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Topic: Why region lock at all?

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Scollurio

1. Posted:

I think it has been brought up quite a bit already, but can someone who maybe as a bit of industry-insight or someone who just has a guess that is as go as mine explain to me why they don't make it like this:

o) make a game
o) put in multilingual support /voice overs
o) release it to world market
o) let local publishers pick it up as they see fit

wouldn't it, under the line, lower localisation cost if it was done initially with a bigger market in mind and remove the need of delays etc..

Is the "I import it on my own to my country"-thing really that much of a problem for the local retailers? I mean with tax and everything importing a game from another region is not exactly cheap and since you're paying toll as well that tax-thing should be covered shouldn't it?
And if I knew a game would be released region-wide, I wouldn't have to import in the first place.

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WaLzgi

2. Posted:

Localization is quite expensive from what I hear, so no. Also, not every game is guaranteed to succeed worldwide.

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OdnetninAges

3. Posted:

Because MONEYMONEYMONEYMONEY

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Birdman

4. Posted:

I think the main reason games are region-locked is to prevent international piracy. In some countries, where regulation is less strictly enforced, it's waaaaay easier to manufacture illegal cartridges, and, naturally, sell them at lower prices and make money. Not being able to, say, play a 3DS game made in Hong Kong on a US 3DS, cuts down on this risk.

As for the whole localization thing, you can't just assume a game that's big in Japan will be big in NA or Europe. (There's a reason why we haven't gotten Love Plus here). The reason many games don't leave Japan is because they're "too quirky" for mainstream audiences to consider picking up, and they can't offset localization/ratings costs with the additional revenue coming in from the additional markets. This is going away as non-retail outlets (i.e. retail downloads in the eShop), alternative funding methods (Kickstarter, etc.) and fan demands (Operation Rainfall, the Mass Effect 3 debacle, SimCity) show developers there are consumers willing to purchase their products/care vehemently enough for them, which in turn makes localization more likely and region locking less of a pain. It would be nice for publishers to simultaneously release games worldwide (X&Y may be the best Pokémon games in the West simply because we won't know every single detail about them when they're released here), but many companies simply don't have the resources to risk a bad international launch.

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rayword45

5. Posted:

Here's the thing about piracy. Region locking pisses off tech-savvy gamers. Those gamers will actively search for a hack, and in that process may find backup loaders. Which leads to FAR more piracy then region-free gaming would ever net.

The best way to cut down on piracy? Region-free gaming and easy devkits. Notice how nobody hacked the PS3 until custom OS ability was removed.

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kkslider5552000

6. Posted:

stupid anti-piracy thing that does nothing and wastes company's money #5

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SCAR392

7. Posted:

I think they are moving towards a more global scale for games anyway, but...
I think it exists as it is now because of audience and business practice. The market in Japan has to do well in order to cover more ground in the market. Some games everyone asks to be localized don't always do well in Japan. In other words, they don't always have enough money to spread beyond their home country into other markets.
I was looking at some imports for games, and the Americans or Europeans that order and review the games they paid too much for on import sites, talk as if the game is easily attainable like going to a local retail store, and it's a must have.
I honestly prefer to stay in the U.S. market, because the game obviously wasn't supposed to cater to me if I have to import it.
Also, piracy from flexibility of format.

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SCAR392

8. Posted:

kkslider5552000 wrote:

stupid anti-piracy thing that does nothing and wastes company's money #5

Spending 5 million(or whatever) to save 10 million is a better trade off as a business. It's just an extra measure to make sure money is credited to the actual creator of whatever is being pirated, that could actually save a business in some cases.

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kkslider5552000

9. Posted:

i'm sure you're correct, smart enough to edit posts and not double post dude

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OptometristLime

10. Posted:

rayword45 wrote:

Here's the thing about piracy. Region locking pisses off tech-savvy gamers. Those gamers will actively search for a hack, and in that process may find backup loaders. Which leads to FAR more piracy then region-free gaming would ever net.

The best way to cut down on piracy? Region-free gaming and easy devkits. Notice how nobody hacked the PS3 until custom OS ability was removed.

You're acting like it's a black/white issue, in reality hackers in general are not Robin Hood characters with noble purpose.

Circumventing always-online DRM is something I could sympathize with, but I don't put region locking in the same category.

