Disney has bought a controlling stake in UTV, the Indian media conglomerate that owns UK games publisher UTV Ignition.
Well-received strategic wordplay game Quarrel has exposed a curious mandatory word filter imposed on developers by Microsoft.
Long before there was an internet, people were playing chess with each other through the mail. Long before a bunch of MIT hackers made two spaceships move around an oscilloscope screen hooked up to a PDP-1 mainframe, we were gathering around kitchen tables to play games with and against each other on boards or bits of paper. Without these antecedents, video games wouldn't exist in any recognisable form.
I was furious with Quarrel when it launched on the iOS devices (livid, really), and not just because Christian had pipped me to the post in reviewing the game. What really got my goat was the near-inexplicable lack of multiplayer for such an obviously suitable competitive game. "Oooh, can we play a game together?" my other half asked, in a rare fit of gaming. "NO!" was my bemused and exasperated reply.
That didn't stop the game being something rather special - and fully deserving of Christian's lavish praise - but it was a frustrating oversight. All hail the arrival of Quarrel on Xbox Live Arcade then, bringing the much-desired online multiplayer to one of mobile gaming's brightest gems, as well as the core of the game - which remains exactly the same as the one we've loved and obsessed over on our phones and tablets. [So much so that it was one of our Games of 2011 - Ed.]
Two to four players, possessing an equal number of tiles and soldiers each, move around the play area choosing either to take on an opponent in a word-making match, shuffle troops around, or end their turn and receive one reinforcement for each occupied tile. For every soldier you take into battle, you get to use an extra letter from the eight-letter anagram presented to both players in a time-limited Scrabble tussle.
Celebrated iPhone puzzle game Quarrel arrives on Xbox Live Arcade next Wednesday, 25th January, publisher UTV Ignition has announced.
Quarrel merges, to great success, the lexical-scoring of Scrabble with the territoral acquisition of Risk. Eurogamer's Quarrel iPhone review awarded 9/10, and the Scottish BAFTAs declared it Game of the Year.
The XBLA version of Quarrel will cost 400 MSP (£3.40), and features four-player multiplayer via Xbox Live. There are also leaderboards and Achievements, and you can play the game as your Xbox Live avatar.
Playing Quarrel for the first time is one of the strangest gaming experiences I've had for a while, and it was definitely unrelated to the 12th cup of tea of the day. Sometimes games feel so familiar and perfectly formed that you assume that you must have played them before in some nascent form, possibly sometime in the late 1980s before mullets were officially outlawed.