Rising Star Games, the European publishing partner of Marvelous Entertainment, is speaking out against UK retailers declining to stock Muramasa: The Demon Blade, which comes out November 13th in the region. COO Martin DeFries told MCV in an open letter, "Here in the UK, the game will not be available to buy in the majority of games retail outlets."

He claims that the issue is not with the game itself, but retailers' over-reliance on safer, existing intellectual property. "If it is not first-party, a sequel or supported by a multi-million pound advertising spend, they are just not interested." Defries lamented that Muramasa could find its way into stores -- when it's traded in.

Defries pondered in his letter whether the seemingly growing emphasis on franchises represents a "dumbing-down of the medium" that results in consumers having "little or no exposure to a rich and different gaming experience." Of course, retailers (and publishers) have preferred the sure thing for as long as there have been sequels, but actually not being able to market your game, especially one as interesting as Muramasa, seems especially frustrating.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.