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European Players Will Finally Get Trenched This September--Just Not Under That Name

Microsoft opts to rename the title 'Iron Brigade' in lieu of fighting a potentially costly trademark battle.

The long, painful battle between Microsoft and Portuguese board game maker Rui Alípio Monteiro over the European naming rights to Double Fine's downloadable mech combat game Trenched has finally come to an end.

Microsoft's head trademark legal adviser, shortly before his abdication of power.

Microsoft signaled the end of hostilities today in Cologne, Germany at the opening of Gamescom, announcing that its legal forces would recede back to American borders. Instead, Microsoft will release Trenched in Europe this September under a new name, Iron Brigade, effectively surrendering the trademark to the name Trenched (and all derivations thereof) to General Monteiro.

Europe has suffered mightily during this time of conflict, with thousands of players unable to purchase Double Fine's alternate history World War I mech combat tower defense shooter due to the conflict with Monteiro's trademark, which stems from his board game, titled Trench. His trademark effectively blocked any advance by Microsoft into major European territories. Ultimately, a direct legal assault must have appeared too costly to Microsoft, and instead, the publisher chose American exile for the Trenched name.

In the end, this war likely could have been avoided altogether had someone at Microsoft's legal team simply done their due diligence and investigated the trademark ahead of time. Instead, countless Euros were lost due to an error in judgment so massive, it altered the very fabric of a downloadable game's branding.

From the ashes of this conflict, we can only hope that Microsoft works diligently to rebuild that branding, so that European players may recognize that this new Iron Brigade is, in fact, that Trenched game they wanted to play like three months ago, but couldn't because of that whole trademark thing. A Herculean task, no doubt, but one that must be done with vigor and determination. Otherwise, substantial profits will assuredly be lost to the flames of war.

Alex Navarro on Google+
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Posted by Alex

The long, painful battle between Microsoft and Portuguese board game maker Rui Alípio Monteiro over the European naming rights to Double Fine's downloadable mech combat game Trenched has finally come to an end.

Microsoft's head trademark legal adviser, shortly before his abdication of power.

Microsoft signaled the end of hostilities today in Cologne, Germany at the opening of Gamescom, announcing that its legal forces would recede back to American borders. Instead, Microsoft will release Trenched in Europe this September under a new name, Iron Brigade, effectively surrendering the trademark to the name Trenched (and all derivations thereof) to General Monteiro.

Europe has suffered mightily during this time of conflict, with thousands of players unable to purchase Double Fine's alternate history World War I mech combat tower defense shooter due to the conflict with Monteiro's trademark, which stems from his board game, titled Trench. His trademark effectively blocked any advance by Microsoft into major European territories. Ultimately, a direct legal assault must have appeared too costly to Microsoft, and instead, the publisher chose American exile for the Trenched name.

In the end, this war likely could have been avoided altogether had someone at Microsoft's legal team simply done their due diligence and investigated the trademark ahead of time. Instead, countless Euros were lost due to an error in judgment so massive, it altered the very fabric of a downloadable game's branding.

From the ashes of this conflict, we can only hope that Microsoft works diligently to rebuild that branding, so that European players may recognize that this new Iron Brigade is, in fact, that Trenched game they wanted to play like three months ago, but couldn't because of that whole trademark thing. A Herculean task, no doubt, but one that must be done with vigor and determination. Otherwise, substantial profits will assuredly be lost to the flames of war.

Posted by sirdesmond

Happy to see this finally be over and done with.

Posted by Hockeymask27

meh I think the game should have been called Super duper 10000% Iron Brigade metal Heat X!!!

Posted by Soap

Iron Brigade?.... that kinda sucks.

Posted by buft

should have happened a lot faster, with toy soldiers this week to satisfy my strategy needs and retail games galore in September i really don't see myself getting this in the foreseeable future

Posted by Sharpshooter

Once its the same game, I'm happy.

Posted by VilhelmNielsen

Of the Damned?

Posted by oliveshark

I'm happy Norway wasn't effected by this. I bought Trenched on day of release and found it a huge bummer that I could barely find any local games. So because of the cross atlantic latency and massive jank there of I sadly didn't get very far.

I'll give it another shot when the rest of europe can join in.

Posted by Clubvodka
@VilhelmNielsen said:

Of the Damned?

Posted by DarkbeatDK

I'm the current trademark holder of the Iron Brigade Girdle for Men of all sizes and I don't approve of Double Fine infringing my copyright.

Posted by Brendan

*Slow clap*

Posted by cesson

So..... does this mean separate achievements?

Posted by Tesla

Join the Iron Brigade my European brothers! To arms!

Posted by Chippy180

I would have loved for them to have named it "Drenched" in the end and just add a filter into the game :/ Still, beggers can't be choosers!

Posted by DrJota

So when we see Drenched,will the EU version get Byron Stockade?

