APB Will Not Be Released In Australia

APB, the crime-themed MMO from Crackdown developer Realtime Worlds, is launching on PC in Europe and the US early July. But it will not be launching in Australia in early July. Why?

Electronic Arts signed up APB as part of its EA Partners program. This means Realtime Worlds is essentially the developer and publisher of the game, while EA is handling boxed product distribution to retail around the world.

EA told Kotaku that they will not be releasing APB in Australia.

The reason is local servers. Or rather, the lack of them.

APB isn't your standard MMO. It plays more like a shooter. To make the game playable, players need a ping to the nearest server that is lower than needed by other MMOs. And that means a server based in Australia is essential.

But Realtime Worlds has no plans to host a server for APB in Australia. We don't know why, but we can only assume they believe it isn't worth the investment. As such, EA can't release the game in this country.

Australian gamers willing to risk it could still import a copy from overseas, setup a US account with a US credit card, and try joining a US server. But you probably won't have a very enjoyable time of it.

I'm curious to know if any of you were able to access the APB beta that ran from late last year. If you were, what was your experience like? How playable was the game in beta form?


    meh... not like many people are really going to care...

    still this whole dedicated servers thing is getting a bit much...

      heh for a moment i though it wasnt going to be released because it would of been considered R18 thus banned.

      guess this better though still rather shitty

      I'm sure plenty of people will care, mate. Just because it's not your cup of tea, doesn't mean others weren't looking forward to it. Maybe you should think about what you write instead of just trying to reply to every post.

      I for one am pissed off. I was really looking forward to this game. I'm most annoyed that it has taken this long to announce that we won't be getting it. Unless I missed something, there hasn't been any hint that they wouldn't release it over here.

        It was only fun for the first 2 hours, and that's because I was drinking.

    David, do you have any idea of the cost of setting up servers in Australia compared to the US or Europe?

    Also, this news sucks. Was one of the only MMOs I was interested in.

      No, I don't know how much it costs. This is a business decision so we must assume the costs outweighed whatever they'd make in sales.

        My mate found out last year why there is a distinct lack of local MMO server hosting in AUS. It all comes down to price. He pulled a developer quote from the Heroes of Newerth forum:

        "We have received some initial prices on hosting boxes in Australia:

        Our boxes on average use 4,000-5,000 GB of data transfer a month, we get these boxes for roughly $200 USD each in EU/USA

        Provider 1: $1250 per month for hardware, $11,250.00 per month for bandwidth per box, box would support 110 concurrent users

        Provider 2: $1100 per month for hardware, $22,500 per month for bandwidth per box, would support about 220 concurrent users.

        We have also made inquiries at Internode and are awaiting a quote back from them (it was requested last week Tuesday).

        So as you can see, the economics of hosting boxes in AU is just not there currently. "

        Essentially due to the absolute stranglehold that Telstra has on bandwidth pricing in Australia, it is not financially viable to host server's with heavy data traffic thanks to the absurd pricing for data usage.

        So next time you wonder why your PING is through the ceiling when playing WoW, Aion or any other popular MMO you can thank Telstra.

          theres more to it than telstra(not gonna start the rant)

          yet there an easy scapegoat as usual

            $23600 a month for 220 user server is more than a simple scape goat, that's more than 1000 times the cost of a US box.

            Yeah theres plenty of blame to go around but wholesale pricing is the biggest factor.

              Telstra doesn't set the price, the ACCC does

      I develop websites for a living, and basic hosting costs in Australia can be around 2-3 times as much as you pay for similar services in the US. I think it's just a matter of market size, though: the US market is 10 times as large as Australia, so it seems reasonable that they'd be that much cheaper.

      Even if you hosted in somewhere like Singapore, which we have a fairly high speed link to, the ping time is still > 150ms most of the time.

      TBH, I don't even think the NBN would help in this case. The cost isn't in the actual network link, it's in the hosting and data centre which would remain constant even in the face of the NBN. The NBN also isn't going to affect our pings to servers hosted in other countries...

    well i was 50/50 on this being my first step into mmo territory but i guess it wont be now

    Ugh, and I was really looking forward to it. Seemed like it'd be similar in a way to The Matrix Online :c

    For fucks sake, I was looking forward to at least trying this mmo before declaring it a lost cause!

    Oh noes, no local servers, here's a thought MAKE ONE! You can't run an mmo without servers you morons and you have to put them somewhere, build it and they will come as the movie said

    Unless the national broadband gets rolled out soon, this sort of thing is only going to increase.

