There is a strong likelihood that if you've played Double Fine's excellent action-strategy hybrid Trenched, you're probably someone from North America. Double Fine and Microsoft had every intention of releasing Trenched in Europe this summer, too, but a last-minute copyright issue pulled everything to a grinding halt.
A Portugese board game called Trench, designed by Rui Alípio Monteiro, was the problem. Besides the name, the issue becomes pretty clear just by watching the Trench trailer, which sports a World War I motif.
Instead, Trenched will arrive as Iron Brigade in September. Double Fine and Microsoft will have to alter various in-game assets to make the necessary tweaks to avoid trademark infringement with Trench.
When Trenched didn't show up in Europe, Microsoft and Double Fine didn't say very much. Microsoft blamed the issue on "unexpected challenges with distribution," while Double Fine simply apologized.
Monteiro released a statement to Eurogamer, explaining the history of his Trench trademark. Monteiro planned to release a board game, but his trademark covered games, too, and he'd been exploring the idea of an electronic version of Trench.
After the name change was announced, I contacted Monteiro and heard back from Phillip Moringer, the manager of Runadrake. Runadrake's responsible for the actual production of the Trench board game and the possible video game version.
"We at Runadrake would like to clarify a major misunderstanding," said Moringer.
Moringer said the video game adaptation is "is in development and does not have a release date," while the much more real board game is scheduled for October in Europe and November in North America.
"We are really [saddened by] Microsoft's lack of direct communication," he said over email. "Had there been an open line of communication, the delay would have been solved in no time and all player would have been able to enjoy both games earlier."
Remember, Runadrake is a Portugese company, so excuse the slightly awkward English responses to my questions.
"They made their decision to rebrand and spend a lot of extra effort and resources, that they could have used to create additional goodies in the game for all players, and that includes me personally," he continued.
Moringer wished Turneched-turned-Iron Brigade the best of luck, as he was looking forward to playing it.
"We had no intention in creating any delay to this game, especially since I personally would like to try the game out too," he concluded.
Throughout this process, Microsoft and Double Fine have remained--and continue to be--quiet.
Double Fine has said it's considering downloadable content for Trenched, but no specific plans have been announced.