Posted by MeatSim

I am disappointed that there not calling it Drenched in Europe.

Posted by Tennmuerti

Alex.

I may not like your on screen personality. But by god I love your writing!

Posted by ZeForgotten

Finally, and also, fuck the old guy who didn't want it being called Trenched

Edited by atomic_dumpling
Posted by sonicrift

So, don't buy a shitty board game called Trench.

Posted by Linkster7

Yay wait, I live in norway I can already buy it.Now I just need money! Yay.

Posted by JackSukeru

The new name is meh, but I thought the old name was meh as well so...meh.

Posted by csl316

Epic recap of this whole scuffle.

Posted by Little_Socrates

@sonicrift said:

So, don't buy a shitty board game called Trench.

Is it shitty? I mean, it's not like I'm gonna buy it anyways, but I'm just so curious if the guy holding this trademark is holding it for complete garbage or not. Has anyone played it?

Edited by wwfundertaker

Drench or Drenched is a drink so they couldnt use that name.

Posted by coakroach

Iron Brigade? 
How is that better than Judy Denched?

Edited by Crono

I think the name "Benched" would have been appropriate given the time-out this title got.

Posted by Dyram

Iron Brigade? But I might confuse that with Steel Battalion! I demand it be renamed immediately!

Posted by Damian

Huzzah! General Monteiro has won the day.

Posted by Vexxan

Hurray!

Posted by spoilars

Come on, I can't be the only one who thinks it would be the most hilarious idea ever to name the European version "Frenched"?

Edited by Godlyawesomeguy

So......shouldn't it be called Drenched?

Posted by SomeJerk

Why and how did they not make sure the name was available in time, yaknow? By the sound of it, a week or two before launch, somebody went "OH FUCK".

And fuck that guy :(

Posted by Mikular

Awesome. Been looking forward to this since the US release. Also, loved the way the article was written.

Posted by CenturionCajun

Well, the guy holding the copyright "won" in the sense that he kept his exclusive rights to the name. Nevermind that he probably could have gotten a paycheck from Microsoft far larger than anything he'll earn from releasing his non-existent game in a couple of European countries. I'm just glad that the rest of Europe will now get a chance to play this awesome little downloadable game.

And they couldn't call it Drenched because that's going to be the submarines with legs sequel. Duh.

Posted by Castiel

Fuckin' finally! I still can't play the game though, unless somebody is willing to give me an Xbox for abso-fuckin'-lutely free fuckin' gratis!

But I'm glad for the people who do own an Xbox.

Posted by wickedsc3

Good, im glad they didn't give in and pay that asshole. Since it was already taking so long to get out, might as well save the money and just rename it.

Posted by smiddy

All I can say is, finally!

It fucking took them long enough. Ignoring the whole debacle of only finding out that we weren't going to get the game ON THE DAY IT WAS RELEASED, then having no explanation as to why, or when we would get it, it's taken them this long to announce they're changing the name and releasing it in a month.

I'm highly looking forward to the game, but I'm disappointed that it didn't come out earlier during what was otherwise quite a dry spell. It will now have to compete with the flood of games that are released in autumn.

Posted by Cybexx

They could have went with Drenched 0: Land Warfare

Posted by cheeckoo

@cesson said:

So..... does this mean separate achievements?

I sure hope so

Posted by Death_Burnout

It still pains me that that asshole won.

Posted by pakattak

Alex, your writing never fails to delight me.

Posted by Jack_Lafayette

Fuck you and your wit, Alex Navarro.

Posted by Meltbrain

@Death_Burnout said:

It still pains me that that asshole won.

Word. Iron Brigade is a pretty weak name.

Posted by WinterSnowblind

@Death_Burnout said:

It still pains me that that asshole won.

He wanted money from MS using the name Trenched. At least this way, he doesn't get anything.

I don't think the name is too bad either.. It gives a better idea of what to expect from the game than "Trenched" does, which I always thought was a terrible title.

It's just annoying how long it's taken them to sort this out.

Posted by lockwoodx

any word on a PC release?

Posted by cikame

Finally.

IRON BRIGADE!

Posted by Catfish666

What annoys me is trademark owners' of Trench uncompromisingness about the whole deal. As far as I understand only thing they accomplished was to retain their existing rights to a board game that was developed 2 years ago and is still lacking a publisher. That and they seem to have their head way up their own asses judging from the text in their website:

Since immemorial times, the Top 3 of the Classic Games around the world has always been composed of the forever eternal games: Chess, Checkers and Backgammon.

But now, finally, there is a “real” competitor, which will stand still and will probably become a cult game, famous worldwide.

Really? That what you think? No way a negotiated deal with Microsoft could've been any more monetarily beneficial? In the best outcome they could've published their board game themselves instead of lying about making it a video game.

Meh, in the end I just feel bad about Double Fine. They're entitled for recognizition of the work they put into their games.

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