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Wii U mature content restrictions: Nintendo explains issue

Monday, 10 December 2012 10:29 GMT By Dave Cook

Last week, Wii U was found to be blocking the sale of 18-rated content to children on Nintendo’s eShop between 11pm and 3am. Nintendo has now stepped forward to clarify the issue, which is says is related to Germany’s hard stance on mature game content.

Eurogamer reports that it was unable to buy ZombiU and Assassin’s Creed 3 before 11pm due to the restrictions, which Nintendo has now clarified today in a statement to the site. The company said it is bound by German law on the matter, because Nintendo of Europe is based there – Frankfurt to be precise.

The statement reads, “At Nintendo we always aim to provide a safe gaming experience for fans of all ages and ensure that we comply with applicable legal age restriction requirements across Europe,”

“Legal age restriction requirements vary across a number of European countries. Since Nintendo of Europe is based in Germany, Nintendo eShop is complying with German youth protection regulation which therefore applies to all our European markets. Under German law, content rated 18+ must be made available only at night.

“Therefore the accessibility of 18+ content in Nintendo eShop is limited to [USK: 22:00 UTC until 4:00 UTC] [PEGI: 23:00 UTC until 3:00 UTC].”

USK is the German regulatory standard for mature gaming content, while PEGI applies to the UK, meaning anyone on these shores must wait until 11pm before buying mature content digitally.

What’s your take on the matter. It’s an odd one that’s for sure.

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38 Comments

  1. Razor

    In other news, Nintendo will shortly be moving their EU headquarters somewhere else.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. monkeygourmet

    In the days of the Internet and e commerce, this is crazy….

    A companies headquarters shouldn’t dictate their overseas policy.

    I’m glad their headquarters isn’t in Korea!

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Fin

    in b4 NDF

    #3 2 years ago
  4. monkeygourmet

    @3

    How very grown up of you.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. CyberMarco

    And why this isn’t happening on XBL or PSN? Are their HQs in another country?

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Fin

    @4

    Not really bro, “in b4 NDF” isn’t grown up at all.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. monkeygourmet

    @5

    Must be…

    It’s still crazy though, Germany’s laws are funny.

    Bit of videogame violence : No Way!!!

    Super hardcore porn : No worries!!!

    #7 2 years ago
  8. absolutezero

    Well to be fair thats exactly as it should be.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Nakorson

    It’s silly of Nintendo to make this, the Wii U has already child protection options which are password protected. And the user could one time verify the age to unlock the account.

    @7
    What’s your problem with super hardcore porn?
    The one bit of videogame violence being a problem in germany is no longer true, for a while now…

    #9 2 years ago
  10. monkeygourmet

    @8

    Lol, that’s true enough! :)

    #10 2 years ago
  11. monkeygourmet

    @9

    So what’s the deal here then?

    Also why was the Dead Island dev talking about Germany and censorship the other day?

    Didn’t the Left 4 Dead box have to be changed too?

    #11 2 years ago
  12. DrDamn

    So hold on – because of a German law which shouldn’t apply here we have restrictions in the UK even more severe than the German ones? How does that work? (In Germany it’s 10pm->4am, in the UK 11pm->3am).

    #12 2 years ago
  13. polygem

    germany has indeed very strange regulations. hypocrites. but what can you do? i personally don´t care much about this. it´s not an issue for me, but then, i am german, i am used to that shit. i order most of my games from uk because i want them uncut…it´s strange that having the office in germany while selling stuff worldwide still bounds them to the german and not international or at least european laws…

    @Fin: seriously. i am thinking about adding something like: “ignoring: fin, clupula, geki, dragon” to every single comment i am posting from now on and then just really do that.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. Bomba Luigi

    I Live in Switzerland. No Germany, not even EU. German Rights my Ass.

    And why in the World is this not a Problem on Xbox Live oder PSN? Not even in Germany.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. polygem

    “I Live in Switzerland. No Germany, not even EU. German Rights my Ass.”

    LOL, i hear you man!

    #15 2 years ago
  16. monkeygourmet

    It’s like Germany shipping BMWs or Mercedes cars to other countries and refusing to change which way they drive on. :)

    #16 2 years ago
  17. polygem

    @16: good point :)

    #17 2 years ago
  18. Nakorson

    @11
    I really wouldn’t describe Dead Island as minor violence

    A lot of Devs change their product more than they would have to for the german market, probably because they fear that it could get a too High USK rating.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. monkeygourmet

    @18

    Well it’s fantasy violence. Zombies not being real and all.

    I’d say there was quite a bit of difference between hacking a zombies head off in a game to something like saw which is basically torture porn.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. Freek

    What they mean to say is: we are unable to properly run an online store so we just took the easy way out and only made one content policy acorss the whole store rather then make it variable for each country.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. monkeygourmet

    @20

    Yeah because people never create different accounts on PSN or XBLA to access different content?

    #21 2 years ago
  22. Freek

    Wich is against the user agreement of Sony and MS and if they catch you your account can be reset or worse deactivated.
    And since they are still doing buiseness in Germany and the rest of Europe, this is a fine way to be both legal and not screw over your customers.

    #22 2 years ago
  23. Clupula

    @13 – Did somebody call my name?

    #23 2 years ago
  24. Cobra951

    Sounds like a crock of shit to me. I doubt very seriously that Nintendo are bound by German law when distributing content to any other country, regardless of where their European headquarters might be. And as others have noticed, Microsoft and Sony don’t have this issue. (Do they? Anyone know an Xbox or PS3 owner in Germany who can weigh in on it?) This is the first time I’ve ever heard of something so asinine. Sorry, it just doesn’t wash. I think someone at Nintendo needs to grow a pair, just to catch up to their competition.

    #24 2 years ago
  25. monkeygourmet

    @24

    Game content gets changed / banned?

    Are Sony / MS HQ’s based in Germany? I’m to sure, still a weird situation though, doesn’t make much sense.

    It’s not the end of the world though. Who the fuck pays twice the price to download e-shop games anyway…

    It makes me laugh, people bitch and moan about the price of eshop games, then, when restrictions are put in, everyone goes mad as if they really wanted to download these games?! Lol :)

    #25 2 years ago
  26. ManuOtaku

    I dont think nintendo is bound by german law to distribute their content to foreign countries under their rulings, although it will be good to know if his applies or not here, just like sony and microsoft arent as well. But i do believe Nintendo will be the only one to be called for doing it, because of their family image, so i think even if they are not bound legally, it will be something that will affect them one way or the other, i think they are being over protective, but nintendo has always be like this, and rightfully so; this goes in line with the no publishing the binding of issac game, they know rather well some parents organizations out there will call them out for having the option, bad if you do, bad if you dont do, this is the things for nintendo having a friendly familiy image.

    #26 2 years ago
  27. OlderGamer

    I don’t think they are bound by German law, just influenced by German culture. Liek I said in the first 18+ thread the other day.

    #27 2 years ago
  28. Phoenixblight

    Nintendo is just doing a 1 rule to generalize across the entire board to avoid issues. Its laziness at its finest.

    #28 2 years ago
  29. monkeygourmet

    @28

    Then why let people access the Miiverse posts with screenshots of Zombies having their faces smashed in with cricket bats?

    #29 2 years ago
  30. Phoenixblight

    I am talking about this mature content locking nothing about posts. They are based in German and because of that they are making a rule or block for the entire EU just because they don’t want to look into making German the exception like the rest of the industry.

    #30 2 years ago
  31. Ireland Michael

    Could have sworn that 1) laws only apply to where your servers are located, and 2) online laws dictated in one country can not be enforced on users in another.

    This sort of move is going to kill third party support. Who is going to release a title on a piece of hardware that people can only gain access to buy at ridiculous hours?

    #31 2 years ago
  32. monkeygourmet

    @30

    it’s almost certainly being reviewed, especially with companies like Ubisoft having European offices and probably losing out on a few sales.

    Unfortunatly, it’s not the case of ‘flicking a switch’ to sort it…

    #32 2 years ago
  33. monkeygourmet

    @31

    Exactly, it can’t continue like this, especially for indie or downloadable titles with mature content.

    They might as well not bother releasing on the platform.

    Full games aren’t so bad, you get a physical copy for cheaper, still an odd choice though.

    #33 2 years ago
  34. TheDarkWeapon

    @5 Hardcore pr0nz is (should be) for adult-only audiences… The WiiU is for kids and grown-ups. Of course they will be worried about what the children will see… American countries should do that more often.

    #34 2 years ago
  35. Phoenixblight

    @34

    Thats the parents’ job. Its not the job of a company or government to dictate how kids should be raised or what they should see or not see If that was the case people would just have kids and dump them at a facility to brainwash them so they are “raised” correctly.

