Electronic Arts has said the multiplayer region-locking in Army of Two isn't an indicator of what we can expect from future titles.
It emerged earlier this week that US and European gamers are unable to play each other online in AOT. According to the game's manual, "The online game modes in Army of Two are not cross region compatible and is only supported between PAL discs."
This morning an EA spokesperson told Eurogamer, "I have been advised that this decision was taken by the development team for reasons specific to the AOT gameplay, rather than being an indicator for future games.
"Basically, the reason for this approach is linked to the P2P networking approach used in Army Of Two, the desire to reduce the risk of any lag in the animation of the game and cut the chance of a Versus game being bogged down by lag caused by region," the spokesperson continued.
"Region locking has also been used as some local versions of the game are missing elements due to territory restrictions."
Not technical enough for you? How about this statement from Army of Two producer Reid Schneider: "Army of Two uses a deterministic (peer to peer) approach for networking vs. a traditional client/server approach. We do this so we can have all the synchronised animation gameplays that exist in the game." Right.
"This solution is solid for our game but also exposes us to risk in terms of lag, if we're not careful. In a peer to peer connection the person with the worst connection brings down the whole group to his/her worst connection level."
Do go on. "While this isn't generally a problem for co-op (since most people play co-op with friends), when playing in Versus mode 3, people can be highly adversely affected by one player with a bad connection. We use the region lock to minimise the likelihood of this occurring."
Fair enough. Now what about this whole territory restrictions thing? "Another reason we have region lock is that there are certain considerations on a territory basis which we need to manage. For example, in the Asian version players cannot shoot bodies due to territory requirements. We did not want to take this feature away from North American or European users." Too right. Bad luck, Asian territories.
"With a deterministic (peer to peer) approach the game simulation must have exact parity on both systems. Thus you can't have a game where you are able to shoot bodies in one and not in the other. If you did, it would result in a de-sync in the simulation and ultimately the game would fail." And the paradox would rip a hole in the space-time continuum and the universe would collapse in on itself.
Army of Two is out now on PS3 and Xbox 360, and you'll find a review along with lots of pictures and videos over on the gamepage. Try not to cross the streams.