No Wii U Fast And Furious: Showdown For Australia

Australian gamers are (sadly) used to certain games not being made available here, usually for reasons unknown. The latest non-offering is Fast & Furious: Showdown on Wii U, which appears to have had its local release nixed by Activision.

Daniel Vuckovic over at Vooks noticed the omission in a recent press release from the publisher. A quick investigation of EB Games' website confirmed the news, with the game pulled from the retailer's online catalogue.

Vuckovic notes that Fast & Furious is by no means in an exclusive club, with the Wii U SKUs for The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct and 007 Legends — among others — also being denied local releases by Activision.

I don't think anyone's going to be especially troubled by the news, but that doesn't stop one from wondering. Is it because the aforementioned games have been received poorly by critics and combined with the smaller market, it's not worth the effort (or expenditure)? That would certainly make sense from a business perspective.

Fast & Furious: Showdown Not Releasing In Australia On Wii U [Vooks]


    Maybe they're looking towards only selling things digitally in Australia? That way they can still charge $90 for something they charge $50 for in the US, but with no retail options, EVERYONE is giving the publisher that juicy $40 difference instead of it getting eaten up in wasteful shipping and retail wages etc.

    Last edited 07/04/13 1:22 pm

      But the thing is though, discs are manufactured and pressed locally in australia, aren't they? The shipping a quite frankly bullshit excuse.

        Even so, they still have to ship them from wherever they're pressed to all of the retailers.

        It's a total BS excuse for things like electronics, most of which are manufactured in Asia - much, much closer to Australia than the US. But for games, the retail charges are usually blamed on shipping whatever it is they need to ship (advertising? Cardboard cutouts?), Australia's higher minimum wage for paying retail slaves, keeping a publisher's office in the country, GST, and because fuck you, that's why. We don't help things along by stupidly paying the Australia tax on games instead of everyone being savvy enough to grey import.

        It's funny (/sickening), when you think about it:

        In the US, digital prices are usually the same as retail prices, despite the fact that retail costs more and has more money going to a third party. Really, if the publisher were taking a fixed share of the total, digital would be much cheaper. But it's higher to placate the retail partners who whine that lower digital prices would steal their customers away. So basically, any digital sale is a massive win for the publisher.

        So when you take the retail price for a US game, then whack on the Australia tax for retail here, the publisher probably doesn't make any/much more... but when they inflate their digital price to match Aussie retail, for the sake of placating those same retailers, that means that the publisher take-home share of the digital version in Australia is probably a few hundred times more than what they expect from US retail. Every digital Australian sale is probably worth a hundred US retail sales...

    So instead of us missing out on "mature" games, we're now missing out on crap games instead?

    I'm ok with this.

    Literally seven's of Wii U only gamers weep tear's of blood this day.

    I'm a Wii U owner and I couldn't care less. The common theme here is Activision with their licensed titles - 007, Fast and Furious, Walking Dead, Spider-Man... All glorified shovelware anyway. In a way it's doing the Wii U a favor keeping all the crap games away - it means more room on shelves for games like Lego City, ZombiU, NSMBU, etc.

    I don't think the Wii U has that great an install-base in Australia anyway (compared to the PS3 and the 360) so it wouldn't make sense to release something that the target audience of the Wii U wouldn't buy regularly anyway.

    That's not odd at all. That's called business acumen.

      True to a degree - but it becomes this self-feeding cycle where people don't buy the console because they know the games won't be released here, then publishers don't release the games here because there's a small install base, and so on. Which is fine for the crap games, but sucks when they start doing it for the good ones.

    It's obvious why Australia is being avoided, its the costs involved with getting the games rated in Australia then paying for rating for the demo and paying again for each update...

    Hence why so many indie games on PSN are not being released for Australia...

      the game is rated

      See I have to call bullshit on this one

      The standard cost for classifying a computer game in Australia is between 800 and 1200 bucks (or double if you have to demonstrate it to the board) and if you have a trained assessor on staff (which is entirely possible for big publishers) it is 430 bucks.

      As far as I am aware, you do not have to get reclassification for an update, unless that update radically changes the game outside the scope of the original classification. Not sure about demos, but most games don't get them these days anyway.

      For indie devs that can be a bit much, but for any game publishing house (or in this case Activision, which is one of the biggest) that much is nothing.

      Classification cost, while prohibitive for indie devs, are a non issue for publishers

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