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Iwata: region locking not motivated by “business ego”

Thursday, 4th July 2013 00:27 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Nintendo isn’t just region-locking to make money and inconvenience users, Satoru Iwata has said, although the actual reasons are a bit nebulous.

“From some people’s perspective, it might seem like a kind of restriction. However, we hope people can appreciate the fact that we’re selling our products worldwide,” Iwata told IGN.

“There are many different regions around the world, and each region has its own cultural acceptance and legal restrictions, as well as different age ratings. There are always things that we’re required to do in each different region, which may go counter to the idea that players around the world want the freedom to play whatever they want. ”

Although both Sony and Microsoft have gone region-free at the console level (publishers can implement third-party region locking should they so choose), Iwata pointed out that Nintendo isn’t the only tech company to implement region locking.

“I hope that game fans can understand that the industry isn’t doing this solely out of business ego,” he said.

“There are some reasons behind it.”

A petition asking Nintendo to remove region restrictions has attracted over 16,000 signatures.

Thanks, NintendoLife.

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16 Comments

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  1. Animeboy413

    Other words Nintendo refuses listen to their fans

    #1 10 months ago
  2. Christopher Jack

    I’m a firm believer in globalization. That doesn’t mean we all need to ditch our own cultures and traditions overnight but I do think we should aim at adopting a unified global set of standards.

    #2 10 months ago
  3. salarta

    They have their reasons, but their reasons are terrible and also do a fantastic job of helping to ensure I don’t have a reason to buy their consoles.

    Operation Rainfall. That kind of campaign wouldn’t even have been needed for consumers if Nintendo didn’t region lock the console. If the Wii wasn’t region locked, I would’ve shrugged at Nintendo of America originally not releasing the Rainfall games stateside and imported them, which in turn would have kept me from being as critical of Nintendo as I am today, and there’s a good chance I would’ve bought the Wii U day one as a result.

    Now, I know due to their region locking and almost not getting to play the Operation Rainfall games that I may never get to play games I actually want to play because of Nintendo of America deciding those games aren’t worth bringing stateside. This in turn means I’m refusing to buy a Wii U until there are at least five games on the system already released that I want to play. I won’t buy the system on a maybe case, since for all I know, Nintendo of America will pull another Xenoblade and reveal a game for release in the U.S. only to turn around and decide it’s suddenly not worth localizing. This is something I wouldn’t have to worry about without region locking in place, and therefore I would feel safer in buying the system.

    Though, it’s ultimately Nintendo’s decision if they want to keep region locking in place and continue to lose sales because of it. It’s their business, they can take steps to improve profits or ones that kill the company.

    #3 10 months ago
  4. absolutezero

    They never had a problem with me importing Game Boy to Advance to DS games before.

    I guess those “different regions” must have changed radically over a short span of time.

    You’d think Japan especially would want as many people as possible to get their games, more so if people are willing in import a title for more money than it would normally cost and in a language they don’t understand. Those are really the kind of fans you want to have on your side.

    Right now I’m stuck building up a list of JP 3DS titles until it gets to a certain level then I’ll just import a JP 3DS and buy them all.

    Or just do what I did with my Wii and soft mod it. Then I could import all I liked. Fatal Frame 4? Why thank you. Un-censored No More Heroes? You should’nt have.

    Also NoA are no where near as bad as NoE. Hell at least there are publishing arms of Atlus and NiS in America, here in the EU we have nothing and next to no publishers willing to pick any of these games up. I would have imported Code of Princess with its artbook and OST in a heartbeat had I could have played it.

    NoE released it about a year later as an E-store exclusive. Thanks guys.

    #4 10 months ago
  5. Ireland Michael

    Their reasoning makes absolutely no sense.

    Importing is completely detached from regional laws, and has no impact on them. If it isn’t a problem for Sony or Microsoft, why is it an issue for Nintendo? It’s just sheer laziness.

    #5 10 months ago
  6. SplatteredHouse

    Nintendo: The group whose message is “PLEASE WAIT…”

    Region locking is in no-one’s best interest. It EVEN screws over publishers, who cannot rely on one concerted, worldwide marketing push, unified messaging. Instead, all different dates, all sorts of clashes/priorities, and it’s usually late import arrivals that come out the worse. This resolves to strike consumer interests, the interest frankly, of anybody that values a broader availability, success and reach of titles.

    Because, in the case that the lesser marketed, clashing, imported niche
    doesn’t sell – no more imported/translated niche! It’s bloody laughable, or at least I’d find it to be, were I not interested in some of these games that do stall.

    How do Nintendo explain the fact that in existing cases, publishers did not kick up a stink about conditions under Microsoft or Sony, as pertains to cross-region sales.

    #6 10 months ago
  7. Sini

    dumbfucks @ nintendo, we’re still waiting for fatal frame 2 remake in NA that’s available in English in Europe.

    #7 10 months ago
  8. ChunkyLover112

    Yeah it kinda sucks. But hey, it’s still better than Sony’s crap! I’m sure many of you would agree :-)

    #8 10 months ago
  9. Ireland Michael

    @8 The PS4, PS3, PSV and PSP are all region free.

    Troll account is trolling.

    #9 10 months ago
  10. ChunkyLover112

    #9: I wasn’t talking about the region-free thing only but how much better Nintendo’s consoles are in general than all of Sony’s shit.

    #10 10 months ago
  11. gargus

    If it was region free what am I going to do? Not import a bunch of Japanese wiiu games that aren’t any good or interesting looking?

    And yes Chunky, you are trolling.

    #11 10 months ago
  12. The_Red

    Tell me this Mr Iwata. How did PS3 manage to be region free then? Yes, I know about Persona 4 but aside from that, PS3 was RF and that was one of its best features.

    #12 10 months ago
  13. manamana

    #10 troll account is desperately trolling …

    #13 10 months ago
  14. Fin

    This is such bullshit.

    They can’t do it for Wii, but were able to do it for GB and DS games?
    And Sony have done it for every console since the PS3?

    Yeah, I think they could do it if they wanted.

    #14 10 months ago
  15. Digital Bamboo

    “From some people’s perspective, it might seem like a kind of restriction.” Perhaps because, that’s exactly what it is?

    “we hope people can appreciate the fact that we’re selling our products worldwide.” Not in Korea, you’re not. There are tens of thousands of American military personnel & foreign English teachers living in Korea, many of which own & play region-free PS360′s just fine. That’s just one country.

    “There are some reasons behind it.” Would you care to rephrase those reasons, because I didn’t quite catch them the first time.

    It seems to me that Nintendo is in no position to limit its potential customers as far as the U is goinjg right now.

    #15 10 months ago
  16. foofly

    So in other words, Nintendo won’t region-free their consoles because then they can’t price fix certain markers (i.e. UK market in the N64 era)

    #16 10 months ago