    #35 2 years ago
  36. Nakorson

    @19

    AFAIK the USK has big problems with unnecessary violence against human like characters. I haven’t played Dead Island but from the videos i’ve seen they look very human like.

    #36 2 years ago
  37. sh4dow

    And anybody living in or near Germany (or who is interested in gaming news in a very extraordinary manner) knows how well their hardline stance on these issues has worked…

    #37 2 years ago
  38. absolutezero

    Its alright just now when theres nothing really available on the eShop but what happens if someone wants to release a game like Limbo? Or Deadlight?

    2300 lel.

    #38 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    A short teaser for Star Wars: Battlefront has been posted by EA on Twitter. Well, that speeder isn't going anywhere. Can someone give us a lift to @SW_Celebration http://t.co/srEVrAA0zl #SWCA https://t.co/4W4LG8myke — EAStarWars (@EAStarWars) March 25, 2015 The teaser shows vehicles which we could be using in the game, but it mainly shows the snowy landscape […]

  • Pillars of Eternity releases today – get all the review scores here

    Pillars of Eternity, which still stands as the second most-funded video game on Kickstarter, finally releases today. It’s also getting some rather positive reviews scores, which we’ve rounded up for you. The isometric, party-based RPG from Obsidian Entertainment was one of the first video game projects to take to Kickstarter, and hit its $1.1 million […]

  • Take an in-depth look at Evolve’s Behemoth monster and four new hunters

    Evolve’s fourth monster, the Behemoth, as well as the four new hunters are shown off in new gameplay video. Evolve’s latest gameplay trailer gives everyone a good look at each of the four new hunters and the massive Behemoth monster. The hunters can be bought either separately or though the hunting pass, while the monster […]

  • PS4 firmware update 2.50 causing issues with Killzone: Shadow Fall

    The suspend/resume feature in PlayStation 4′s 2.50 firmware update is causing some issues with Killzone: Shadow Fall. Killzone: Shadow Fall developer Guerrilla has said that the game is experiencing some issues in some instance where the suspend/resume feature is used. The timing of when players put the game in suspend mode does have an effect, […]

  • Bungie on Destiny matchmaking: “We believe there’s no substitute for a pre-made team”

    Crazy though this may seem, it’s possible that Destiny shipped according to plan. History points to community as a crucial component, far from the contingency that many now suspect. Paul Davies spoke to Bungie for clarity. “The community always engineers the best solutions for bringing players together. While Matchmaking is a great resource for introducing […]

  • Bloodborne works with suspend/resume, but only offline

    PlayStation 4′s newly-added suspend/resume feature works with Bloodborne as you’d expect, but only while offline. PlayStation 4 received the long-awaited suspend/resume feature today as part of firmware 2.50, and people are starting to test it out with various games. Bloodborne does work with the feature, but only if you play offline. Playing online is arguably […]

  • This is what Crossy Road looks like in first-person

    Crossy Road is fun and addictive. But in first-person, it’s mostly frightening. YouTube user Andy Front Films likes Crossy Road so much he decided to show off what it would look like in first-person. If crossing roads quickly and watching around for cars and trains, all of this as the camera chases you felt intense […]

  • Take a small behind-the-scenes peek at Mass Effect 4

    BioWare cinematic director Ken Thain has given us a very slim look behind the scenes at some motion capture work from the upcoming Mass Effect game. The upcoming Mass Effect game, whether it ends up being called Mass Effect 4 or not, will most definitely incorporate some form of motion capture work. How do we […]

  • Borderlands: The Handsome Collection – 8GB day one patch on PS4, 16GB on Xbox One

    Day one patches for Borderlands: The Handsome Collection are pretty hefty. Both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of Borderlands: The Handsome Collection require players to download lots of gigabytes to make the experience as smooth as possible. The PlayStation 4 version has an 8.31GB day one patch. The Xbox One version however has […]

  • Get a PlayStation 4 with Bloodborne and The Last of Us for $435

    If you’ve been waiting for the perfect game to get to buy a PlayStation 4, there’s no better time than the present. Amazon is offering a good PlayStation 4 bundle at the moment. For $434.99, you get a PlayStation 4 console, The Last of Us, and Bloodborne. The Last of Us is of course the […]

  • Upcoming Battlefield Hardline patch to nerf the K10, buff battle rifles

    Battlefield Hardline’s first patch will focus on weapon balance and a few changes have been proposed. Battlefield Hardline lead multiplayer designer Thaddeus Sasser posted a few of the balance changes that the team is considering for the next patch. K10: reduce bullet damage to 33 Saiga and PTR: reduce recoil to bring more in line […]

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 and a new Resident Evil game coming this year, according to research firm

    According to digital games analyst SuperData, a new Resident Evil game is due this fall and that this year’s Call of Duty is Black Ops 3. In its latest report on digital console games, research and analytics firm SuperData revealed that a new Resident Evil is coming this fall. “We anticipate this month’s downturn to […]

  • Bloodborne: you can add gestures to your messages

    As players get deeper into Bloodborne, they keep uncovering so many of its little new additions, including this one. Bloodborne, like all of the Souls games before it, allows players to leave messages for other players. These messages could be used to point players towards impending doom, treasure, or just be sarcastic and witty. What […]

  • PlayStation 4 firmware update 2.50 is now live

    PlayStation 4 firmware update version 2.50 has started rolling out. Reports are coming in saying that Yukimura, PlayStation 4′s firmware 2.50 has been made available to download. The update is clocking in at just 245mb, so get downloading. 2.50 brings with it many new additions, including the suspend/resume feature, backup and restore, accessibility options and […]

  • Harley Quinn DLC for Batman: Arkham Knight is a prequel

    Batman: Arkham Knight’s Harley Quinn pre-order DLC is set before the events of the main game, according to Amazon’s description. Today we learned a few details about the pre-order DLC for Batman: Arkham Knight, namely the Harley Quinn one. According to the description on Amazon, the DLC takes place in the lead-up to the events […]

  • Bloodborne Vicar Amelia summon mystery solved

    Bloodborne players unable to summon near Vicar Amelia: here’s your solution. Bloodborne’s secrets are unfolding by the hour as clever players piece together From Software’s cunning design. Yesterday we reported problems summoning in the Cathedral Ward, before the Vicar Amelia boss fight. It turns out this isn’t a bug – or if it is, it’s […]

  • Steven Spielberg will direct film adaption of Ready Player One

    Steven Spielberg will direct the film adaption of the sci-fi, virtual world, video game themed novel Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Warner Bros. bought the rights to the film in June 2010 and hired screenwriter Zak Penn to rewrite the previous draft written by Eric Eason, according to Deadline. The book takes place in […]

  • Bloodborne players with PS4 headsets shouldn’t forget about the custom audio

    Here’s a friendly reminder for Bloodborne players with PS4 headsets: be sure to download the Headset Companion App from the PlayStation store if you haven’t already. As previously reported, the game supports a custom Bloodborne audio mode which can be uploaded. It contains custom audio created by developers specifically tuned to enhance the audio. This […]

  • EA explains why FIFA Ultimate Team transfer prices are now platform specific

    EA has posted a blog entry explaining its FIFA Ultimate Team transfer market price ranges which now include platform-specific pricing in order to best the coin sellers. EA said it has implemented the changes to FUT over the last several weeks because it should be “fair and fun for every player,” ultimately coming to the […]

  • Game of Thrones: Episode 3 – The Sword in the Darkness now available

    In case you forgot, Game of Thrones: Episode 3 – The Sword in the Darkness was released today. It is available on Mac, PC, PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. The third episode releases on iOS devices and Android tomorrow, March 26. The Sword in the Darkness finds Asher Forrester heading to Mereen […]

  • Bloodborne players are already documenting their crazy antics

    Bloodborne has been available for almost two days now in North America, and already players are posting interesting clips and character customization choices for the game. Below are interesting takes on creating a character and videos of a frustrating death and another full of blood coming from a very painful place – monster or not. […]

  • FIFA Ultimate Team celebrates sixth year in existence with giveaways

    FIFA Ultimate Team is celebrating its sixth year in existence with special events running from today until March 29. According to EA, every FUT fan will be handed one free pack every day, and those who play at least one match in the FUT Birthday Cup will have a chance to win rare “tradable In-Forms” […]

  • Halo Online is a F2P PC game in development exclusively for Russia – video

    Halo Online is a free-to-play game which will launch this spring in Russia, and is in development with Saber Interactive. According the reveal event attended by IGN Russia, the game was designed to run well on lower-end PCs and runs on a modified Halo 3 engine. The game is set on a secret UNSC space […]

