News Article

Talking Point: Time for Wii U to Treat Us Like Adults

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

The nanny console

This week has brought us an interesting story about Wii U eShop restrictions that are limited to European consoles, but perhaps provide greater insight into the relationship between gamers and their new Nintendo systems. It came to light that what we initially thought was a botched parental control issue on the platform was actually a deliberate policy, limiting downloads of 18-rated games to four hours a day — they can be accessed between the hours of 11pm and 3am. This disregards the submitted age on your Nintendo Network ID and the Parental Control settings — even if you have them all disabled — on the system.

Of course, there are (at least) two sides to any debate on this issue, so let's consider the Nintendo angle with this policy. It's a simple argument that states that this is an extra precaution to protect children from 18-rated content, to counter the possibility that a Nintendo Network ID is false or parents haven't applied appropriate parental controls. Both scenarios are entirely feasible, of course, as there'll be some young gamers who will be dishonest in the sign-up procedure as well as some parents that won't be aware that they should handle the console setup and restrict content. We imagine that many parents will avoid this pitfall, but Nintendo's approach is to put in an extra safety net, one more limitation that can disrupt the possibility of a young gamer downloading a mature title.

The problem with this policy, to look at the other side of the argument, is that it places a surprising and unwelcome limitation on older gamers. For those of us that are grisly old veterans and have switched off all parental controls it can be surprising, and peculiar, to hit a roadblock when we want to download a grown-up's game. At its most minor level it may feel to some like a bit of a slap-down — "you naughty gamer, trying to play that zombie game, come back later". If you're the incredulous type your response may be "WTF! Give me my game!"

Could this policy make smaller developers with limited means think twice, if they know their audience will only have 1/6th of the access compared to buyers of other titles?

There are other minor irritations to this policy, too. If a mature title is arriving on the eShop at midnight on launch day and you've decided to go the download route, you can't pop onto your system during normal hours on launch day to download your eagerly anticipated gem, but rather you must wait for a four hour window when you might rather be in bed. This restriction takes away any sense of genuine convenience that download options are supposed to represent: some games aren't available on demand and when you want them, they're only there in the small hours. If you work night-shifts, meanwhile, tough luck.

This is an example, we feel, of Nintendo's caution perhaps going one-step too far, as it's contrary to the policies on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. With so much noise being made about Wii U offering older and so-called core gamers experiences they want, this is the kind of small irritant that undermines that. Perhaps worse, if this policy is applied across the board it could hypothetically affect Indie developers. If a developer decides to produce an 18-rated download only title, will gamers only be able to access it for four hours in the day? Could this policy make smaller developers with limited means think twice, if they know their audience will only have 1/6th of the access compared to buyers of other titles? Perhaps worse is the possibility that the desire to publish on the Wii U eShop will lead to developers compromising their original artistic vision for their game. Suddenly this minor irritation has genuine impact, though surely exceptions would be made.

A possible solution to this could be a simple adjustment to Wii U's settings out of the box. Rather than have Parental Controls off by default, turn them on so the initial setup requires users to opt-out. It adds an extra step and opportunity for parents to moderate their child's access, and would involve only a few taps of the GamePad screen for others. It's not fool-proof, of course, but neither is this four hour policy. With the GamePad having decent range in many houses, what's stopping a minor taking the GamePad into their bedroom and accessing the eShop after 11pm? Parenting is the answer to that question, but then that's the answer to this issue as a whole.

Ultimately, though, this is an unfortunate example of Nintendo, in this case the European branch, attempting to assert excessive control over its gamers. Yes, this restriction can prevent some under-age access, but it's not fool-proof nor is it due to any current EU laws, as far as we can tell — otherwise rival platforms would surely do the same. It's also anything but the industry standard, and is a frustrating policy that could have a genuine hypothetical impact on small development studio's sales. It's nannying that doesn't appear to be in place in North America, which makes it even more baffling. It adds to another early (worldwide) inconvenience with Nintendo Network IDs being locked to one system, which gives us unnecessary limitations; the positive is that issues such as these can be resolved, if Nintendo has the will to do it.

Hopefully this policy will bite the dust eventually. It undermines — even if only in a relatively minor way — Wii U's efforts to be attractive to both young gamers and also those with the most money in their bank accounts, adults.

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User Comments (158)

Falk_Sturmfels

#3

Falk_Sturmfels said:

Well, this is the biggest s..t abd dumbest thing BigN could do. It will kill mature games in the EU-eshop for sure.

farfromsleep

#5

farfromsleep said:

"If a mature title is arriving on the eShop at midnight on launch day and you've decided to go the download route, you can't pop onto your system during normal hours on launch day to download your eagerly anticipated gem, but rather you must wait for a four hour window when you might rather be in bed. "
To expand on that a little, that also means with a 6gig+ file and Ninty's patchy download speeds it all but rules out being able to buy a mature-rated title and play it on the same day, which is one of the major draws of downloads for me as opposed to just ordering online.

It all just seems so arbitrary. They have these restrictions on the eShop when anyone could find much more offensive material at any time of day with just a quick search on the built-in web browser. It doesn't make any sense to me.

Kirk

#6

Kirk said:

Nintendo does some very annoying, and imo stupid, things sometimes.

Molotov

#7

Molotov said:

Wrong Title.
"Time For NINTENDO To Treat Us Like Adults. (And Treat Miyamoto To The Creative Freedom He Long Deserves (Ouch!)) "

HanuKwanzMasBif

#9

HanuKwanzMasBif said:

Nice article. I didn't even think about the effects it could impose on small/indie developers; originally I thought it was just a useless policy.

Molotov

#10

Molotov said:

And Best Of All Is That Nintendo Told Us All The hortcoming Of Its Latest Offering AFTER The Pre-Orders. Thanks For The Honesty.... Too Late.

Knux

#11

Knux said:

As long as Nintendo continues to insist on maintaining a ''kid-friendly'' image, they're not going to be taken seriously this generation. Nintendo needs to realize that adults (like myself) enjoy gaming just as much as kids and teens do.

Putting a restriction like this on the eShop is only going to make matters worse for the company. Not a lot of adults are going to want to wait until 11:00 PM in order to download a game. Why? Because they are either going to be trying to unwind in order to go to bed or will be asleep. Parental controls should be more than enough. There are no positives to be gained from this.

It's stuff like this that makes me realize that Nintendo will never get with the times. They take one step forward, and ten steps backward. Sony really doesn't have much to worry about this generation.

I may not be personally affected by this since I'm in the USA and NOA is thankfully not that stupid, but it still shows where the company's true priorities are.

OldBoy

#12

OldBoy said:

What a ridiculous idea.Not sure publishers are going to be pleased with this small 4 hour window to sell their games! And I thought the benefit of digital downloads was the convinienceof it.this store has worse opening hours than the high street.On the plus side though while your waitin for the eshop to open u can watch plenty of hardcore p0rn on the browser :-D

Mk_II

#13

Mk_II said:

the legal perspective, particular in the UK and Germany,is totally different from the USA. And you can imagine the field day the tabloids would have if some misguided kiddie got nightmares from a E-shop demo. Nintendo is still seen as the family firendly gaming company and they have lots of underage users so it is important to them to keep their good reputation.

