A proposed change to classification laws in Australia has the potential to cripple the Australian iPhone app store, Android Marketplace and the many other app markets that carry games for mobile devices.
Currently, a loophole in the Australian classification system means that games that are built for these app stores aren’t subject to the same classification system as computer games. That may be about to change.
The problem isn’t to do with the classifications themselves. Rather, it’s with the administrative overhead of the process; between $470 to $2040 per game just to submit an application for review. If the changes go through, any developer that doesn’t pay this fee and, as such, doesn’t receive classification will not be able to sell their app in Australia.
In response, Australian developers are claiming that they simply won’t release their apps in the already limited Australian app markets.
With Wired recently announcing that the Web is dead, with app-like “sleek services” now the future of the Internet, it’s amazing that the Australian Government is hellbent on creating fewer, not more, opportunities for local developers and consumers.
Then again, when you consider that this is the same Government that has been pushing for Mandatory Internet Filtering, perhaps it isn’t so amazing after all.