Board game blocks Trenched EU release

"Trench" trademark already taken.

Double Fine XBLA game Trenched cannot be released in certain parts of Europe because of an old trademark held by abstract board game Trench, Eurogamer has discovered.

The trademark, filed by Portuguese board game designer Rui Alípio Monteiro in 2007, covers both board games and computer games.

Trench, the board game, like Double Fine's Trenched, focuses on military strategy and army ranks and is set in the World War I era.

A trailer on Trench's website features a monochromatic gameplay board, intercut with World War I newsreel footage.

Our sun-kissed colleagues at Eurogamer Portugal contacted creator Monteiro, who confirmed the trademark but had "nothing else to declare". He referred us to the Trench website for anything else we wished to know.

This news could mean a long European delay for Trenched while trademark issues are resolved. Alternatively, Double Fine could re-release the game in Europe under a different name.

Microsoft declined to comment on the story when asked by Eurogamer this morning.

Trenched emerged on schedule in the US last week but failed to appear in Europe. At the time, Microsoft stated the delay was due to "unexpected challenges with distribution".

Eight days on, gamers are still in the dark as to the delay's cause. Earlier rumours of a hampered German release due to the existence of a Nazi salute in the game were hastily quashed by Double Fine on its forum.

Trenched is Brütal Legend developer Double Fine's take on the tower defense genre. It's the latest in a string of downloadable successes, including Costume Quest and Stacking. "A satisfying genre crossover that follows through on what Brutal Legend attempted", Jeffrey Matulef wrote in Eurogamer's 8/10 Trenched review.

Trenched's opening cinematic.

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