Birthday_Boy

#15

Birthday_Boy said:

@Towels BRUSH YOUR TEETH, WASH BEHIND YOUR EARS AND DOWNLOAD MATURE GAMES BETWEEN 11:00 AM-3:00 PM
History just continues to repeat themselves. With Nintendo facing a similar problem with the NES/SNES.

ThomasBW84Admin

#16

ThomasBW84 said:

@farfromsleep I'm not sure it's the case that the actual downloads will only work between these hours, especially with the download management on the console. I suspect that once a purchase is made and the download started it will continue outside of the window.

SCAR392

#17

SCAR392 said:

It is pretty crazy that they won't let EU people buy games online unless it's past every single child in EU's bedtime... Parental controls should be more than enough for parents to stop their kids from playing violent and sexual games(if they think it even matters). I guess you can go buy the physical copy at the store if you can't buy it between that window, but it's still pretty inconvenient. I do hope to see some good games from smaller companies on the eShop, and I hope they drop this policy for the sake of EU... I hope the bloodiest game EVER comes out for Wii U now. It will be called: Blood, Sex, and Drugs game, and will be 100× 'worse' than any GTA game ever!

brooks83

#19

brooks83 said:

C'mon Nintendo. Crap like this really doesn't help persuade people like me who are on the fence about buying a Wii U into rushing out and buying one. In the meantime, I'm having a blast with my new PS3 and still enjoying my original Wii. At the moment I could care less about Wii U.

farfromsleep

#21

farfromsleep said:

@ThomasBW84 I'm not saying you won't be able to continue downloading after those hours, I mean that I'd be asleep before the download's done when I can't even start it until 11, which is why I prefer to buy big retail downloads earlier in the day.

ultraraichu

#22

ultraraichu said:

Lol, I kind of saw this as being a talking point topic. I am curious about the law and parents in Europe that may it so that NOE had to take this type of precaution. Maybe a protest, boycott, lawsuit perhaps?

In any case when it comes to technology IMO, kids are smart and parents are dumb. A good example is the younger gamers on site like this one learning about this stuff and the parent who don't monitor their kid's actions or even know what parental control is.

Like with GTA, parents complain and sue Rockstar for exposing such a game to their kids but not many question how or why they let them play it in the first place. No responsibility for ones own action, easier to blame.

rjejr

#23

rjejr said:

Boycott all DLs until this is fixed.

ALL.

Nintendo may not listen to us but they will listen to developers who stop putting games on the eShop b/c nobody is buying them anyway.

ThomasBW84Admin

#24

ThomasBW84 said:

FYI - I've tweaked a line to say that this isn't "due to any current EU laws". Nintendaan advised me on Twitter (my thanks to him) that there's a potential law in Germany that would enforce these rules. However, the text stands for the following reasons:

  • This law isn't even active, as it's currently been facing constitutional challenges since 2010 (no wonder)
  • It's Germany only
  • Even though Nintendo of Europe is based in Germany, it's reacting to something that isn't even law yet. If this law is passed in future, I'm not going to pretend to understand whether Nintendo can have one rule for Wii U systems in Germany and another for other European countries. Maybe not but, again, this rule in Germany has not yet passed into law, so this is currently unnecessary.
Dogpigfish

#25

Dogpigfish said:

Why just in Europe, this has to be one countries policy perhaps expanded to a one size fits all approach. Glad to be an American.

Magicpegasus

#26

Magicpegasus said:

Nintendo is the Joe Biden of the game industry. Every time I hear about policies like this, I'm shocked and amused. It's like they live in some strange magical world. Miyamato never stops smiling. Anyway, we are adults, Nintendo. You should know. You raised us. We were kids for Donkey Kong (and some of us were kids for Donkey Kong Country), but now we're much older. Even in Europe...

Void

#29

Void said:

@ThomasBW84 So, it's probably that Nintendo is getting ready incase it does pass, I just hope they change it if it doesn't, because that rule is just bonkers.

GreenDream

#30

GreenDream said:

The really sad thing about this is that they thought children are too stupid to figure this out and circumvent it. The idea never should have left the drawing board in their minds.

It's also a little scary that some people are starting to accept this as "normal" or "clever". Next thing we know, 20 years from now, they'll get to dictate when and where game products can be used, too...

theblackdragonAdmin

#31

theblackdragon said:

I'm kinda with Void, perhaps Nintendo knows something that we don't in this case. the way it's been implemented seems silly, though — you'd think they'd've warned everyone up front, put it right in the manual that it would be this way. Did they think they could get away with not having to explain this policy to the public or something? :/

GreenDream

#33

GreenDream said:

@Magicpegasus Well, Japan is a pretty magical place, after all... it's got everything from bullet trains to maid cafe's to dolphin meat to both tropical resorts and snowy mountains to nuclear meltdowns, all in one neat little package!

I know this happened in Europe, but they must have had SOME contact with the Japanese branch.

NOE: "Hey, we're gonna go to some nude beaches on vacation, and the kids have babysitters, but they don't know how to use parental controls. May we edit the online so our kids won't learn to murder someone by slitting someone's throat from Assassin's Creed? That OK, Japan?"

NOJ: "LOL sure thing, dudes and dudettes! Now excuse us while we make games about mosquitoes stalking young women in bathtubs, wacky vigilantes evading law enforcement, and plumbers eating mushrooms to grow big, wearing flowers to form fireballs using raw ki energy, and holding stars to go on insane acid trips...

Rect_Pola

#34

Rect_Pola said:

They entire industry needs to start treating parents like adults and assume they have SOME authority over what goes on in their homes.

DarkKirby

#35

DarkKirby said:

Is this Nintendo's European branch's decision to limit mature game downloading so heavily or an order from higher up telling them to do it? It seems strange that the limit is EU only. If it really was a sole decision made by Nintendo's European branch Nintendo's heads should step in and tell them to stop being idiots. It is a parents responsibility to use the readily available and provided tools to prevent their kids from accessing content they wish them not use, and Nintendo, whoever is responsible, is making a grave mistake in thinking advertising their console as "child proof for the technologically ignorant parents" is in anyway a selling point. For globs sake, the Wii U has a fantastic browser built into it that has full access to the internet, you think limiting game downloads does anything to prevent some kids with parents who can't be bothered to read an instructions manual from seeing much more "mature" things then whatever is considered "mature by" eShop standards?

Ryno

#36

Ryno said:

The Wii U treats us North Americans like adults. Time for European governments (in this case Germany I guess) to stop considering silly laws.

Squiggle55

#37

Squiggle55 said:

This idea from NoE is utterly ridiculous. Horrible idea. For one, I think young teens are a lot more likely to be up at 1 a.m. than I am...

JayRydah

#38

JayRydah said:

Well im in north america so it must b a state policy for europe. Plus I usually buy my games hard copy. N as a 26yr old adult I usually dont go to bed till after 1 every night so wouldn't be a problem for me if I had to download at night. A lil in convenient bt no deal breaker. Im luvin every minute with my wii u.

Moshugan

#40

Moshugan said:

This is just absurd. There's no similar practice on any other service in Europe, as far as I know.
I don't know what bothers me most, but one thing is that Nintendo doesn't inform about these kinds of things more clearly.

Kevin_H

#41

Kevin_H said:

It's just Ninty playing it safe to avoid parents that can't be bothered to set up parental controls later complaining that their darling kids have accessed mature content.

Just set up your account to allow access to mature content and voila!

riverfr0zen

#42

riverfr0zen said:

Just wait till you download these new Sonic Transformed characters they've got coming up for us.

madgear

#43

madgear said:

This reminds me a bit of the Nintendo Mortal Kombat censorship issue from the 1990's. Most assumed that, after age ratings were introduced, games would go uncensored and rated appropriately like with other consoles. They're still at it, though. They've recently held back games due to religious content and now this.

I think Nintendo's approach is much more damaging than making the content available freely and attaching an age rating. Going the "family friendly console" route and hiding all mature content under the carpet just brings us back to the "consoles are just for kids" attitude from the NES era.

The mature games still exist for the console, so making it TOO safe means it's going to cause more of an outrage when kids are (and they will be) caught with adult rated games.

I'd much prefer it if parents were aware that games consoles, like with movies, have childrens content and adult content and caution should be used when buying a game. Hiding it from view just breeds ignorance and gives people a view of consoles that should have died out in the 1980's.

Dreamcaster-X

#46

Dreamcaster-X said:

Foe every 2 steps Nintendo takes forward, they take 1 step back. I have a feeling this will disappear rather quickly!

krunchykhaos

#48

krunchykhaos said:

Personally, this doesn't effect me. I can see how this could be an issue with some people but in my experience a lot of mature games that people buy are usually bought in store. If something like this is complained about there really isnt a real case. If you want the game and you have the money just go buy it. Better yet rent it. There is no warranty on a digital copy.

madgear

#52

madgear said:

Well no, I agree with parental control but not hiding the fact that there are mature games in such a way. It's simply not a family console if there's mature content so you can't hide that fact. They either have to not release mature games at all and make consoles just for kids, or let their customers choose what they want to play.. They can't have it both ways.

bonham2

#53

bonham2 said:

This would have been a good opportunity to talk about the stupid MiiVerse restrictions as well. How come I can't post normal adult conversation in a M-Rated game's community. If the game has cursing in it, why can't we curse in MiiVerse? Parental controls should stop kids from accessing those communities.

It's not a big deal that I can't curse in the ZombiU MiiVerse community, but it's just another example of Nintendo limiting adults to protect the children.

Ristar42

#54

Ristar42 said:

Controls are there for parents to use, thats their responsibility. This is very silly, not least as it means most episodes of Nintendo TV on 3DS are now unwatchable because of a few seconds of Zombie U - they are blocking their own promotional videos. I think Nintendo of Europe should change this policy, leave parenting to parents and let adult people who've just paid £300 for a new console download / view content whenever they want to.

SMEXIZELDAMAN

#55

SMEXIZELDAMAN said:

This is a good policy. Keeps kids with parents who don't parent right away from offensive material that will turn them into cold blooded killers :(

Xilef

#56

Xilef said:

This will probably change soon. I doubt they are going to have these rules for long given the reaction by gamers. Unless there is a weird law we don't know about that is. This seems like one of those ideas that probably wasn't given much thought...

Burning_Spear

#57

Burning_Spear said:

I think it's a bit over the top, but some of the reactions are as well, IMO. How much of a problem is it? Click "download" and go to bed.

SirSmugleaf

#58

SirSmugleaf said:

Some very insightful points raised there! Very nice article!

It sounded like I was listening to a school debate!

Peppy_Hare

#59

Peppy_Hare said:

I think NOE may be doing this for two unmentioned reasons: to reinforce Nintendo's kid-friendly image with parents (a subliminal reminder during the holiday shopping season) and to get some attention (even if it's negative) in the press.

brooks83

#60

brooks83 said:

It is kinda sad how some people on this thread are actually saying this is a good idea because they are so scared to say anything negative about their precious Nintendo.

brooks83

#61

brooks83 said:

@Peppy_Hare -
Most companies try to avoid negative press. I'm on the fence about buying the Wii U, and bad press like this certainly doesn't make me wanna go rush out and buy one.

WaLzgiStaff

#62

WaLzgi said:

@Knux: Well you need to realize that a good portion of Nintendo's audience are minors and parents. If Nintendo doesn't keep this image, it'll lose that audience, which funny enough, affects them more than "mature" cough gamers :3

TysonOfTime

#63

TysonOfTime said:

@Knux
So because something is Kid-Friendly means it shouldn't be taken seriously?

Do yourself a favor and never watch a Pixar Movie again.

timp29

#64

timp29 said:

Nintendo, while it is sweet that you are concerned for the wellbeing of 'the children', give their parents some responsibility and some credit.

Any parent that lets their kids download an 18+ game needs to both i) leave their credit card unsupervised and ii) leave their kid unsupervised. While I'm pretty sure most parents will slip up at some stage or another, this is not Nintendo's fault. I'm sick of this blame oriented society, where no one takes responsibility for their own actions/inactions, and just passes the buck onto whoever has the biggest wallet.

Chunky_Droid

#65

Chunky_Droid said:

As I said in the other one: I think it's relevant also to this discussion, just my thoughts.

This is borderline ridiculous.

It's up to parents to decide what kids can download. My kids have a 3DS each and both have parental locks, both my kids have an account on the eShop and they both have parental locks and they work like a charm (tested playing Darksiders II under their accounts to make sure it works).

The two other reasons this is ridiculous:

PEGI vs OFLC (not called this anymore but just for arguments sake)
ZombiU is rated 18+ in Europe, we don't have an 18+ rating so it's rated 15+ here. Not sure if this affects us at all but my second point is that Australia is generally run by Nintendo of Europe and it's letting me access all the ZombiU content with no problems whatsoever.

GameLord08

#69

GameLord08 said:

Chunky_Droid wrote:

It's up to parents to decide what kids can download.

Let me use this here statement as an example.

Personally, I've always been the kind of underage person Nintendo warned you about. Ever since I can remember, I can and will find a way to bypass security, settings or precaution on any service, and I can and will be sneaky enough to download it discreetly. It's not because my family is careless either - very much the contrary. I'm just one who was raised in a household as watertight as Soviet Russia, and it had adverse effects on me.

Not all children are submissive enough to parental controls, settings and whatever else have you, and I'm a glaring example. My saving grace is that I've been twisted inside-out well enough to tolerate adult themes as though I'm watching The Moomins - but that's far from what can be said about most other children.

Remember we're talking digital purchases here, which are still in the vast minority (it really won't affect much of the mature gaming population) - and are much easier accessible to children. Children can't walk into a game store and buy a GTA game like they're taking a stroll down 5th Avenue; the manager would have them up and out before they'd even finished saying the game's title. However, you don't have this kind of monitoring with digital purchases - that's why you need all the padlocks, shutters, laser beams and other thingamabobs.

Right now, I'm not taking sides on this argument (though I can provide you with quite a few reasons why this whole calamity isn't as big a deal as people are making it out to be), but these are just the considerable facts from me.

TheN64Dude

#70

TheN64Dude said:

Nintendo has been going downhill since the beginning of 2012. It's a shame because they were doing so great in 2011. It's only a matter of time before they become a third-party company because this is ridiculous!

mudjo

#71

mudjo said:

It will be like 9-Volt's game in Game & Wario, except you're downloading ZombiU instead of playing Warioware.

Chunky_Droid

#72

Chunky_Droid said:

@GameLord08

As you said, if you know all the workarounds in the world then this isn't going to stop you either, your parents need to be more diligent. If your parents are ok with you playing ZombiU, then its fine, no need to worry.

If they're not ok with you playing games like ZombiU, then they'd have their reasons, which they've probably explained to you. Is it a case of you not caring what your parents think, a rebellious thing? I'm not poking fun at you or critisizing you, as a parent myself I'm interested to hear your thoughts. I personally played Mortal Kombat games before I was 15, I felt like I could handle it, and I did, perfectly fine, but my parents didn't care what I played, they let me listen to racist parody music while I grew up too.

It's seriously not up to Nintendo to provide this kind of "service". Like @theblackdragon said, they should have at least warned Europeans of this earlier.

theblackdragonAdmin

#73

theblackdragon said:

@GameLord: If your parents trusted you enough to turn you loose upon the world at a young age unfettered, that's your parents' problem, not Nintendo's. It was up to them to decide how to raise you, and you seem to have turned out okay. The problem here is that even after having input your age and turning off the parental controls (both solid CYA moves by Nintendo to implement IMO), even adults who have followed all procedures to identify themselves as such are hindered from purchasing these games at a reasonable hour of day.

What I'm wondering is if this sort of watershed is another CYA keeping them from accidentally selling an 18+ rated game to a minor who was using their parents' eShop account by mistake, just like television ones various countries implement. aren't there fines for selling 18+ games to underage children for brick-and-mortar stores now? I really wonder what's going on behind the scenes that perhaps we don't yet know.

kyuubikid213

#74

kyuubikid213 said:

If this ends up being a real money making issue for Nintendo, they'll just nix it with a firmware update. No big deal. I mean, I wake up at 2 am just to see the Japanese Nintendo Directs sometimes... If I really wanted a game, I'd get up within that window to download.

However, this doesn't pertain to me for two reasons.
1. I'm in America.
2. I bought the Basic Set.

GameLord08

#75

GameLord08 said:

@Chunky_Droid: No, this isn't really much about how my parents raised me. They raised me just like normal, overprotective parents. I'm not attempting to somewhat "boast" that I'm rebellious or anything of the sort either; I'm saying it's more of "how I raised myself". My parents never let me loose or raised me indiligently - they raised me absolutely fine, and this isn't really anything to do with parenting (for me). I let myself loose, as most children often do.

Sure, I turned out fine. But much of that can't be said for others, hence the extra precaution. This is a day and age where a few lock-ups here and there really do nothing to hinder kids away from doing what they're allegedly not supposed to or need to be protected from. It's really more of a feeling of curiosity than being rebellious (well again, for me). When the cat's away, the mice will play. We'll just hope to God that the mice don't run into a mouse-trap.

However, I shan't really say whether or not it's within Nintendo's rights to be exhibiting this sort of precaution themselves. I'll just say that parenting alone, however determined or strict, isn't as effective as it was ten years ago.

AyeHaley

#76

AyeHaley said:

They should change this, I'm certain it will lose Nintendo many potential customers and developers.. Why oh why Nintendo.

Shworange

#77

Shworange said:

It's up to parents to police their kids, not for a company to do so. I passworded our computer and monitor our kids video games. Parental involvement is not that hard.

Zombie_Barioth

#78

Zombie_Barioth said:

Its all the little thing like this put together that will make the Wii U a hard sell to anyone but their core demographic. People aren't going to want to make the leap from PS3/Xbox/PC to Wii U if their current device has/does everything they want without the drawbacks.

I really hope this is due to something we don't know about, otherwise is seems Nintendo is starting to fall back into their bad habits.

edhe

#80

edhe said:

If Nintendo are trying to protect the children from accessing mature content, then what the f#%* are the parental controls for!?

I'm livid about this. Nintendo Europe may have potentially screwed up the eShop for the whole region.

"Nintendo has always aimed to offer Gameplay experiences Suited to all age groups..."

Good freaking job with that, NOE, good freaking job. I really feel like I'm being treated like an adult(!)

TheDreamingHawk

#81

TheDreamingHawk said:

NA is not affected by this, so why is it a major headline? I know this is a EU site, and I don't mind that it's being reported on the site in general, but how is this major? Most adults at least would stay up until 11 PM, then they could do "Power off after Downloads" and go to sleep. And even if there is an error you can continue the download at any time as long as you don't delete it.

ultraraichu

#82

ultraraichu said:

I just think back and wondering, when have everyone start being affected by digital retail games. Just last week, most people was one the side that retail games are better as physical copy then digital (same price, long download, using over 15 GB of space, etc.). Now it seems like because NOE set this up, people are acting like nintendo should fail and go out of business or at least stop getting M rated games cause no one will buy it.

You can still buy it in stores and online at any time as a hard copy and gamers who really prefer it as digital will download around the open time similar to the people who download NSMB2 at midnight to play it ASAP. It just another anthill turned into a mountain.

Demonic_St33V

#83

Demonic_St33V said:

As a tired, grizzled old gamer with permanently blood-shot baggy eyes from mid night launches and 72+ hour gaming binges.. I find this offensive. I'm old and tired, I want to start my downloads when ever I want and play my games when ever I want..... And seriously, you kids need to stay off my lawn!

Seriously.... I will get my gun.....

scrubbyscum999

#85

scrubbyscum999 said:

Ok, Nintendo this is stupid. There are fricking ratings. If parents can't parent their kids that is their problem. Parents need to parent, not Nintendo, now get rid of this stupid garbage for our EU friends NOW.

theblackdragonAdmin

#86

theblackdragon said:

@TheDreamingHawk: You've pretty much answered your own question as to why this is a featured article here, on a UK-based website. It's quite a disappointment for our siblings-in-gaming across the pond who had no idea this was happening when they purchased their consoles and expected to be able to download any game they pleased onto their shiny new external hard drives. it's an underlying issue that deserves to be dragged out into the light and examined.

as for adults staying up 'til 11pm, it's not that we physically can't or have an enforced bedtime, it's that it's horribly inconvenient — especially for those of us who may work multiple jobs, perhaps we work the night shift and are only home during the day, perhaps we have to go out and take care of something every night around that time, etc. and so forth. You never know. Being an adult comes with all kinds of different responsibilities. :3

Bankai

#87

Bankai said:

Seems like a fair initiative of Nintendo's part. The reputational damage that Nintendo would face if it didn't police the eShop is substantial, considering there are so many terrible parents that would rather blame/ sue the corporations than accept responsibility for their children's actions.

