Gamersfirst has told Australian gamers that they're welcome to try region-specific All Points Bulletin servers if their ping to a core router meets minimum requirements, and suggested that local servers are not impossible after an absence stymied release plans.
When asked whether Australians would ever see a local release, APB producer Jonenee Merriex told games.on.net that the GamersFirst team "don’t have specific plans for a local Australian server" but announced a new west coast US server and encouraged interested Australians to purchase digital copies of the game.
"The main issue is that you will need sub-150ms response times to the westcoast US servers to actually be able to play," he explained, before providing an IP address of a core router for eager gamers to test their ping with.
Returning to comment on the original article, Merriex explained that the suggested 150ms maximum ping was not a hard and fast rule but offered to keep Australian gamers informed.
"The main reason we wanted to [offer a ping-able IP] was because we know most of the time developers and publishers just say 'No, you can't play, now go away'. I didn't want that to be our response. We really want to put the choice in your hands.
"We hope you'll come and try the game anyway and have plans to have clearly marked [region specific] servers. The 150 ping is a limitation we have internally for 'optimal' play. However, I would bet that on your own Districts a ping of 175-250 won't be bad at all. I will say pings over 500 will time out," he explained.
Realtime Worlds refused to support an Australian release for APB after plans for a local server were scrapped, citing intolerably high ping times to European or US servers and the unfeasible expense of antipodean hardware. Merriex confirmed these difficulties, but added that if it were feasible, Gamersfirst would be keen to expand down under.
"One of the big constraints is the initial set up is very costly. This isn’t like a Battlefield server. The equipment that APB: Reloaded runs on is very beefy and expensive so before we approach the Australian market we need to make sure that there is a sufficient paying player base," he said.
"However, if the game is even a modest success in the EU and/or the US, then the next logical markets include places like Australia and Singapore. ... We're really serious when we say things like: If the players are there, we'll go there ... It's not just lip service. We've done this multiple times in the past."