Update: A Telltale producer has elaborated on their forums on why The Walking Dead will not be released on consoles in New Zealand, and that Telltale are waiting for new certification laws to come into effect in Australia before the game will see a release here.
According to ‘_BrYan_’, “Typically, our games come to New Zealand because as long as a game is not restricted in Australia, we release in both countries for the cost of just 1 rating. It’s been pointed out in this thread already that we pretty much have no chance at getting an Australian rating until early 2013 (when new certification laws come into effect). That said, there IS a way to bypass the Australian rating and attempt to get a game rated directly in New Zealand (See: Mortal Kombat), but the cost of the rating must be weighed against the potential for sales in that region. Mortal Kombat has a better chance to make money in New Zealand because it costs roughly 55 dollars MORE than Episode 1 of The Walking Dead. That means they can sell less copies of their game than us and still make money. Even if you opt for the season pass on PSN, Mortal Kombat is still more than twice the cost of The Walking Dead. That means we need to sell a VERY high volume of games in New Zealand to justify the cost (in both time and money) of a New Zealand only rating.”
For the time being, Telltale advise gamers to just buy the game on PC or Mac, although they promise that, “without spoiling any potential future plans that you guys are on our radar!”
Aussie fans of TV’s The Walking Dead, Telltale’s particular brand of adventure games, or both, may be dismayed to learn that the episodic Walking Dead game will not be hitting consoles in Australia or New Zealand, and has only been released on Steam.
This news came to light from a post made on Telltale’s official forums, from Telltale staffer Mike, who apologised, “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 post was made in reply to a forum member, reporting that selecting The Walking Dead on PSN’s ‘New This Week’ yields no content. The icon is still present on the PlayStation Store.
Telltale’s statement seems to indicate that The Walking Dead was not submitted for classification to the Australian Classification Board, which presently does not yet have an R18+ rating for video games. What is strange is that New Zealand has no such problem, but is still missing out on these games on consoles. While not available on XBLA or PSN, The Walking Dead is still available for PC on Steam.
We’ll keep you updated as we hear more about the situation.