  • SteamWorld Dig Xbox One release expected in late May

    SteamWorld Dig is coming to Xbox One, developer Image & Form has announced. A firm release date hasn’t been announced, but the studio expects the title to arrive on the system in late May. “We’re preparing quite an elaborate Easter egg for the Xbox One version – a gaming thing that we really wanted to […]

  • SMITE celebrating first anniversary with a sale on skins, Ultimate God Pack

    Hi-Rez Studios is celebrating the first anniversary of SMITE with a sale. From today through Friday, March 27, the Ultimate God Pack, which includes all current and future Gods, will run you $19.99. Alll individual pre-launch skins are 50% off, and all Gem Packs will award bonus gems. In addition, from March 27-29, all SMITE […]

  • Borderlands 2 has sold around 12 million copies, says Gearbox

    Speaking with Microsoft’s Major Nelson in his podcast, Gearbox Software boss Randy Pitchford stated Borderlands 2 has sold somewhere around the 12 million mark. As of August 2014, it was announced by Take-Two in its financial report the 2012 game had sold-in 10 million units. Pitchford noted in the podcast he learned of the figures […]

  • Broken Age releasing on PS4 and Vita same day as Act 2 on PC

    Double Fine Productions has announced it will release Broken Age on the PlayStation Store next month. Act 2 will also be released on PC. The full Broken Age adventure will release on PlayStation 4 and Vita on April 28 in North America and April 29 in Europe. It features cross-buy and cross-save. Broken Age Act […]

  • Star Citizen earned another $1 million within two weeks – total hits $76 million

    Star Citizen continues its funding streak with backers pumping another $1 million into the game’s development in the last two weeks. The total earned for the space sim has now reached $76 million ($76,015,532 to be exact) with 851,395 backers contributing to the staggering figure. Star Citizen’s latest update was version 1.1 which included two […]

  • Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, Resident Evil Revelations 2 and Battlefield: Hardline top Media Create charts

    Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, Resident Evil Revelations 2 and Battlefield: Hardline were the big ticket debuts during the March 16-2 period in Japan, with each game claiming the top three slots on the Media Create charts, respectively. Final Fantasy Type-0 HD moved 92,094 on PlayStation 4, while Resident Evil Revelations 2 moved 73,373 units on […]

  • You can now learn English or Spanish on Xbox One with the Rosetta App

    Want to learn English or Spanish? Rosetta Stone has an App for that on Xbox One. According to the language teaching firm, Rosetta Stone’s Discover Languages, the new application teaches English and Spanish by way of immersive simulation. Users will virtually travel to learn vocabulary and grammar “necessary for real-world interactions.” Here’s how it works: […]

  • PayDay 2 and PayDay: The Heist have sold over 9 million units combined

    The PayDay franchise is a lucrative IP for Starbreeze and Overkill, as both games combined have sold over 9 million copies as of November 2014. The company has also sold over 8 million paid DLC packages since PayDay 2 was released in 2013 (via NeoGAF). In its Q2 half year report issued in February, net […]

  • Nintendo wants to “surprise” customers with NX, not expand upon existing hardware

    Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has firm wants to “surprise” players with its new NX system. Speaking in an interview with Nikkei, translated by Kotaku, Iwata wouldn’t go into details on the new system, but stated expanding on a current gaming system would be “dull.” “In the past few years, the idea of what [encompasses] a […]

  • Kojima Station show suspended

    In another episode in the the ongoing kerfuffle between Hideo Kojima and Konami, the publisher has suspended the Kojima Station web show. Recent tweets from the newly created Japanese Metal Gear Solid account confirm that Kojima Station will not be broadcast tomorrow, but would not provide a date for the next episode. The Tweets were […]

  • Watch Battle Royale for free this weekend on Xbox Live

    Square Enix is celebrating the launch of Final Fantasy Type-0 HD by offering Xbox Live members in the UK a free rental of Battle Royale. Starting Saturday, March 28 and through Sunday, March 29, Xbox Live members in the UK will be able to rent Battle Royale through the Xbox Video Store, for free. The […]

  • Bloodborne journal, part 1: managing anxiety on the path to the Cleric Beast

    Bloodborne is both like and unlike the Souls games. Brenna descends into Yharnam with reluctance and trepidation. Need help succeeding in Bloodborne? You need our Bloodborne walkthrough and boss guide. Bloodborne isn’t Demon’s Souls or Dark Souls. Let’s get that out of the way right off. I enjoyed both Dark Souls games, but it was […]