XBLA Shooter Could See Australian Release After All

XBLA Shooter Could See Australian Release After All

XBLA Shooter Could See Australian Release After AllBlacklight: 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.


  • And why does Kotaku need to be the intermediary between the board and devs? Good work guys, but geez it’s not your job, the bloody board should get its act together!

    • While I’m not completely on the side of the Classification Board, they may have provided a ‘mixed answer’ to Ignition, but it’s not their fault.

      Ignition is at fault. Do Ignition really believe that we are that backward? It would have taken them 2 seconds to realise that Australan gamers play WoW. Or a game like M.A.G. has been released for the console, which they could have used as precedents if they wanted.

      The whole situation from them really seems to be a half-assed approach.

      • Yeah it’s half-arsed, but can you really blame them? Frankly with the size of the market we make up and the bother that comes with running things past our classification board I’m surprised this doesn’t happen more often.

      • Considering we make the international game news as the only english speaking country to RC games like Left 4 Dead 2, and the debacle last year with police commisioners threatening to seize copies of WoW and Guild Wars, yeah, they probably think we are pretty backwards.

  • Did Ignition, I don’t know, even *think* about submitting it for classification? It makes sense, to me anyway, that you should submit it for classification regardless of vague suggestions it might not get through – it certainly won’t if the Board doesn’t get a copy of it…

  • Finding this very interesting.

    Who’d have thought such an intriguing story would be unearthed from a throw away ‘Ask me Stuff’ post.

  • I honestly can’t find any blame with the Classification committee. All the evidence seems to show is that Ignition made an obviously incorrect assumption and then lied about it.

    It doesn’t matter now, though. The reviews and this incident have made me lose faith.

  • Good stuff. Personally I’d like to hear from Microsoft. Why were they promoting this all over Xbox Live when Ignition had no intentions of submitting to the Classification Board?

    • I think Microsoft Australia were just as surprised as the rest of us when Blacklight didn’t launch.

      • Yeah, okay. To me this whole thing demonstrates how convoluted our classification system is. Sure, someone, somewhere (probably Ignition) made a mistake when it came to submitting the game, but the true fault lies in the system itself, for being such a mess that international developers can’t understand it!

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