    Australia is swiftly falling behind the rest of the world as a viable videogame market, with it's lack of a decent network, restrictive game classifications complicating sales and potentially increasing costs and logistics problems, ie. shipping costs to get stuff here, let alone around our big, empty country with it's many regional communities, Australia is a poster child for digital distribution, except you have to leave the computer on overnight to download the game.

      You do realise the NBN will not fix latency?
      Latency will be exactly the same.
      Yes, we can download more due to (basically) fatter pipes, but the time it takes for data to reach our PC will be the same.

        Warcroft and Ross are both correct. locally laitency can be overcome by greater bandwidth(data speed) but in this case the servers in the US are two far away(data distance).

        data speed and data distance both make up your Ping. in the case of a US server distance is the factor that will most affect gameplay.

        so in the case of US servers its not how FAST your going but how FAR your going that will affect your game experiance.

        My understanding is that the NBN will not use Telstra's infrastructure.

        This will take away Telstras stranglehold on our communications (Most ISPs buy from Telstra and sell it on). When ISPs are able to buy bandwidth wholesale from NBN Co prices will come down. If it brings the prices down to a level where it is financially viable to have servers in Australia for an MMO then we might see some hosted here. Keep in mind that with a smaller player base here some still wouldn't make the jump to being locally hosted.

          NBN isnt gonna help anything

          its latency

          as for the NBN fixing bandwidth it all still needs to go through the Deep sea cable which sets the price for data and all that jazz

          and theres a 50 50 chance we wont get the NBN cos if the libs get in they plan to stop it

          and given how slow the govt is at getting all this to work theres even a chance that theyll have 2 elections to screw it over

          this coupled with the fact that the govt is planning on making it so NBN might be able to retail sell as well could end up creating another telstra anyways

          as well as the fact that once the NBN is in another company will be banned from building there own metro only NBN equivilant if they wanted to compete with there own network as well as a bunch of other ridiculous rules

            Latency won't really change to overseas servers - but it should be pretty awesome to Australian servers.

            If server bandwidth is really that expensive, I wonder if any ISPs provide an Australian-only hosting service, limited by IP blocks. That'd be ideal for MMOs like this. Local-only bandwidth should be far cheaper than overseas traffic (remember the unlimited PIPE peering?), and will get far cheaper again with the NBN.

              You guys know that it's illegal to cap the internet in the U.S right? They literally passed a bill outlawing it.

              Here, it's a wide open hole for private business to do as they please with what should be government owned infrastructure.

              If we passed the same bill, a bidding war would appear between the ISP's and drastically reduce bandwidth costs in years instead of decades. The bar is gradually lowering as we see TPG and Optus compete (TPG offering 130GB for $50, an amount unheard of only 3 years ago for the regular middle-class household).
              It is true that distance is the main problem with Australian pings, but if the caps were outlawed we'd not only have a much bigger PC gamer base (making the game companies see Australia as a far more viable source for profit), but more support and reason to increase the effectiveness of the international lines.

              ..but the fact of the matter is that isn't going to happen because Australia's facilities are basically a feeding ground for corporate investors. Anyone who knows anything about the Victorian public transport system might be inclined to agree.

              Sorry to get so political, but I'm sick to death of it.

    After reading the title I thought it was banned.

    I've had a go of the Beta, the la is bearable till you try to drive vehicles, then it's hell.

      I've found the lag to be game-breaking in the beta. Driving is, yes, hell. Actions take 1-2 seconds so it feels like driving a boat. It's not just driving that's affected by the lag, though. Shooting at enemies is impossible unless they're standing still, since you need to lead your target by such a ridiculously long time. The game is frustrating to play with so much lag, too frustrating to bother with. Don't bother buying a US copy if you plan to play in Australia.

        I'm certainly not providing any distinguishing details as as far as I'm aware, there is still an NDA in place but as one of a few Australians in the EU beta, I can safely say that although somewhat frustrating due to ping, the game was playable. And our all Aussie + 1 NZ clan won a couple of leagues so ping certainly wasn't an excuse for being completely shit. The truth is that our service would have been below par in comparrison with locals to servers but it was acceptable. This not releasing in Australia gives me the shits.

    After my experience with the Battlefield games on the 360, my feeling is that it's probably better to not release the game at all then release it broken and half working.

    They probably want to avoid the bad PR from Aussies complaining about how busted the game is all over their forums...

    Yeah the problem is that the servers there are very expensive, and all of the have massively limited bandwidth with serious prices if you go over the bandwidth allocation. It probably just isn't worth their while getting specific Australian servers, because of the added costs and limits, not to mention a lot of the datacentres there are known for instability.

