become clear at this year’s E3 conference. In the mean time, we invite you to offer your own theories in the comments below. 


‘PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’ is free to try on Xbox One right now

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds is currently available to try for free on Xbox One. The game typically costs $30 on the platform, and is also available on PC. A mobile version is available as a separate release.

Everything we know about 'Anthem', including new details on Javelin classes

BioWare announced an upcoming action role-playing game called 'Anthem' at EA Play 2017. Here's everything we know about the game so far, including gameplay, DLC, and when you'll be able to play it.

Samsung Galaxy S10 could nix the notch in favor of a "punch hole" cutout

While we still may be months away from an announcement, there's no doubt about it: Samsung is working hard on its successor to the Galaxy S9. Here's everything we know about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10.
Movies & TV

HBO gives us the 'Game of Thrones' season 8 premiere date

With the eighth and final season looming, Game of Thrones fever has officially become a pandemic. Our list of all the relevant news and rumors will help make the wait more bearable, if you don't mind spoilers.

The best free-to-play games you can play right now

Believe it or not, free-to-play games have evolved into engaging, enjoyable experiences. Here are a few of our favorites that you can play right now, including Warframe and the perennially-popular League of Legends.

Fortnite Guides

Tips and tricks, challenges guides, user guide, and more Fortnite: Battle Royale is a mode that’s constantly changing and evolving over time. With each new season comes new challenges, weapons, vehicles, and limited time modes. Battle…
Product Review

‘Battlefield V’ shows up late for battle, but it's still unprepared

Battlefield V’s War Stories give us a new perspective on World War II, but the game’s lack of polish across both its campaign and multiplayer modes are almost impossible to ignore.


Our full coverage Fortnite from Epic Games first arrived on PC as an early access game in 2017. Featuring a mode called Save the World, players could jump online with a group of friends to collect resources, build structures, and defend…

The best cheap-but-awesome PS4 game deals under $20

The PlayStation 4 has hit its stride in recent years and is now more affordable than ever. If you have a PS4 or are thinking of buying one, we’ve collected some must-have games. The best part? Each of these is just $20 or less.

Black Friday 2018: The best deals so far

Black Friday is the biggest shopping holiday of the year, and it will be here before you know it. If you can't wait until November 23 to start formulating a shopping plan, we've got you covered.

‘Final Fantasy XV’ mod remembers the RPG’s canceled DLC and features

A Final Fantasy XV mod pays homage to the content canceled by Square Enix. Episodes Aranea, Luna, and Noctis will no longer happen, while the promised level-building tool and Mod Organizer improvements for the PC version were also shelved.

Owners of ROM sites ordered to pay Nintendo more than $12 million

An federal court judge in Arizona has awarded Nintendo more than $12 million in damages in its lawsuit with the owners of two popular ROM websites. The sites must also be transferred to Nintendo's control.

Feeling nostalgic? Here are the 25 best Sega Genesis games

Although the company has since fallen into obscurity, Sega was an indisputable titan throughout the '90s. That said, here are 25 best Sega Genesis games that helped define its fabled decade.

‘PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’ parachutes onto PlayStation 4 on December 7

Following months of speculation, PUBG Corp. has announced that PUBG is coming to PS4 on December 7. The PS4 version includes all three maps and major features, and you can get some PlayStation-themed apparel items by pre-ordering.