The Region Lock: Why?

#3121_21Posted 12/18/2012 7:47:18 AM(edited)
SF_Baha posted...
Games don't cost the same amount of money in all regions. Without region locking, regions that pay higher prices for games, such as Australia and Japan, could import games from other regions for cheaper, cutting the developer's profits.

Nintendo was smart to region lock. Who can blame them? Any strategy that maximizes profit is a sound strategy.


This post just screams bulls*** everywhere. An average consumer in Japan won't go out of his or her way to buy games from another region at a cheaper price, especially if it's not in their native language, for the most part. Same principle applies to other regions, unless you thought we humans would do whatever it takes to be so efficient.

If the 3DS wasn't region locked, and if we bought Japanese games, which is at a much higher cost due to inflation, in case you're not aware, Nintendo would be getting money nonetheless. However, they don't want us to, which means they don't want to make profit.
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#32JumpmandkPosted 12/18/2012 7:48:24 AM
Nintendo are "Control Freaks", plain & simple. That's why the WiiU & 3DS have limited demo uses.

A "Demo" by nature is "Limited", so why the limited amount of uses for games that have unlimited uses on other systems? No other reason than "Control".
#33PokeMasterPosted 12/18/2012 7:59:01 AM(edited)
IHeartMetroid posted...

Basically what that means is that despite there being what you (living in Japan) would consider to be a large price differential, when you take the exchange rate into account, economics in Australia and wage factors, quite frankly $15 AUD doesn't amount to much incentive.


Use AUD for both game prices + shipping, you'd get ~$15.

Which is roughly 1 hour of work on minimum wage in Aus, or up to ~25%RRP off new 3DS games.
And my life has been split about half half Japan/Aus, but that's irrelevant to the discussion.

Even retailers sell overseas versions of games because it IS cheaper than buying in Aus.



"In some cases consumers could purchase titles cheaper from overseas than we could locally via the licensed distributor..."

http://www.kotaku.com.au/2012/05/jb-hi-fi-comments-on-its-decision-to-sell-parallel-imported-video-games-in-store/



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#34blue_manPosted 12/18/2012 8:26:02 AM
SF_Baha posted...
Games don't cost the same amount of money in all regions. Without region locking, regions that pay higher prices for games, such as Australia and Japan, could import games from other regions for cheaper, cutting the developer's profits.

Nintendo was smart to region lock. Who can blame them? Any strategy that maximizes profit is a sound strategy.


You realise the pricing difference is probably balanced out by the shipping costs? As a UK gamer I only import games from the US if they're:

A) Unreleased in my region
B) So rare that the UK version is ridiculously priced (in which case the company doesn't care too much about sales as they would have got more stock).
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#35AaantlionPosted 12/18/2012 10:28:19 AM(edited)
The topic post is basically silliness.

1. Region-locking was introduced into handhelds with the dsi so, for starters, it isn't new.
2. It strengthens the local markets and makes it easier to measure sales.
3. There are titles for the Japanese market that Nintendo doesn't want to see over here, like games about groping witches.
4. It also helps combat piracy to some extent.

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#36AaantlionPosted 12/18/2012 10:27:09 AM
From: blue_man | #034
You realise the pricing difference is probably balanced out by the shipping costs? As a UK gamer I only import games from the US if they're:


E-shop titles have no shipping cost. Plus games don't cost $20+ to ship...
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#37shampoowarriorPosted 12/18/2012 10:49:32 AM
IHeartMetroid posted...
SF_Baha posted...
Games don't cost the same amount of money in all regions. Without region locking, regions that pay higher prices for games, such as Australia and Japan, could import games from other regions for cheaper, cutting the developer's profits.

Nintendo was smart to region lock. Who can blame them? Any strategy that maximizes profit is a sound strategy.


Except of course that international shipping for these imports, coupled with the already steep language barriers that often accompanies importing, reduces or eliminates any cost savings that someone could take advantage of instead of, say, walking across the street to purchase a game.

Seriously- when have you ever actually heard anyone in real life say "I paid for international shipping to buy this game just so I could pay slightly less for it"? No- the reason why people import is because they aren't available over here. Whether it's because it's a niche title (like some anime games) or just because of sheer company stupidity (the refusal to localize Xenoblade, Last Window, Another Code R or The Last Story), cost savings is, quite frankly, only a rather weak excuse.

Bear in mind that Nintendo's most successful system/handheld (the Game Boy/DS line) had complete and unfettered access to every single game from every single region all the way up until this last generation- and yet it not only remained Nintendo's most successful handheld, but it dominated the industry and quite literally kept them afloat when Nintendo's console systems (which were region locked) were floundering.


I agree with all of this while distancing myself from the user's argument that follows this post.

AU, EU, NA are the perfect examples of why the region lock is in place. If they want to gouge a region that shares a language with other regions, region-lock is how they accomplish that. Of course, only if you ignore the fact that it's probably cheaper for people in Australia to import the console and all of their games than to buy any of it locally. Which makes it a moot point.

AU, EU, NA are also the perfect examples of why region-locking shouldn't exist. There are countless examples of a game being released in 1-2 of these regions and never coming out in the third. Meaning there is an entire region of gamers with no legitimate access to a game that has already been localized into their native language. That is a situation that is ridiculous and inexcusable in my opinion.
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#38Kaze_MemaryuPosted 12/18/2012 12:33:47 PM
Aaantlion posted...
The topic post is basically silliness.

1. Region-locking was introduced into handhelds with the dsi so, for starters, it isn't new.
2. It strengthens the local markets and makes it easier to measure sales.
3. There are titles for the Japanese market that Nintendo doesn't want to see over here, like games about groping witches.
4. It also helps combat piracy to some extent.

1. True enough...
2. Or so they think - a local market which doesn't have a game can't support it, of course. And sales measurement can be extended by taking a closer look at import/export shippings.
3. That's not Nintendo's decision. If no publisher wants to translate a game, it won't release. Sadly, most publisher's think that a title about groping witches would fail horribly outside japan.
4. That makes absolutely no sense. Region-locking calls hackers to duty to seek out a security hole they can use to undermine it. If it wasn't there in the first place, hackers would be less inclined to hack the 3DS, since there's no specific goal other than piracy (which will always be a goal to some...)
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#39HakuPosted 12/18/2012 1:12:10 PM(edited)
I don't see too much price gouging here (EU, UK to be specific).

3DS mario kart bundle is 170, take the vat off (to compare like for like as US is displayed without) and it's 141. $141=$230, US bundle=$200. Can't blame Nintendo for the Tax rates here, $30 is hardly a price gouge. With tax, it's $70 or so more (Dunno how much US tax adds to the price), but you can't expect Nintendo to take a hit just to account for our tax.

Games, meh. Too much complaining about nothing (pricing, not release dates). 3DS game=30 including vat= $45, not so expensive compared to elsewhere. Not even worth importing for price alone.
#40abbyhitterPosted 12/18/2012 1:34:18 PM
Region locking means nothing me. I only buy games that I can read in English. I don't care that much about a Japanese-only game to want to spend extra money to play it.
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