Yes good parents didn't need the eShop controls. Yes responsible adults don't need the controls. Rather than blame Nintendo for the controls, blame the parents that buy Call of Duty games for their 12-year-olds. Blame the parents that sue Blizzard when their child dies from a 72-hour World of Warcraft marathon. Blame the problem that made Nintendo act this way, don't blame the company for covering its own backside because there are bad parents out there.

rayword45

#88

rayword45 said:

^Didn't you argue against banning The Binding of Isaac from the 3DS eShop/

Regardless, this is incredibly stupid IMO, but as WhiteKnight said, the backlash from stupid parents will hurt our ears. Just like that woman who complained about the full-blown sex sequences her 15-year-old son saw in GTA, an M-Rated game. Just like all the groups that complained when MadWorld was released on the Wii.

ultraraichu

#89

ultraraichu said:

^^ At least some people understand the root of the problem rather then the fruit it bears. That's good.

Chunky_Droid

#90

Chunky_Droid said:

@GameLord: You have good points, and I know a lot of ignorant parents out there unfortunately.

My parenting alone only works with my kids, not because I care more than other parents, it's because I grew up with and still use the kind of technology that my kids can access, and have dealt with it appropriately. They have absolutely no chance of playing any content I won't let them play on their 3DS or Wii U.

It comes down to parents needing to be better educated on this kind of thing too. If it wasn't for the ones who blame everything else but themselves, we wouldn't be in the situation we find ourselves in now, as WhiteKnight says.

Bankai

#91

Bankai said:

@rayword - I argued against the banning of the Binding of Isaac game, absolutely. This isn't banning games, though. This is restricting access to them for kids with irresponsible parents. I have no problem whatsoever with Nintendo protectin itself against the possibility that a messed up kid with uninterested parents downloading Zombie U and then taking a cricket bat to school.

ShadJV

#92

ShadJV said:

Before you react, stop and use some logic. Restricting access to purchases can only negatively impact sales. Nintendo likes money just as much as any business. As such, there must be a serious reason for this policy, especially considering it's limited to Europe. There could very well be something we don't know about this, such as government or rating boards insisting Nintendo do this. Yes, competitors don't have to, but they don't have as strong as a reputation for being "family friendly". I think this is incredibly stupid but I think it's quite likely there is information we simply don't know about this...

GreenDream

#93

GreenDream said:

This action of NOE is entirely based on the assumption that violent computer games are culpable for causing or catalyzing violence. I say that's false, there is ALWAYS a myriad of quality of life factors, serious issues, and problems in the background of such cases. The studies published in case files and books such as Grand Theft Childhood have provided scientific precedents for this issue. Besides, there is already a solid set of laws on pretty much every entertainment product these days which indemnify the providers of said entertainment from liability.

This action of NOE is thus redundant and unnecessary.

Bankai

#94

Bankai said:

No. Nintendo is doing this to protect itself from reputarional damage. Nothing more, nothing less.

Also, of Nintendo was doin this because of law/ regulation, the others would have as well. The law doesn't say to one company "do this" and then make exceptions for other companies. Even if one of the companies has a reputation for being 'family friendly,' the law would not enforce that.

Zombie_Barioth

#95

Zombie_Barioth said:

Its not Nintendo protecting their backside thats the problem. I can see why they did it this way since this way if anyone complains about their kids downloading mature content it'd be like blaming the neighborhood watch for your kids breaking curfew, but they could probably have handled it differently.

Nintendo seems to have a bad habit of trying to go modern but then backpedaling into some arbituary, unorthodox safeguard in order to be family-friendly.

ShadJV

#97

ShadJV said:

@WhiteKnight If that's the case, explain why Nintendo is only doing this in Europe? Hm? That makes no sense with the reputation argument.

Bankai

#98

Bankai said:

Different business unit, different region of the world, meaning different cultural environment.

Ie Nintendo of Europe saw risk there, Nintendo of America didn't. These businesses are run by different people and so make independent decisions on these things.

Hetsumani

#99

Hetsumani said:

All these policies are dumb, I don't understand why a parent would prohibit a kid to play a game, the more you do it the more the kid is going to want to play it. When I was growing up I was allowed to play anything I wanted and the only kids who played violent games, Mortal Kombat and such, were the ones who weren't allowed to do it, I never liked them.

tickling

#101

tickling said:

I believe it will fixed for Uk gamers. What has happened is that they have blanketed the whole of Europe with the German law of after 11pm. They are taking the safe approach due to launch and when the consumers and the developers kick up a fuss it will be tied down to just Germany. If this continues this article is fine but for me Nintendo are just covering themselves legally. Remember we are still within the first week of launch.

Gamer83

#103

Gamer83 said:

Last thing Nintendo wants to deal with is angry parents bitching because their kid bought an M rated game. I don't completely agree with the policy but I can also understand why it's in place. Doesn't mean a kid still can't figure out a way to work around this, if they want to get the game bad enough they will, but I still can't fault Nintendo for wanting to try and make things harder for them.

edhe

#104

edhe said:

Oh, what a surprise that WhiteKnight would defend this practice. Don't you feel a little bit insulted that NOE are taking away our responsibilities to keep our kids away from unsuitable content or are you just happy to leave it all in Uncle Europe's hands?

Here's hoping they bring it to Australia - then maybe some graphs and bar charts can go up. Business!

And I'm sure Nintendo stands to make loads of money from eShop sales after this. You can almost guarantee that no publisher will bother to release a PEGI 18 game on the European eShop after this. So congratulations, Nintendo! You've successfully averted another Utoya(!)

All I can say is, it's a good job Black Ops and Mass Effect 3 aren't PEGI 18 or businesses EA & Activision would have run a mile after this.

Balaclavab

#105

Balaclavab said:

Nintendo has so many parental controls to cover all options, so there is no need to further set up a compulsory limitation for those who choose not to put them in place. Its just going too far.
If a parent didn't want their child to download or purchase an 18 rated game, I believe it is within their power to stop them, they don't need another safety net in place which also affects those above the age limit.

Sean_Aaron

#106

Sean_Aaron said:

I put this in the other thread, but two obvious questions come to mind:

1) why not use the parental controls on the eShop for viewing content as well? I have a limit against anything higher than 12a on my Wii U, which means that I wouldn't want my kid viewing 16-rated content on eShop, but there's no restriction, because apparently despite parental controls Nintendo thinks that's okay. NOT COOL.

2) There's no restriction on 16-rated content which seems pretty arbitrary to me. If I take the official line at face value I'm supposed to believe that somehow Black Ops 2 trailers and demos are okay for minors, but Assassins Creed III isn't? Excuse me?

So basically this is a lose-lose for Nintendo. They cannot tell me the ability to buy or view content related to 18-rated games is restricted "for the children" whilst undermining my parental control settings.

SORT IT NINTENDO!

@edhe: Mass Effect 3 is PEGI 18, it's just not available in the eShop for download yet, and frankly with this restriction in place I cannot see why EA would bother putting it there.

I think Nintendo's next move should be requiring all 18-rated Wii U titles sold at retail have special brown paper envelopes. Ironically I have little interest in most 18-rated games and I'm happy to see an 18 used for violence and not just sex, but this just goes beyond the pale. It feels like a lame attempt to cover up a lack of parental controls in the eShop; if so it's just pathetic. Hopefully they'll save themselves some embarrassment and sort it soon.

madgear

#107

madgear said:

@WhiteKnight different cultural environment? I live in the UK and I can tell you it's well within our culture to find this extremely annoying and inconvenient.

A lot of you seem to be defending this financially from Nintendo's point of view. They don't want to risk fines? Tell me, what will damage them more - fines or people not buying their console and games? When some of you say "it's not a big deal" realise that it is. Sure we could stay up until 11pm, despite what adult commitments we may have, to download our content and play it the next day. Another option is to get, say, a PC instead and just download what we want when we want.

That's by far the most attractive for me. People are angry at this because they're Nintendo fans and want their Nintendo console to be as good as anything else. I'm particularly annoyed with the Wii U because I have enjoyed and owned every Nintendo console since the SNES and yet Nintendo seem to have done everything possible to turn me away from this new one. So I'm disappointed as I'm unwilling to make the investment and I'm going to have to look elsewhere this new generation. It's a shame as I love Nintendo games but we all have our limits on what we're willing to put up with.

Bankai

#108

Bankai said:

@edhe I would be happy for Nintendo to leave it to the parents if the parents could be trusted to be responsible. Unfortunately they can't, and it's the unresponsible parents that are first to sue when something goes wrong. I personally don't want to see Nintendo sued, and frankly I care more about Nintendo's future than your inconvenience.

@madgear you misunderstood what I said entirely. Nintendo in Europe may have decided that they were at risk in letting the 12 year old kiddies download Zombie U because of the way the European cultures respond when a kiddie takes a cricket bat to school. Nintendo in America have obviously decided that that's not a problem for now, so they're letting it slide.

The point is that these very smart business people that run companies of hundreds of people have made a decision. And the decision they make in one part of the world may well be different to the decision a different group of executives on the other side of the world make for the same company. Either way, they have access to better data to make better decisions than you, and so I firmly believe that Nintendo of Europe has decided the risks involved in letting the kiddies download Zombie U outweigh the losses from revenue/ pissing off the third party developers making adult games, and those decisions were made from a position of knowledge.

Feel free to change the policy when you become CEO of Nintendo in Europe.

Bankai

#111

Bankai said:

@Dambuster Perhaps not. But let's say that a parent in the UK realises that little Johnny has bought this game called "Zombi U" on the eShop (credit card statement etc). And she sees him playing it. She's horrified.

She rings up Sun Newspaper to complain.

BAM! Reputational damage. The English tabloids do like to gun after Nintendo and the damage it's doing to the kiddies. Things get even worse if something bad happens (like little Johnny is messed up before playing the game, but during school sports whacks a kid over the head with a cricket bat). Nintendo ends up getting sued by the parent who couldn't be bothered being a good parent, but it's Nintendo's fault, never the parent's.

Sued + reputational damage. Double whammy.

It's a lovely thought to say "it's up to me to say what my kids can play or watch." But while you might be the perfect parent and monitor what your kids do, not everyone is like you. There are some truly horrible parents out there. Blame them for your inconveniences, because they're the ones that make trouble for companies like Nintendo when things go wrong.

edhe

#113

edhe said:

@WhiteKnight

I'm currently employed in a job where I can get home at around Midnight and on top of that, it's part time, so other days, I'm free to stay up. I'm not personally affected by it.

Yet.

But I disagree with it wholeheartedly becaue it WILL push developers away from Nintendo Europe's eShop - EA as @Sean_Aaron pointed will most certainly skip putting Mass Effect 3 onto the eShop.

Why aren't you able to acknowledge that encouraging a wide range of games to be sold on the eShop is important for Nintendo's future? Why is the most dangerous thing for Nintendo, suddenly, a gaggle of stupid parents looking for a payout?

madgear

#114

madgear said:

@WhiteKnight I didn't missunderstand your point. As I said, I live in the UK and all this will do is anger the customers. And no, they're not letting kids download Zombie U - there's security in place, this is just overkill.

And damage to reputation from the media? It has quite the opposite effect I assure you. It happened with Mortal Kombat, Doom, Manhunt, Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty etc - all that happened to them was they became some of the best selling games of their eras.

Chunky_Droid

#115

Chunky_Droid said:

@edhe: WhiteKnight hasn't said encouraging a wide range of games to be sold on the eShop ISN'T important. His entire point is Nintendo protecting themselves from parents who will complain that Call of Duty, ZombiU etc is damaging to little Jimmy's mental health.

Hell, it's those kinds of parents that inspired Matt Stone and Trey Parker to write the story to the South Park movie, and that was over ten years ago, still happens now.

@anster1983: Only idiots might buy the Sun, but its those idiots that get the biggest voice.

@madgear: Of course they are top selling games, they are big franchises guaranteed to sell. This hasn't stopped Rockstar, Midway and iD from copping hundreds of different unnecessary lawsuits over the years due to bad publicity, costing these companies millions of dollars, guilty or not.

Dambuster

#116

Dambuster said:

@whiteknight, but where do you stop with this crap ....is it ok for lovefilm or netflix not to allow you to watch 18 films before 11pm? you ISP to ban porn before bedtime? company enforced censorship is wrong!

Shock horror, I dont care if kids play mature games, because it wont affect them in a negative way, no matter how many horror stories you read in the press, most kids know that games are games. A violent game wont turn a kid violent! At worst it makes them ask questions, which is a good thing!

I did have spare money to get a Wiiu this weekend, but not now. I'll vote with my wallet.

Censorship is wrong!

Chunky_Droid

#117

Chunky_Droid said:

@Dambuster: There's plenty of evidence to the contrary, while hardly any kids are going to go out and massacre because they played CoD, stuff like this can affect their mental state.

I know my cousin let me watch a Freddy Krueger movie when I was around 8 years old and I wouldn't go to sleep for about a week, for instance. It's not the kind of stuff people need to expose kids to, it's why I stopped playing Bioshock, my son came out in the middle of the night while I was playing and saw me getting attacked by a Big Daddy, he promptly had nightmares about it. It's not cool.

Otto-Soq

#118

Otto-Soq said:

I agree with Nintendo's policy. Let children be children, and don't expose them to things that even make their parents ill. Peace! :)

Dambuster

#121

Dambuster said:

@chunky_droid nope, millions of under 18's have prob played COD, but only 2 or 3 have gone on to shoot someone because of the game.
So your son witnessed you getting hurt in game, in my household we would have had a chat about it, to see reason and make sense, video games are cartoons. If handled in a proper fashion violent and mature games make a kid much more a rounded person. Its all about being open and education.

dew12333

#123

dew12333 said:

Nintendo are just trying to enforce a law. The same law that parents don't seem to think exists judging by the number of underage players. Video games will always have this stigma attached to it about corrupting kids. Nintendo is trying to show the world that this should stop, so stop criticising them.

farfromsleep

#124

farfromsleep said:

@Chunky_Droid those games weren't always big franchises. If you do a little research into GTA, you'll find out they hired an extremely expensive high-profile publicist for the express purpose of drumming up controversy for the first GTA release, which had a hugely positive impact on sales and helped raise the series' international profile. And they're far from the only example of games stirring up controversy to boost sales.

Bankai

#125

Bankai said:

@Dambuster - you're not a psychiatrist, please don't try and act like you are an authority on child behaviour. The impact of media on a child's psyche is far more subtle than "making them go an shoot someone" and is widely debated by qualified professionals.

Also, censorship is entirely different to what is happening here. Nintendo is not telling anyone they can't download Zombie U. In fact, Nintendo is not stopping a parent from buying it for their 5 year old child if they so wish.

This is parental control, not censorship. Stop making a mountain out of a molehill.

Chunky_Droid

#126

Chunky_Droid said:

@Dambuster: And that's exactly what myself and my son did. This didn't stop him from having nightmares though. This kind of stuff is undpredictable in a child's mind, I'm doing a Bachelor of Early Childhood and Primary Education, and have just completed my sociology and psychology parts of my degree, so this kind of stuff is fresh in my mind :). I'm not a psychologist by any means but I have talked in depth with professors about this subject as it interests me greatly, and I want to be able to better educate parents about such things as a teacher.

Also, you obviously misunderstood me, as I never said CoD caused anyone to shoot anybody, I actually said it's not likely to happen, and I'm an avid campaigner and voice of reason when it comes to parents blaming video games for such things.

A game such as CoD, Bioshock or Dark Souls is no more a cartoon than Schindler's List, Nightmare on Elm St, Saving Private Ryan or Scream. To a child it's all very realistic.

@farfromsleep: I can honestly say I didn't even need to look that up about GTA to know this as I was around when it first came out and the wave of controversy swept my high school! No franchise starts off as behemoth, I'm talking about the impact on the media these kinds of games have today, and the fact that they still sell, because there's an audience. I'm not sure what your counterpoint to what I said is though?

antdickensAdmin

#128

antdickens said:

I'm all for parental controls - that's a good thing, but this time-window thing is a rather poor implementation for 2012! Doh.

younglink1990

#129

younglink1990 said:

I know if your setting extra precautions for mature content, then obviously you need a better parental control system. 11 am is soo inconvenient, and you still have to wait for it to download.

farfromsleep

#130

farfromsleep said:

@Chunky_Droid my counterpoint is that it's not just franchise momentum that keeps these games selling, controversy plays its part too, and is much more of a positive force for them than a negative one.

Games cost more to develop than ever, with devs playing it as safe and broad as they can in gameplay terms, yet last year's E3 featured some of the most violent content across the broadest range of games we've seen yet. If lawsuits and negative media profile were really such an issue, we wouldn't be seeing that. Note that some of the strongest examples were for new series that didn't have franchise support to lean on.

We hear lots of scare stories about lawsuits in the games industry, but few of them really go anywhere (feel free to provide evidence otherwise of your 'hundreds of cases'), and the major publishers have full legal departments on hand to deal with this. It's not costing them much to contest those, as they're merely utilising assets on the payroll, and any costs incurred are clearly rendered insignificant next to the money they make from selling controversial content. If they weren't, we wouldn't have so many controversial games. Publishers aren't really in the business of taking risks they don't have to.

Chunky_Droid

#131

Chunky_Droid said:

@farfromsleep: I get your point, it's an unnecessary part of making any controversial game. Of course they're going to have legal teams to battle these cases, and while I'm not going to dig through every country's court records, if there's less than hundreds of cases over the years, high or low profile, I'd be incredibly surprised. As you said yourself, there's "lots" of scare stories, and while I don't know how big you consider "lots", I'd imagine it's more than a hundred.

My point is that I wish it never had to go to this, I'm not saying it's sending these companies bankrupt, but it is wasting their time. It's up to parents to stop playing the blame game, and that's the point I'm trying to make.

Kirk

#133

Kirk said:

It's just totally stupid and it's the kind of thing I fear Nintendo might never fully address and fix satisfactorily.

farfromsleep

#134

farfromsleep said:

@Chunky_Droid yeah, that's fair enough. I'm sorry if the tone sounded a little contentious, reading it back it sounds a little snarkier than I meant it to be. It's undoubtedly a hassle for developers, but I think there must be some real net benefit for them seeing as mainstream games seem to be getting more violent when mainstream movies seem to be playing much safer.

I'd certainly agree that parents should shoulder more responsibility, and that playing the blame game doesn't really benefit anyone.

zionich

#135

zionich said:

For all my frinds in NA dont be fooled into thinking this doesnt effect us. There is a war against video games here also, and what is good for the goose is good for the gander.

SpaceApe

#136

SpaceApe said:

If they switched it to 9pm,- 3am it would not be so bad. The 11pm time is just too late for anyone to start downloading anything.

theblackdragonAdmin

#138

theblackdragon said:

For everyone saying this is a 'parental control'... it's not. it's a watershed enforced by a company that apparently does not think parents are capable of keeping their children from viewing information about or purchasing an 18+ rated game, even with their own child safety protocols in place. It's not system-enforced, it's shop enforced. The only thing it's doing is turning people away from buying digital, which I thought was the point of this generation? For people like me who prefer buying physical media, it's just making me lol, really. What a shot in the foot.

For everyone saying this is enforcement of a law... the 'law' in question doesn't exist yet, or did I misread Tom's comment about this? the 'law' is Germany only and has been in discussion since 2010 apparently. Unless there's something going on behind the scenes that we don't know, this is overkill right now.

For everyone saying that this is a perfectly reasonable move for Nintendo to make, why is it that they made it such a secret? Why is there no information whatsoever about this out there on the internet (not on their own site, not on PEGI's, nowhere — I have a triple black-belt in Google Fu and I scoured the internet the other day, I promise you) other than a forum post with confused users milling about — or there wasn't until a day or two ago when what was going on started hitting news sites? Why was no one able to figure it out by reading through their Wii manual? If it's so reasonable and/or natural a move for them to make, they should have been as up front and public as possible about it.

TrickySx4

#139

TrickySx4 said:

A friend of mine in the UK said that Germany has really stringent laws which is why the European eShop has the lockout.

Chunky_Droid

#140

Chunky_Droid said:

@farfromsleep: No problem, I encourage this kind of conversation, I guess it's what they mean by "talking point" :)

@tbd: In all honesty, I can see a possible reason why Nintendo might be doing it, law or otherwise. I do however think they could be more open about it, and even have a better implementation of what they're trying to achieve. As Sean said, it's ridiculous that his daughter can't play a 12+ game (if I remember correctly) but can view a 16+ video?

It needs to be better implemented.

While the eShop is something that parents can't control, I hope they have this system as a placeholder for parental controls for the eShop. Unfortunately there are thousands of parents out there who are ill informed by mainstream media (particularly current affairs television) and don't care what their kids play (the amount of times I see parents forking over money for the latest 15+ game for their primary school times is ridiculous).

I personally don't think Nintendo should need to implement this, but there's obviously a reason behind it.

Can Tom get an interview with James over this? ;)

Pac-Suit

#141

Pac-Suit said:

I can't blame Nintendo for this, not because I'm a "Fanboy" or it hurts
my Spleen to say something negative about Nintendo. It's because there isn't
enough evidence out there, for me to take my Wii U outside, and burn it. All
there is, is two e-mails posted on Neogaf. One saying that 18+ games are only available between 11PM - 3AM, and another proclaiming it's due to German laws.

That's not enough for me to start screaming "Nintendo" in vain, or for me to start debating German laws. All we have at the moment are these two e-mails
and a bunch of theories.

edhe

#142

edhe said:

At the end of the day though, I'm at least thankful that Nintendo aren't imposing Germany's PEGI 18 game laws on us (no blood, no persistent corpses) - but if Nintendo were to decide to butcher the games in such a way that all objectional content is sanitised, then I don't know what I'd do.

And again, I'm unhappy about these restrictions, yet I think that if they were to just increase the timeframe where you are permitted to see 18+ content, a lot of people arguing against it would be a bit happier.

Personally, as I've argued, I'd like there to be no such restrictions on my console, but I'd like to see Nintendo Europe compromise just a little.

Bliquid

#144

Bliquid said:

Easily solved.
Use Gamepad to scan people's ID Cards.
Or even better, Nintendo should buy CIA's database to see who's 18 and who's not.
Or they could stop making consoles, to avoid offending software to run on them.

But seriously, NoE, did you think this was a smart move?
Because it isn't.
There's not a Kelly Family in every house.
Not in mine, at least, so for this and other questionable choices, BB WiiU.

RaylaxStaff

#145

Raylax said:

There does unfortunately seem to be a culture around that companies are responsible for your child's parenting. Plenty of news stories around about the availability of adult products to young children (we're all very familiar with the tabloids-vs-kids-on-GTA stories). So it's just an attempt by Nintendo to counter the negative effects of those stories. My stance on it is the same as it's ever been, however:

Parents, parent your own children. Don't expect the companies to do it, you created the little brats. If you can't do that, cross your legs or visit a clinic.

brooks83

#147

brooks83 said:

Nobody is arguing that Nintendo can't do this if they choose to. Nintendo can do whatever they want. That doesn't change the fact that it's a pretty poor decision.

Bliquid

#148

Bliquid said:

@Raylax: Fact is, it seems like Nintendo did what THEY thought ppl expect from them even if nobody asked them.
Also, for every parent doing a bad job there are ten doing fine.
This is like Nintendo saying that all parents are not good enough, which is not true.
And for the record, i would never let an international business company to teach ME how to raise my kid.

Mandoble

#149

Mandoble said:

ppl expect from them only stupid decisions, and as usual Nintendo responds well to these expectations. So you can download only between 11 and 3, but then you can play the game all the day? Next is that adult games can be played also only from 11 to 3 by a software lock. But that's nintendo, I'm not surprised.

Betagam7

#150

Betagam7 said:

Another absolute joke from NoE and another reason not to buy a Wii-U.

Fail harder? It wouldn't be possible than these cretins have managed.

Zombie_Barioth

#151

Zombie_Barioth said:

The problem here is two-fold:

Like Sean already said its making the decision of what children can and can't access for the parents, by overriding and undermining their authority. By that same token even if you have all the parental controls off across the board it still locks you out child and adult alike.

If this is perfectly ok then why would NOE feel the need to hide it by pretending it doesn't exist? It can't be to hide it from the kiddies since they could just try again later. Were they hoping nobody would notice?

ToxieDogg

#152

ToxieDogg said:

Completely idiotic stance for Nintendo Europe to take. All it will do is hurt download sales and promote physical copy sales of adult rated games, which I thought was the complete opposite of what Nintendo were trying to do these days? Looks like they still don't completely understand the market they're trying so hard to tap in to.

Parasky

#153

Parasky said:

This is completely indefensible. I know N is trying to keep their family-friendly image, but this doesn't just pass the line twice, but leaves a bag full of rotten guts at the line.

Anyway, I don't mind seeing no info about 18 cert games as there are only two of them, although download-only games with that ratings would inarguably flop.

Edwrd

#155

Edwrd said:

Are there extremely sexual and perverted games on the eshop in Europe? That sounds quite fun actually, but if there are no such games, then the rule is absolutely mind boggling. If I were a game dev, I might make a borderline R rated small game for the eshop, with ultra-violence, many naked bodies and sexy suggestive elements, it'll be some sort of forbidden fruit that everyone will want a taste, it will cost at least 49.99 euro for a 2 hour experience. hmm, but then how would I hype it in America? Tsk, Nintendo needs to at least be consistent!

Sean_Aaron

#156

Sean_Aaron said:

So I decided to check it out and yes indeed after 23:00 I could view the Zombi U page - I don't think there's even any videos there, just a handful of screenshots.

Like others have said, if this is policy why not state it up front? I don't think anyone can defend not telling you what the bloody hours are. If you access the page outside the window you just get a vague statement. It's like a shop having a closed sign saying "closed during non-operating hours" and then not stating when they're actually open. What business would do something nonsensical like that??!!??

Lopezdm

#157

Lopezdm said:

The time limit wait period made me say,"whuuut?". With parent controls kids shouldn't have access to buy games and products if the parents don't want them too. Honestly it's not anyone's business if I decide to let my 4yr old daughter play Zombie U.. ( I don't but if I wanted to then that would be my right.) As for buying that shouldn't be age restricted, I have money and I want to buy things when I want to. Downloading online key points is convenience, if you point a time line on it then it takes that away.

ToxieDogg

#158

ToxieDogg said:

They have now addressed this with a message on the E-Shop...apparently they're complying with German regulations because Nintendo Europe is based in Germany. So apparently this means that every other European country has to comply with this by default. I honestly think that this is an absurd descision that's only going to damage download sales in Europe and also completely put some indie developers off making mature download only games available in Europe. And it'll likely damage the reputation of the Wii-U as a machine for 'serious' gamers too. Way to go, Nintendo. :( You're doing yourselves no favours by forcing an entire continent to have to put up with one country's draconian measures.

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