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Wii U eShop 18+ content blocked in Europe to comply with German law
Wii U eShop 18+ content blocked in Europe to comply with German law
December 10, 2012 | By Mike Rose

December 10, 2012 | By Mike Rose
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    17 comments
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing



Newsbrief: It came to light last week that 18+ content in the European Nintendo Wii U eShop is being restricted during the daytime. Nintendo has now confirmed that the issue is where Nintendo of Europe is based.

In a statement to Eurogamer, the company noted that it works out of Germany, and therefore must comply "with German youth protection regulation which therefore applies to all our European markets."

As a result of the compliance, 18+ rated games on the eShop, such as Ubisoft's ZombiU, are not accessible most of the time in Europe, and can only be viewed and purchased between the hours of 11pm and 3am.


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Comments


Lucky Red
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"German law" wait, so they can't have +18 content on XBLA or PSN in Germany? Doesn't that make people want to pirate those things? What kind of law is that, one that tries to encourage piracy with a lunatic idealism that this will make it a "safer environment" for underage people?

Lucky Red
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I don't agree with this law. I'm completely against it, not only it limits content that should be otherwise accessible, but it will also add some difficulties to anyone that develops content for mature people.

We need no law to regulate this.

Merc Hoffner
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Don't be so dramatic. This content hasn't been cleaved from consumption. Access to it has been restricted. Adults can get all the depraved gaming they want. Kids can still get access to adult gaming with the aid and approval of an adult. It just adds a barrier that helps parents regulate their kids. You may disagree with it, and believe all creative materials should be openly accessible to all peoples at all times, but different nations disagree to different extents and the whole world is not the United States of America. The first amendment does not apply in Europe, anymore than the DMCA applied in Sweden.

Many people regard SOME degree of regulation as a safe and sensible thing. A trade off between autocracy and anarchy. Regulation exists in the US just as it does in Europe : you won't find many cigarette vending machines placed in US schools for instance. But there's no doubt that the US is much further along the line towards complete freedom of expression than most nations. Some of that is to be celebrated. Perhaps not all of it. And democratic, yes, democratic nations have, by popular vote, collectively decided that not everyone should have access to everything all the time. There is nothing super wrong with that.

Lucky Red
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I think this should be applied only if the current account that is being used belongs to a minor or has parent settings enabled. I, as someone that plays mature games and is of a mature age, I don't want to be restricted because parents are incapable of handling this themselves.

Merc Hoffner
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As far as I'm aware, the restrictions can be lifted by setting up parental controls. Obviously it makes safety sense to have restrictions as the default and open up availability with choices as opposed to the other way around. The entire argument is fairly moot, though I do agree that the default restrictions should apply based on locality. With no reliable way of tracking down the individual European nation you live in however, I can see why they'd err on the safer side of the law. I also wonder how this has never become an issue for 3DS.

BTW, I love the avatar.

Brett Williams
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This article isn't really about the law, it's about the WiiU market and why people don't see the content. The law has been around since 2003, and the federal organization responsible for it has existed since the 50s. So this isn't like something that just came up for Nintendo, it's been a part of ecommerce for the last 10 years.

Joe McGinn
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Google and Apple are LAUGHING at Nintendo. This is their competition? Really?

A W
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Actually it is about the law. And more so as how can a German Law now be so extended to other country-states that opperate outside of thier jurisdiction. I still think it has to do with trade agreements and the situation with the EU bailouts \ austerity laws these other EU states have taken. As to why this applies to Wii U Eshop and not 3DS Eshop may be do to market timing. IDK its weird.

A W
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Germany has been bailing out most of the EU and perhaps throwing in some of their trade agreement laws in the mix. Would not this cause a significant number of states under the the bailout austerity plans to conform to some of these German laws if the where thrown in with the agreements?

Merc Hoffner
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I don't think anything like that has exactly happened yet, but it's a growing concern, that 'donor' nations may be having unfair political influence on recipient sovereign nations, displacing democratically elected officials with technocrats and such. Of course it's usually democratically elected officials, through no fault of the vast majority of the populace, that got nations into such trouble in the first place. I guess it's one of the pitfalls of democracy: your elected representatives may turn out to be moronic, crazy, corrupt, or asshats - it's not a direct meritocracy. What's even more worrying is the possibility of nations being effectively bullied into handing over democracy, when it was primarily other nations' fault for their situations in the global meltdown.

The situation gets far worse when one considers that private corporations, particularly in the financial and energy sectors (and until recently, the press sector as well), are manipulating the 'heartstrings' of our finance ministers, and indirectly manipulating policy and even democracy for private gains, all in the face of their own manifestos, their political mandates, the public will and global economic necessity. Oh and basic maths. Oh well. Banking Serfdoms will probably end up defining the law. If getting 18+ games shoved through every letterbox helps bankers keep bonuses then you could be sure by hook or by crook, that'd be written into future budgets.

Joe Wreschnig
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In the Austere Future, the only videogames allowed are those with infinite IAPs for energy and 18+ manshooters. You are still only allowed to buy them after 11 because otherwise you're shirking your duty as a productive worker.

Joe Zachery
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Nintendo of Europe is based in Germany so that must follow their laws. It's similar to being a liquor store, and your moving to a dry town. If you want to be able to sell your goods. Your going to have to follow their rules. Rules they may suck, but it's the law. Don't like it move or create your own country. Like anyone is going to do that!

Mathieu MarquisBolduc
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Blame Canada and all their violent video games.

Brett Williams
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It was actually a school shooting that sparked much of the controversy resulting in this law. See: Erfurt massacre.

Mathieu MarquisBolduc
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I was going for a pop culture reference. But the perpetrator of the massacre you reference was 19. Not to mention, if kids can get their hands on 9mm pistols, video games are the least of your worry.

Bisse Mayrakoira
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Violent and messed up individuals are a real reason to worry. A normal well-adjusted teenager is not, regardless of whether they have access to firearms or videogames.

David Holmin
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@Bisse

Yes. But easy access to firearms makes it easier for such individuals to do bad things. Easy access to games can't do any damage. At least not that kind.


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