It's common for eShop gamers in different territories to have differing game line-ups to choose from, with some titles taking a while to make their way around different regions. There are multiple factors such as localisation with languages, and the fact that Nintendo of Europe and Nintendo of America operate some approval steps independently of each other. Beyond that, though, developers and publishers have the headache of age ratings; we've tackled this topic in detail in the past.
Europe has its own PEGI system - with Germany being separate with USK - while North America uses ESRB ratings, with Australia being different again. While the ESRB process is free and quick for download games it can be different with other organisations, and when you consider costs in some territories it can lead developers to skip entire regions if they're unsure of making a return on their costs. This is particularly true in Europe and Australia, with the North American eShop stores having a larger catalogue of download games available.
That should change for the better in future, though; as previously reported the International Age Rating Coalition is coming to the eShop, with the German USK board confirming that during the summer. The idea is simple - it's a simple and quick way to obtain ratings for all territories mentioned above for free. The video below neatly sums in up.
Already available on Google Play and the Firefox Marketplace, its arrival on the eShop seems to be around the corner. Renegade Kid's Jools Watsham has told us that when looking into obtaining ratings for Dementium Remastered he was advised by his source that the IARC system is coming "very soon"; it was suggested that he hold fire and rate the game for Europe through the new system. That leads to an optimistic assumption that it's a matter of weeks, not months for this to kick in.
It's worth recognising that this could be a hugely important development for small Indie developers, reducing some cost and time constraints in bringing their games to more markets. Hopefully more download titles will arrive across all territories once this rating system goes live.