Australian dev criticises restrictive ratings system

Australian dev criticises restrictive ratings system
Aaron Lee

By Aaron Lee

April 9th 2013 at 1:30PM

Developer calls for a switch to a no-fee ratings system

An Australian developer has called for a change in the nation’s age ratings system, which it claims is stopping indies from making it to market.

Bruce Thomson, business and marketing director at Australian developer Nnooo, creator of escapeVektor and Spirit Hunters Inc, said that the current ratings system is especially problematic for small developers.

“We can sell a game in the Americas (with a population of about one billion) for no ratings fees, in Europe (with a population of over 700 million) for 500 Euros per platform and in Australia (23 million) for AUS$430, considering that only two per cent of our revenue comes from Australian sales you can see how ridiculous this is,” he told Vooks.

Thomson has called for a change in the ratings system to make it more accessible to indies.

“Changing the current classification system in Australia to a self-rated, no-fee model like the one operated by the ESRB would be a big help for small devs like us where every dollar counts.

“The current Australian ratings system increases the cost of making games for the Australian market and prevents many small developers from releasing their titles here.”

Age ratings have been a continuous point of contention for Australian games companies and publishers. The country only passed 15-plus and 18-plus ratings last year. Up until then, it was common for many mature games to be heavily censored or not released at all.

Activision has decided against released a number of its Wii U games in Australia, including Fast & Furious: Showdown, 007 Legends and The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct.