Escapist News Now: Fans Fight For Region-Free

Fans Fight For Region-Free

Fans have taken to the Wii U's Miiverse message board with hundreds of artistic representations of their desire for region-free systems.

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Honestly region locking has always been one of my major gripes with Nintendo. Region locking in this day and age only serves to limit what people can and can't buy. And Nintendo is a huge offender with this when it comes to the fact that a lot of time localization of certain games either a) takes a long time or b) never happens at all. If Nintendo were to not region lock their systems then I guarantee that they'd get major points in my book. I was happy to see that Sony stopped region locking their consoles after the PSP and as such I have many imports for the PSP, PS2 (modified PS2 to be region free), and the PS3. While for Nintendo I only have 2 Wii imports because Nintendo would try to patch out people trying to break the region coding.

While region locking has some purposes, those purposes really aren't serving well in this day and age. Hopefully Nintendo will stop region locking their consoles or make an update that allows for region free play.

I never understood the reason behind region locking. Just seems stupid to me, what does the company even get out of it?

Give us an end to region locking. It's a backwards policy in today's global world and does nothing but present another hurdle for your biggest fans.

In the end, it's just part of tradition, and we know how they like to stick to traditional gaming:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/10NES

I am guessing Nintendo might do it in a year or something. Personally I am not affected by region locking since I cannot read Japanese so not like I will go order a game from Japan but to the European players region lock are horrible restraints that in the end forces them to buy an American system just to play the games that will never be localized in Europe.

Shaidz:
I never understood the reason behind region locking. Just seems stupid to me, what does the company even get out of it?

One reason is because some games are banned or altered in some countries due to the fact that they may contain obscene things, for example German censoring. The other reason is because they want to keep profits in their region, which is why Persona 4 Arena (only region locked PS3 game) was region locked for that reason and it earned a lot of hate and negative feedback for Atlus from Europe. The third is to try and stop piracy as region locking also has certain ways for bootleg discs to bot be read, but this defense is the weakest one I've heard.

Well, I have a region free DVD player & I'd love the option to play games in Japanese with english subtitles.

Random7:
I am guessing Nintendo might do it in a year or something. Personally I am not affected by region locking since I cannot read Japanese so not like I will go order a game from Japan but to the European players region lock are horrible restraints that in the end forces them to buy an American system just to play the games that will never be localized in Europe.

I bought an American 3DS for this reason alone, it hasn't been much of a hindrance either (I can buy most games eShop or on holiday) The sooner region lock is gone, the better, especially since I had to wait 10 months for Persona 4 Arena (the only region locked PS3 game) because they region locked it.

Region lock is the absolute bane of gaming (up there with DRM)

I don't know why they started region-locking their hand-helds, but their home systems have in my experience never been a big issue. (I've repeatedly moved between at least 3 different countries, and never had a problem getting a game bought in one country working in another.)

The thing is, while I don't know what the exact situation is with the Wii U (though I guess I'll find out soon), the only real region-locking I've noticed on their older systems is the PAL/NTSC divide, which has it's roots in a technical issue, rather than anything else.

And to date, I've never noticed a meaningful issue getting a PAL Nintendo console to play PAL games...

Then again, All of Europe is one Region if I remember correctly, and Australia is also lumped in with Europe, usually.

I have a N64 that is Australian. - Works fine in the UK, runs a mixture of UK and Australian games without issue.
I used to have a Dutch N64... Same thing; It had no problem running any Australian games.

I know Wii games from mainland europe work without issue on a UK system...

The dividing line still seems to be PAL/NTSC... Although what they've done with handhelds I'm not sure how that can be argued...

Eh. I don't like region encoding. But I've never run into a meaningful problem with it, in spite of the fact that I've been a frequent traveller...

likalaruku:
Well, I have a region free DVD player & I'd love the option to play games in Japanese with english subtitles.

Problem... with a lot of foreign only release games, translation takes too much time, effort, or money. I bought Sengoku Basara 3: Utage for PS3 from Japan. All text and language is in Japanese. I have to consult a translation guide a lot.

Neronium:

Shaidz:
I never understood the reason behind region locking. Just seems stupid to me, what does the company even get out of it?

One reason is because some games are banned or altered in some countries due to the fact that they may contain obscene things, for example German censoring. The other reason is because they want to keep profits in their region, which is why Persona 4 Arena (only region locked PS3 game) was region locked for that reason and it earned a lot of hate and negative feedback for Atlus from Europe. The third is to try and stop piracy as region locking also has certain ways for bootleg discs to bot be read, but this defense is the weakest one I've heard.

Another reason is there are different prices in different countries that take into account demand and they don't want to have to deal with demand fluctuations based on changes in currency exchange rates. With more digital distribution this becomes less of an issue since they don't take up space or cost anything to ship.

