Last week 2K took yet another step to try and revive the flagging fan base for Battleborn by making it available for $US15 in a pretty reasonable Humble Bundle. And as is often the case, they also advertised that some other games would be bundled into the second tier at a later date.
We know what the bonus games are. Problem is, one of them doesn't seem to be accessible to Australians.
As of yesterday, 2K's latest Humble Bundle has eight separate items for the second tier: Civilization V, NBA 2K16, the director's cut of Mafia II, Freedom Force, Freedom Force vs The Third Reich, The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, a starter skin pack for Battleborn, and Railroad Tycoon 3.
The new games aren't great. The original Freedom Force has plenty of compatibility issues with modern operating systems, and XCOM Declassified was always the lesser of the modern XCOM titles. But the curious kicker here is Railroad Tycoon 3.
If you search for it through the Steam client, mobile app or the web page, it mysteriously doesn't appear. And when I tried directly accessing the store URL, I was greeted with this:
If you add "?cc=us" to the end of the URL — the same trick used if you want to check what a game's listing looks like to those in the United States — the game appears with a price of $US9.99, a 72% user rating and a rather unhelpful warning that the game isn't compatible with Windows Vista or Windows 7. Which doesn't really augur well for those using Windows 10, or the majority of people on Steam at all.
I emailed 2K's local PR yesterday, but haven't heard back at the time of writing. I pinged Humble Bundle as well asking what happens when parts of a bundle are region locked, but didn't get a reply from them either. I doubt anything nefarious is going on, and it's not the first time that a Humble Bundle hasn't been available globally, as was the case with the first Nintendo offering.
Is the onus on 2K to provide a replacement? And what happens if 2K makes the region-locked game available at a later date after the bundle expires? Maybe Humble sends out a Steam key and it works nonetheless. If you bought into 2K's latest bundle, let us know in the comments!
Update (4:48 PM): MySmilie has kindly replied in the comments that they were able to redeem a code for the game and start downloading, despite being in Australia. It's still not searchable for Australians on the Steam store, though. I've updated the headline to reflect this.