Labor Vows to Shut AU Mobile App Loophole

August 18, 2010 -

A longstanding loophole that has allowed mobile application developers to avoid submitting their wares for classification in Australia has been vowed to be sealed up by the country’s Labor Party.

The Australian reports
that the issue is on the agenda of the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General meeting, which was postponed three weeks ago due to the looming state elections (that take place on August 21).

Labor’s Brendan O’Connor, and Minister of Home Affairs, said that he was, “… concerned about the classification of games playable on mobile telephones and had put the wheels in motion to address this with his state and territory counterparts.”

Meanwhile, a Sydney Morning Herald story notes that such submissions could cost developers between $470 and $2040 per entry, which didn’t sit well with some creators.

Bjango Founder Marc Edwards indicated that if his company was forced to submit apps for classification, they would simply cease to release them in Australia, a notion shared by fellow developer Matt Comi of Big Bucket Software.

Edwards also wondered if the Classification Board was up for handling all the new submissions, noting that, “The sheer volume is going to make it very, very difficult.”

Comi lamented the financial aspects of such an implementation, stating:

You can't know in advance whether you've got a hit on your hands or whether or not you're going to recoup your costs. So I think with a smaller industry, particularly with my team - myself and a designer - we couldn't say whether we were going to make $10.

Nick Lowe, of the non-profit Let’s Make Games stated, “I'm sceptical that the government simply sees potential to generate revenue at the expense of what they see as a minority demographic.”

One has to wonder just many apps would be deemed worthy of release if they had to run the gamut of both Apple and the country’s Classification Board censoring and rating submissions.


Comments

Re: Labor Vows to Shut AU Mobile App Loophole

 Australia isn't a state, they're called Federal elections.

Re: Labor Vows to Shut AU Mobile App Loophole

Officially, the maximum is 20 business days, according to the Classification Board's website. As of 2007, though, the Board can extend that to 40 days for any "sufficiently complex" submission, which computer games (presumably including mobile phone games) are automatically considered to fall under. If I'm reading the full Classification Act correctly (page 75 of the PDF), there's no explicit penalty for failing to meet the limit, although they are required to include an explaination as to why they couldn't meet the limit in their yearly report. (Mind you, I'm not even Australian, let alone an Australian lawyer, so I could easily be mistaken about this.)

Re: Labor Vows to Shut AU Mobile App Loophole

I think the AU board would choke on the sheer volume of applications it would be asked to rate. Is there a statutory time limit for the board to conduct a rating one an application is submitted?

 
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ZippyDSMleeI mean 4 main classes and maybe 3 or 4 model’s each…I’am just not seeing it….03/06/2015 - 8:28pm
ZippyDSMleeLame excuse is rather lame. Lets face it these days there there only a couple games that rely on such mechanics and it stifles player creativity to choose a body type for themselves and excludes those that wish to play as something closer to themselves.03/06/2015 - 8:17pm
Andrew EisenDoesn't matter if you play more games where the cast is the same basic character model. In this type of game, being able to easily tell which character you're looking at serves an important purpose.03/06/2015 - 7:29pm
ZippyDSMleeMechaCrash:Meh I've played more stuff that had pickups rather than set class's.03/06/2015 - 7:22pm
MechaCrashZarya's body type also has a pragmatic reason. Ever notice how in TF2, you can immediately tell who's who because they all have very different profiles? Same deal with Overwatch. If you see Zarya, you KNOW it's Zarya.03/06/2015 - 6:32pm
Adam802http://www.mercurynews.com/crime-courts/ci_27662192/leland-yee-case-judge-pushes-corruption-trial-august03/06/2015 - 6:12pm
ZippyDSMleeNearly anyway the new UT game has color at least. And wow they changed to C++ 0-o03/06/2015 - 5:43pm
ZippyDSMleeCraig R.: Same reason why UT99/04 and UT3 are diffrent, gritty is the thing to do...at least it was... nearly everyone else grew out of dark and gritty….03/06/2015 - 5:40pm
ZippyDSMleeI doubt each model of characters in COH/COV/CO,ect are kept as unique model data.03/06/2015 - 5:39pm
ZippyDSMleemodel shape.03/06/2015 - 5:38pm
ZippyDSMleeMonte:I think it’s more a part of the engine, yes its more work but you should be able to have some sort of physical collision system in place to keep arms and stuff from clipping. Outside of that the data stored is just number variables to change the m03/06/2015 - 5:38pm
Andrew EisenAt least she's smiling in one of the pics.03/06/2015 - 5:31pm
Craig R.It's like somebody took the color palette and decided that anything approaching 'bright' is unacceptable03/06/2015 - 5:30pm
Craig R.Scratching my head as to why DC shows are as dark and drab, color-wise, as the movies look to be03/06/2015 - 5:30pm
MonteIf for instance you make the character fat, you need to make sure the animation of the character moving his arms and gun around, won't result in them clipping into the character's larger stomach03/06/2015 - 5:22pm
Monte@zippy, I imagine creating customizabel, vastly different body types would add a lot more complexity. Like making sure the character's animation still looks right. It can be done, but it can get complicated03/06/2015 - 5:19pm
Andrew EisenSupergirl TV costume: http://www.ign.com/articles/2015/03/06/first-photos-of-supergirl-revealed03/06/2015 - 4:49pm
prh99I think it probably far easier to add a character than strip a feature from game engine that was baked in from the start.03/06/2015 - 4:45pm
Andrew EisenAs I've said twice already, yes, strides in one area do not absolve anyone from criticism over where else they're falling short.03/06/2015 - 3:04pm
ZippyDSMleeI know I know one thing is not the other. Still worth nagging about.I still do not see why they do not put in body sliders and elt people make thier own body types....I'd do fat/pudgy or chibi befor I do ultra generic prefect body......03/06/2015 - 2:59pm
 

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