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Denki’s Quarrel delayed, possibly even canned for XBLA

In a sobering blog post over at the Scottish indie developer’s official site, Denki have announced a major restructuring partly as a result of being unable to find the right publishing partner for their forthcoming word game, Quarrel.

The game, aptly described as “Scrabble meets Risk” was shown to the public for the first time last year and recently released a great little trailer. According to the post, it is  also “completely finished, very polished and great fun” which is certainly the impression it gave me in the released media so was very much looking forward to checking it out early this year.

Denki promise that Quarrel will still see the light of day this year though when and in what form remains to be seen. The blog post has several railings against “the industry” and it’s inability to take on anything other than  low risk products. They also assert that they will be exploring routes to go directly to gamers stating they will be “focusing on platforms that don’t have arbitrary gate-keepers who periodically change the requirement goal-posts halfway through development” which sounds a lot like Xbox Live Arcade to me. The service has a somewhat legendary approval process for all the wrong reasons.

One of the benefits of digital distribution is that it’s supposed to be a lot more feasible for publishers to take calculated risks on games just like this and it’s not like the guys at Denki, itself founded by alumni of DMA Design (and now Rockstar North) don’t have a track record. Hopefully, those who have to move on as a result of this will land on their feet and Quarrel will still see a release soon. Despite being a platform not without it’s own whims, it would look like a good fit for the just released iPad or with a more significant reworking even Facebook.

For now though, we’ll applaud Denki for sticking to their guns and refusing to compromise. If you’re a gamer who enjoys games, you should too.

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