Let's look at why this was in place for hard copies...Prices are set for each country to maximize revenue. Well, in the case for Russia and Eastern Europe, those prices can sometimes be low in comparison to North America, Australia, and Western Europe. Without region lock the publisher has to either price games higher in Eastern Europe (which will lower revenue) or keep prices low to maximize revenue in those areas while creating a pseudo-gray market when people in those areas sell their copies to other areas with higher prices. Now there will be a shortage in Eastern Europe with a surplus in other areas while the publisher does not get maximum revenues. The same thing can happen with currency fluctuation. This can be seen in recent years when the dollar lost a lot of value and many people (especially people in English speaking countries) started buying North American versions of video games. Once again causing unforeseen shortages and surpluses with a reduction in maximum revenue. Of course that is mainly a hard copy issue. Digital copies aren't exactly taking up warehouse space if they don't sell and they aren't shipped to regions sitting around on store shelves.

So with digital copies it's all about maximizing revenue while meeting the optimal demand depending on area. Yet more publishers are starting to institute policies like micro transactions that get more money from people willing to spend more while still meeting the demand of consumers not willing to spend as much. That way they can sort of offset the issues with pseudo gray market sales and still maximize revenue even if people are not spending their maximum initially. It's not as optimal, but makes it less of an issue and then that can open up markets that simply would never have seen the game.

Still think people should be badgering Nintendo for a dedicated Account System instead of Region Locking.

Is Region Locking software or a hardware? Like can they just release a patch online and people can update their systems to be region free?
Or will they have to manufacture NEW Wii U consoles that are region free?

If they're gonna unlock, I hope they do it soon. I'm currently living in Japan, but will only be here for another month or so; at which point I'll be returning to the UK for the first time in a year.

Since the 3DS is so much cheaper here, I was seriously considering getting one while in Japan, but alas, due to their region locking, I can't... and its made me look at the PS Vita instead.

I don't know what they're planning to do but I do know that this is the least of their worries at the moment with the WiiU's performance.

In a globalised interconnected world region-locking shouldn't have a place any longer.

Shaidz:
I never understood the reason behind region locking. Just seems stupid to me, what does the company even get out of it?

It prevents piracy and hacking. Oh wait, I got that wrong. It encourages piracy and hacking.

Region locking made sense a while back when there were actual differences between the regions. I know my old TV was incompatible with NTSC games because they were running in 60Hz while PAL used 50Hz, but now most TVs go beyond this and even SD TVs are compatible with 60Hz so I don't see any reason for this.

The release of Tales if Symphonia Dawn of The New World and Tales of Vesperia in USA that were about a year ahead of the European schedule annoyed me to no end. Both of those games were only released after fans begged for them to be released. Same thing with the European releases of Pandora's Tower, The Last Story and Xenoblade. Would Nintendo or Namco Bandai have lost anything if I were to buy this from USA or an American buying them from Europe? Well, technically yes since games are generally more expensive in Europe than in USA, but they wouldn't lose much.

I kinda understand the deal about different release dates for the various regions even though it annoys me. I just don't understand why they don't want us to import the games that we want.

Yopaz:

Shaidz:
I never understood the reason behind region locking. Just seems stupid to me, what does the company even get out of it?

I kinda understand the deal about different release dates for the various regions even though it annoys me. I just don't understand why they don't want us to import the games that we want.

On that and another note, I don't understand why it takes years to actually localize games. For Europe, it might be because of different languages, but I've seen a few 'localized' games that were english all the time.

Maybe it's just me that's confused about that subject, but what's keeping them from releasing here?

As for region lock, it does hurt me. I can't get SMT IV and EO IV because of it... Why do they not want my money?

Between region locking and the recent "we take all your LP money" scandal, it seems Nintendo is determined to shoot itself in the foot. Maybe they should make that a new attachment for the Wii U - a gun with a wearable shoe on the end...

hickwarrior:

Yopaz:

Shaidz:
I never understood the reason behind region locking. Just seems stupid to me, what does the company even get out of it?

I kinda understand the deal about different release dates for the various regions even though it annoys me. I just don't understand why they don't want us to import the games that we want.

On that and another note, I don't understand why it takes years to actually localize games. For Europe, it might be because of different languages, but I've seen a few 'localized' games that were english all the time.

Maybe it's just me that's confused about that subject, but what's keeping them from releasing here?

As for region lock, it does hurt me. I can't get SMT IV and EO IV because of it... Why do they not want my money?

It's all about licenses and copyright things. Games need to be authourized both by the local rating systems, the government has the right to refuse a release, prime examples being Germany and Australia. Basically, it's a whole lot of legal crap that I only partially understand so I can't really give an adequate reply to your question. I understand that these reasons exist, but nevertheless it's a constant annoyance to me, it even causes some resentment towards American gamers which makes me giggle with glee every time we get a game before they do.

As for SMT IV (a game I was looking forward to too) it's pretty simple. Atlus doesn't publish games in Europe so localizing is done by other companies. Even if some companies are interested in doing it there's a lot of work to do between the IP holder and the publisher, again we enter the domain of the legal things that are beyond my grasp.

 

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