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.