Dundee-based Denki has revealed that Quarrel was "rejected by almost every game publisher in the world" and called on gamers to prove them wrong on the day its multiplayer word game launches on Xbox Live Arcade.
In a post on the company blog, managing director Colin Anderson admits that Quarrel was actually rejected twice, and even three times, by some publishers. The struggle to strike a publishing deal caused Denki to restructure and lay off a number of staff in April 2010. Quarrel was eventually released for iPhone last August.
"And not because their game acquisition teams didn't recommend signing it," Anderson writes. "Almost without exception every acquisition team we showed it to thought it was a certifiable, bankable hit – just as we did.
"The problems only started once they'd passed Quarrel up the decision tree to their finance and marketing teams – the bit more commonly known as 'The Industry'.
"We heard the same justifications for passing on it over and over again ad nauseam. One signal came through clearer than any other among the general noise of reasons why Quarrel wasn't for them, and that was this: 'Gamers don't buy word games'."
It’s a claim Anderson naturally disputes, and with Quarrel launching today on Xbox Live Arcade, he calls on gamers to buy a copy – "Or four, it's only 400 MSP" – and to "tell everyone you can about the game. Discovery remains the single biggest challenge facing original games these days by far.
"Whatever helps people to hear about it and not simply ignore it would be most welcomed by us. Particularly as Microsoft seems to have gone out of its way to relegate games to an afterthought in the most recent redesign of the Xbox  dashboard."