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Bankai

11. Posted:

The main reason for region locking is to protect retailers and local subsidiaries from global currency fluctuations.

I would be surprised if region locking continues into the next gen. There's no real reason for it as sales go digital.

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SCAR392

12. Posted:

@thelastlemming
Exactly. People say hacking and piracy is a result of neglecting a market. Obviously the market they are neglecting is the black market.
There are rules and laws for selling what's not yours, it's as simple as that.

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SCAR392

13. Posted:

Bankai wrote:

The main reason for region locking is to protect retailers and local subsidiaries from global currency fluctuations.

I would be surprised if region locking continues into the next gen. There's no real reason for it as sales go digital.

That doesn't change the fact that you can still use a disc. Most of the sales may be digital, but the disc drive is still there able to be easily used.

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Bankai

14. Posted:

SCAR392 wrote:

Bankai wrote:

The main reason for region locking is to protect retailers and local subsidiaries from global currency fluctuations.

I would be surprised if region locking continues into the next gen. There's no real reason for it as sales go digital.

That doesn't change the fact that you can still use a disc. Most of the sales may be digital, but the disc drive is still there able to be easily used.

And that has absolutely nothing to do with anything I said.

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OptometristLime

15. Posted:

SCAR392 wrote:

@thelastlemming
Exactly. People say hacking and piracy is a result of neglecting a market. Obviously the market they are neglecting is the black market.
There are rules and laws for selling what's not yours, it's as simple as that.

Frankly no it's not as simple as that, or we wouldn't be having these discussions.
Piracy is a very tricky issue, and what justifies region locking can't hold true for all forms of piracy.

If you're familiar with the issues surrounding anti-piracy in the PC games market for instance, developers have worked hard to piss off their paying customers. The backlash has devoured their sales, contributing to very high piracy rates. Unfortunately even "friendly" developers like the creators of World of Goo can see 90% of their total product end up in pirate hands. [to cite a high profile example in my head]

Edited on by OptometristLime

Miyamoto on his desire to focus more on the (hard)core Nintendo fan.

[The casual] attitude is, ‘okay, I am the customer. You are supposed to entertain me.’ [...] and to me it’s kind of a pathetic thing.

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Knux

16. Posted:

kkslider5552000 wrote:

stupid anti-piracy thing that does nothing and wastes company's money #5

This guy knows what's up.

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Bankai

17. Posted:

Guys. Region locking is not there to stop piracy. Because region locking doesn't actually do anything to stop piracy.

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SCAR392

18. Posted:

Bankai wrote:

SCAR392 wrote:

Bankai wrote:

The main reason for region locking is to protect retailers and local subsidiaries from global currency fluctuations.

I would be surprised if region locking continues into the next gen. There's no real reason for it as sales go digital.

That doesn't change the fact that you can still use a disc. Most of the sales may be digital, but the disc drive is still there able to be easily used.

And that has absolutely nothing to do with anything I said.

Uh, ya it does. You said there should be no reason for region locking if sales are mostly digital.
There's a difference between localization of a product and getting rid of region locking.
If the game is available in your area, there's no reason for region locking.

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Bankai

19. Posted:

SCAR392 wrote:

Bankai wrote:

SCAR392 wrote:

Bankai wrote:

The main reason for region locking is to protect retailers and local subsidiaries from global currency fluctuations.

I would be surprised if region locking continues into the next gen. There's no real reason for it as sales go digital.

That doesn't change the fact that you can still use a disc. Most of the sales may be digital, but the disc drive is still there able to be easily used.

And that has absolutely nothing to do with anything I said.

Uh, ya it does. You said there should be no reason for region locking if sales are mostly digital.
There's a difference between localization of a product and getting rid of region locking.
If the game is available in your area, there's no reason for region locking.

No it doesn't. As sales of games shift towards digital distribution the platform holders will not need to protect retailers and local subsidiaries as much and so region locking will not be necessary any longer.

Also online accounts are tied into a single market so further region locking of the console would be moot.

Edited on by Bankai

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kkslider5552000

20. Posted:

I'm actually interested if the 90% piracy thing for World of Goo is that relevant. That statistic was only a month into the game's release, and most of that game's success wasn't from its first month on PC. I'm sure there are much better examples than a random indie game.

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