Trademark laws: they’re a tricksy bunch and every now and then they seriously disrupt the gaming industry. Take Double Fine’s latest XBLA release Trenched for example: it’s still not out on the UK or European versions of Xbox Live.
The reason is because there’s a Portuguese board game called Trench that was designed and trademarked by Rui Alípio Monteiro back in 2007. That trademark is for, obviously, the board game as well as any future videogame version that might be developed.
This means that Double Fine’s latest take on the tower-defence genre will not be seeing a release in certain EU locations unless it changes its name or Monteiro lets them publish it. The latter option is not likely seeing as Monteiro, when questioned by Eurogamer, said he had “nothing else to declare”.
You can’t really blame the guy; his board game is a military based table-top experience set during World War I. Double Fine’s Trenched is a tower-defence game focusing on military strategy set during the World War I era, albeit against aliens.
Hopping onto Xbox Live this morning, Trenched was truly nowhere to be seen; I’m on a UK account. Here’s hoping Double Fine sorts this out quickly because judging by reviews from American publications (the game released without a hitch in the USA on 22 June) it sounds like a ton of fun.