Watch The Last of Us, LIVE!

PS Vita ad is a penis joke

In Other News – 22 July 2014

HTC One M8 Review

Why are games still region-locked?

Locked

In the year 2013, I have no idea why regional restrictions are still in place in videogames. Well, I understand the legal reasons, and all that nonsense about distribution rights, but in today’s internet-connected global village, that sort of nonsense should be a thing of the past.

Unfortunately, it’s not. The PlayStation 3 and its little handheld sibling the Vita are essentially region-free (when it comes to games, at least), and Microsoft hasn’t enforced region restrictions (leaving them up to publishers) – but for some reason both of the Nintendo’s current systems – the 3DS and the Wii U are locked to the region they’re purchased in. For the 3DS, at least, this makes absolutely no sense; it’s a portable system and something you’re likely to travel with – and you can’t buy games for it while doing so.

Unfortunately regional restrictions probably aren’t going away any time soon – and as you’d expect, it all comes down to money; different companies have different licences to distribute games in differemt territories.

Activision’s cross-eyed community manager Dan Amrich explains why those looking to import games from other regions might end up disappointed.

“You can’t infringe on that Japanese company’s rights or that American company’s rights by releasing the game in the opposite territory if you don’t have the legal right to do it,” Amrich said. “Region locking sort of helps police who has the rights to make what money in what territory.”

It also makes it easier for publishers to track how many copies of a game are sold in a particular region – and make changes to game content to make them more suitable for different locales.

“Is the content that you’re releasing in Country A acceptable in Country B?” Amrich said. “Germany is notoriously hard-nosed on things like violent content in video games.”

Tags: , , , , ,

Author:Geoffrey Tim

I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

Must Read

Oddworld: New ‘n Tasty Review round-up

The embargo has been lifted, and the review scores are in for ...

Razer Kraken headset review: Release the sounds

Razer's budget version of a pro-gaming headset is exactly that - pro ...

Logitech Powershell Review – Yes but why?

We review the add on controller for mobile gaming, the Logitech Powershell

Samsung Galaxy S5 Review

The Samsung Galaxy S5 gets put through the ringer as we review ...

Crimsonland review – Retro shooting

Crimsonland is coming to PS4 and its gore will remind you of ...

Tomodachi Life Review – An Aleutian of life

Tomodachi Life is by far the weirdest game that I’ve ever been ...