XBLA Shooter Cannot Be Classified In Australia [Updated]

Blacklight: Tango Down is a first-person shooter from Spec Ops developers Zombie Studios. It was released on Xbox LIVE Arcade last week. Only it wasn't in Australia. Why?

We contacted Blacklight's US publisher Ignition Entertainment to find out why Australia had missed out on the game. They sent us this statement:

"We regret to announce that the Australian Classification Board were unable to award Blacklight: Tango Down a rating in that territory. This is due to the fact that the title requires a permanent online connection as it is an online multiplayer game. The ACB could not review and rate a title with such a requirement.

This decision by the ACB also precludes us releasing the game in New Zealand.

UTV Ignition Entertainment apologize to gamers in Australia and NZ who were looking forward to playing Blacklight: Tango Down, but the situation is beyond our control. It was always our intention to release the title in these regions, and should the ACB change their stance on such titles, we will do our utmost to bring the game to market in Australia and NZ."

It's not the first time the issue of classification has arisen regarding an online-only game. Early last year reports suggested that MMOs such as World of Warcraft were being sold "illegally" in Australia because they were not classified. These reports, of course, turned out to be nonsense.

So online games can be sold in Australia without being classified. Though it is something of a grey area in the classification code.

We've contacted the Classification Board for more details.

UPDATE: The Classification Board has confirmed to Kotaku that they have not received a submission from Ignition Entertainment for Blacklight: Tango Down to be classified in Australia.

Also, as several of you have pointed out in the comments, online-only games such as Battlefield 1943 have been classified and released on Xbox Live Arcade. And the Classification Board is now classifying MMOs such as World of Warcraft.

We have contacted Ignition for clarification on their statement.


Comments

    Apparently its a crap game anyway.

    If they told the truth and actually said that they didn't submit it then I would have kindly waited the extra month or two without getting mad, but since they basically told us all to get F*&ked, they didn't act like they cared since they lied to us and snubbed us off like we were nothing, i'm pretty sure that many Aussies would have happily invested in their game but since this happened, their potential
    sales would have likely dropped %20, an apology and something extra for Aussie gamers who purchase the game would better the situation.

    Not releasing the game here: bad.
    Advertising the game here: worse.
    Lying about the game here: worst.

    Absolutely disgusting, Ignition. And I was actually looking forward to this game.

    But this has those "BLACK OPS" missions, they CAN be offline. Besides what about (i know this is playstation only but) MAG. That was online only. That came out in AUS. Well, online only except (like BF1943) the training mission. But that's only telling you how to play. I say we protest to whoever rates these games and use all these comments as backup!!!! :b

    "This decision by the ACB also precludes us releasing the game in New Zealand."

    I'm amazed no one has mentioned this comment. When has the bad decisions of the ACB ever effected NewZealand? Every game gets released here. This is a statement from a very misinformed company that assumes NewZealand is a part of Australia. Like the update indicates, they have in no way submitted this game for classification for these regions.

    I can just imagine them getting an email or two from people asking why the game isn't available here and them saying "Oops, forgot all about Australia, lets make up some PR crap to buy us some time....oh yeah we haven't done NewZealand either....isn't that place part of Australia seeing as it falls under the same oceanic PAL region? cool, we will add them into our statement also."

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