Telltale Games: No Plans To Release The Walking Dead In Australia

Australians woke up to the news that The Walking Dead, the video games adaption of the show based on the comic, was not made available in Australia or New Zealand. Many assumed it may be something to do with classification, and that assumption seems to be correct.

After being asked why the game wasn't available on Telltale's official forum, a member of staff responded with the following...

Sorry, but due to the OFLC ratings laws in Australia and New Zealand, and the fact that this is a mature game, we do not currently have plans to release the game there on consoles.

The Walking Dead has not been refused classification in Australia, in fact it hasn't even been submitted for classification as far as we know. Therefore we can only assume that Telltale didn't think it was worth the cost (and risk) of attempting to classify the game in this country.

EDIT: Many have rightly pointed out that The Walking Dead can be bought in Steam, but the fact remains the game has not been classified, and therefore technically shouldn't be available for purchase in this country. It does, however, remain a bit of a gray area.

It's a shame, because I would probably expect the game to pass through classification at MA15+ under the current guidelines.

Thanks Disco_Box


    I was consdering ordering this on Steam too ...

    ummm. . . correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't New Zealand have an R rating for video games?

      As far as I can tell, whilst NZ has an R rating, their distribution is tied to ours. So if Aus isn't getting it, distributors probably won't bother distributing to NZ. Often they get the same censored games as us as well.

        Not entirely true. Mortal Kombat was available for purchase in video game retailers like EB in New Zealand but not in Aus. I'm sure there is a link: publishers probably only bother printing localised covers if the game is available in the larger Australian market but it's not a given.

      It's not the rating, it's the fat old Government men who charge a fortune to games companies for the rights to distribute. You look at Dead Island (smashing human heads in), God of War (bare nipples) and Grand Theft Auto (speaks for itself). Yet so many other games like this and Left 4 Dead got hammered. Australia is just basically a corrupt island.

        bro you hit the nail on the head.

    ummmm you can still get it on steam.....

      Yeah, I was sure I saw this last night. Away from my Steam box so can't check until later but it was also up for pre-sale.

      You can also get it directly from TellTale Games's website

    If you ask the person on the radio who brought up this R rating topic several weeks ago, their response would be the same as it was then. "Don't we already have enough games?".

      Who said this and do you know where they live?

        Around Ballarat, one of the people on 103.1 Power FM. The only callers they allowed in were from ignorant parents who didn't know.

          I work at a radio station in Canberra, am a huge gamer, and we had our local attorney general on air a few weeks back, talking up how we're FINALLY getting there with 18+ classification. The ACT was the first state or territory to give things the official thumbs-up and we had a whole segment about it. Please don't think all radio people are I'll-informed morons... Just most of us!

            Ill-informed! Not I'll-informed... Lousy auto-spell bollocks!

      This is going off-topic, but 'Don't we already have enough games' is the attitude which killed arcades in Aus, I reckon.

      I noticed after 2000 that most Time Zones and such around Sydney started to fill up with shit games, and I think both Galaxies currently in Sydney CBD are prime examples of this: the people who own or manage arcades don't care which games are worth playing and which ones are garbage. They treat video games as all the same thing, just different colour or shape, and probably think if someone feels like playing video games, they'll play the first game they find. No one plays shit games, so they stop making money, and eventually close down the arcade.

        Man this point deserves its own article on Kotaku. All the way up to the PS2 era I regularly frequented arcades but then the quality of the games changed around 2000.

        It's so bad now that most of them seem to have been replaced by those carnival sideshows that award prize tokens.

          It was the end of an era, alright. Ah, the 90's.

    Pre-Ordered The Walking Dead on Steam and completed the first chapter yesterday... encountered no issues :/

    Well, that was a dumb marketing move.

    This'll be interesting - just preordered the whole season through the Telltale store without any problems.

    Wow, not only a piss-poor move, but to only inform their fans about it via a forum comment?
    Very poor form.

    Erm, yes. i bought it on aussie steam also.

    Just played the first chapter on Steam here too. Frankly I wished they would release the whole thing in one go, that first chapter left me hankering for more.

    Oh, " on consoles." Missed that part.

    I suspect cost would be a rather large factor here. "Mature" games cost more to rate than "general" games (in that there are greater requirements for reviewing and classification), and of course you run the very high risk of it being banned, throwing away all that money (or face the possibility of spending even more money making modifications and re-submitting or going through the appeals process).