    Sorry Australia, you guys get a hard time with online gaming :(

    one of the few games coming out soon and we get fucked man i love australia

    Damn if its not the ratings board/lack or R rating we have to worry about, it's Developers turning their back on us. Not living in the centre of the world

    Not that I would of played this (being an MMO after all) but still, its the principle of it damm it :<

      you realise that the reason that you wouldnt play this Ie MMO and the Fact that this is an MMO only issue any game that supports Dedicated servers on the user side negates this issue as well as any that use the P2P service of the consoles

      so basically your view of its an mmo not playing that is the exact reason this is occuring

    I reckon they've taken the hint from crimecrafts banning and decided the risk of investment vs the OFLC dropping the ban hammer is to high

      I don't think that's the case, given what I've seen of APB and what I've heard from talking to Realtime Worlds about its content. But since EA will now not be presenting it to the Classification Board, we'll never know.

    @Ross Moir:
    the nbn will make no difference in this situation. a higher throughput network isn't going to reduce latency nor is it going to change the reason that a dedicated server will be financially viable (if that is the reason). The only solution here is to open up our shores to immigrants and breed like rabbits, neither of which will happen anytime soon.

    :( very very upset about this... i was really looking forward to APB :(

    This is Shit news. Screw this crappy countries piss poor internet, and internet companies

      It's our geographic isolation plus relatively small population that is the problem, not our internet speed.

      If we were closer to the US, we could play on their servers. If we had 50 million people, we'd be a more attractive market.

        As much as I want more local servers, i'm glad we don't have 50 million people. No point having servers if i can't afford a subscription, rent is high enough as it is!.

    This is a bit disappointing but it's nice to see them being a bit more considerate. I'm glad they'd rather make no money and irritate relatively few displeased potential customers than releasing a game that won't work properly here, making a few easy bucks and pissing off a lot more people. I think it's all round the best move.

    Would always be nice to an Ocianic server, though. :P

    i call HUGE pile of BS fkn BS i have been playing in the EU beta and sure i had 300ms - 400ms ping but it was like every other mmo i have played i never notice it its NOT like an fps where you need <100ms ping i did fine and i had a gr8 kill to death ratio something like 4:1 im going to be getting the game from steam with a proxy as soon as i get money into my paypal... not so sure i will be playing the legit way any more tho coz of this Helios FTW

      While that's true, you'll have to scale it up for "Day 1 release" lag, and busy server lag - for locals (to server) that will be less noticeable than for someone overseas with over 300ms ping!

    They're probably waiting to find out if the game is a hit or not. If it bombs in the US/UK then they would have saved money not having servers here. If it's a hit I'm sure we'll see some added here in the future.

      Don't be. We still don't have the Oceanic Servers for WoW in Australia and that's as big as it gets.


    I was on the development team for APB, and have played it by myself enough to say it would still be fun to run your own server if they let you. It would be cool if you could set up 100 man LAN parties to play that's a full San Paro right there.

    2 points

    1: I live in Adelaide, but in a suburb where I can't get any land based Internet so I'm forced to pay $120/mtg just to get a wireless plan that doesn't cut me off if I go over my 10GB limit. If you really want to pay then this is a valid option.

    2: I play WarRock online and that runs fine. This is a free to play online FPS. Played this with both land based Internet and wireless. No probs.

    As an aside I don't blame Telstra or anyone really. The fact is that with such a low population and the dispersity of it, any company lacks incentive to invest in infrastructure due to the much higher construction costs (and ongoing maintenance) and lower profitability.

    I was in EU APB beta. The only problems I had revolved around driving really, and even then I was still better then some of the others who had low pings. You just have to be able to compensate for the delay when driving. When actually on foot and shooting people, it isn't that bad. Most shots still hit if you aim on target.

    I managed to get into both the EU Beta and the North American Beta. It was a whole lot of fun creating and customising characters but I'm used to faster shooters like Bad Company when playing online and as such, the lag was unbearable. Driving was basically impossible.
    If they released a downloadable version of the character creator with a swathe of clothing options, I would buy that in a heartbeat.


    I did in fact play the APB beta and I'm Australian, The server was absolutely fine and I loved the game. It really pisses me off that Australia should get looked passed by the gaming community and especially with a game like this.I say that they should not see Australia as a waste of money and release it here.

    PS. towards the driving comments, The original controls are based for the Xbox controller and instead of a slight turn with simply pushing the thumb-stick, the keyboard adds of 100 percent to the left/right.

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