XBLA Shooter Could See Australian Release After All

Blacklight: Tango Down, the online shooter we’d heard could not be classified in Australia, will now be submitted to the Classification Board, according to US publisher Ignition Entertainment.

The game was released on Xbox Live Arcade in North America and Europe on July 7. However, it was not released in Australia.

Ignition Entertainment told us this was because Blacklight was a title that “requires a permanent online connection as it is an online multiplayer game.”

Kotaku spoke to the Classification Board to clarify this statement. We were told that in the past the Board had been unable to classify “wholly online” games where the publisher was unable to supply a “hard copy” of the title.

Earlier this year, however, the Board told us that this policy has changed to allow publishers to submit a digital copy of a title that enables the Board to review the entire game.

The Board noted that no classification submission for Blacklight: Tango Down had been received. But they did suggest that Ignition may have made an informal inquiry prior to the change in procedure regarding wholly online games.

Kotaku subsequently contacted Ignition and, late yesterday, we heard that the publisher will now be submitting Blacklight for classification in Australia.

Which is good news. Regardless of whether Blacklight is a good game or not – I don’t know, I’ve not had the chance to play it! – it’s pleasing to see we’re not going to miss out on it.

Still, I’m somewhat confused by the whole situation. Though I suspect much of that confusion stems from Ignition itself being confused by our idiosyncratic classification system.

For example, why did Ignition think a game with “a permanent online connection” could not be classified? Why did the Boardnot address this aspect in their response to Ignition’s claim? Does the Board really obtain hard or digital copies of every single game it classifies, including relatively obscure downloadable titles?

I’m working to follow up on such questions and will report back if/when I secure any answers.

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