    This just highlights my case for not having mandatory censorship of art. If certain areas of the community want to be sheltered from this material, they should pay for the classification and censorship of this material, not the creators.

    It'll probably turn up as a discounted if not free download on my US PSN+ account at some point. That's how I got the entire Back to the Future series from Telltale.

    sooo, how can they release on steam here without classification?

      Because as much as they might like to, the dipshit government can't quite yet tell Valve what to do.

        Except Left 4 Dead 2 etc is censored on steam even in australia. So i guess they can tell them what to do.

          Difference being L4D2 was actually refused classification in Australia meaning Valve pretty much had to offer us a censored version.

          Most of the indie games on Steam have not been classified in Australia, so ironically can easily be sold to us as is on through Steam's service.

          L4D2 also had a retail release in Australia and was therefore sold "IN" Australia and must be rated for sale, whereas anything sold ONLY digitally online (e.g. via Steam) could be argued to be sold "IN" the USA, as that is where Steam is based, thus not subject to Australian classification laws.

            That's not true. Valve must adhere to Australian laws when selling software TO Australians. Their website and service should be blocked via IP address from Australians for them to be exempt. It's all very complicated but if we legally can buy these games then the law applies to these games.

    I kind of understand the decision not to put it through for classification at this time. Wait until the review into R18 has been completed, then put it through.

    I think this is a case of publisher not wanting to pay the prohibitive cost of presenting the game to the OFLC vs lack of return from 'local' sales. People who want to pay for the game on PC will have no troubles finding it anyway.

      I don't get it though... if it's the same game on PC and consoles do they actually have to get it rated separately for each platform? Or just once? Because it seems very strange they'd have to get the same thing classified 3 times for 3 different formats.

      Do movies have to get rated separately for DVD and BluRay? I mean it's the same content, just 2 different formats, but you'd assume it only has to get classified once.

        The thing is that they haven't gotten it rated at all. The PC version is being sold only digitally online through sites such as Steam which do not enforce games available for purchase from Australia to have Australian classification ratings.

          Ah. When I posted that I was under the impression that it had been classified since it was on Steam. Strange that they don't care about Australia-specific classification laws but are quite happy to allow Australia-specific pricing...

        Oh, and in answer to your question on platforms, no, if the content is the same, they don't need to get it re-rated for other platforms.

          Only $1200 to get a game classified! very lazy by telltale

    The "on consoles" bit makes this a bit weird. Have to assume projected sales weren't high enough to validate the costs associated with localisation and classification was just the straw that broke the camel's back.

    (In related news, I'm still sad about NFL Blitz not getting here)

      Seems the most plausible explanation. Wouldn't solely point the finger at the RC since it is on steam. Also didn't Jurassic Park The game get the same treatment?

    yet another reason to illegally pirate things... :(

    One word......Piracy....

    It's there on the steam store... Although technically with the episodic nature of this, it's a 'season pass' to access parts that aren't released yet. Is there something in some fine print somewhere that says they can avoid normal classification channels when they do this?

      The Classification Board site itself indicates:

      "Downloadable computer games CAN be submitted for classification." (my emphasis)
      "If you are unsure about whether an online product or a computer game available for mobile phones should be submitted for classification please seek independent legal advice."

      So even they aren't confident enough in the legislation to advise that they MUST be rated.

    I have an American Xbox account as well as an Australian account for situations such as these.

    So glad that Xbox doesn't let you change your region settings now.I have my Irish Xbox live account and I'm living is Sydney so happy days. It's still stupid that you can't change you Xbox live region.

    I've already played and finished the first ep, as of about 24 hours ago. I also pirated the arse out of it. Why bother paying for something illegal?!? Telltales choice to lose out on my money.

      I don't condone video game piracy at all, but essentially this is correct - put barriers in front of people like this and you're practically encouraging them to break the law.

    this is why piracy is so high in Australia, if we are unable to buy this product we will go to the next available option, just download a cracked copy simple as that :) this country is ruining it for the honest people who are quite prepared to pay for the product but are to slow to bring in the R18+ rating on games

      This is the exact argument i was having with Logan Booker on Kotaku. I by no means condone piracy. This time i have the option of purchasing this game on Steam. On other occasions, like Syndicate being a recent example, there is no other option. The argument Logan was making was therefore invalid as he stated that im supporting piracy and depriving the developer of their earnings.

      How can this be true when there is no avenue left to actually purchase the Game on? Sorry but I'm 28, if i want to spray digital brain matter all over the floor its my prerogative!

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