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Activision Explains The Reason Behind Region Locking


Dan Amrich, Acitivision’s community manager, has taken to Youtube to explain why he thinks region locking is acceptable. Nintendo platforms are no stranger to the practise of region locking, with both the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U unable to play games from other territories. Here’s what Amrich had to say about the controversial practise used by Nintendo and Microsoft.

“Short version: no, it’s not enforcing piracy. I don’t think you’re going to ever find any major publisher trying to encourage people to rip them off.”

“You can’t infringe on that Japanese company’s rights or that American company’s rights by releasing the game in the opposite territory if you don’t have the legal right to do it. Region locking sort of helps police who has the rights to make what money in what territory.”

“Is the content that you’re releasing in Country A acceptable in Country B? Germany is notoriously hard-nosed on things like violent content in video games.”


56 thoughts on “Activision Explains The Reason Behind Region Locking”

    1. i don’t think think he was explaining on why Nintendo is region locking if he did then he would mention Nintendo of why they’re region locking.

    2. The Wii U gamepad is actually not locked, only the system. The error is a communication one, due to different handling of streaming signals, i.e. PAL, NTSC and NTSC for Japan (there is a slight difference).

    1. If a game costs $30 in Region 1 and $50 in region 2, which Region would you buy your game from? There are added cost’s when bringing games to specific regions, they want to make sure they get the same profit margin from all regions. Simple.

      1. I’d buy from the one where a) its available and b) who’s language i understand. with many games not even released in other regions this bad excuse really does suck.

        on the other hand your reasoning sucks as well, because i can get most games with those cheap prices from russia, which is same region code as europe afaik and also released in english. also i can get any game cheaper from the UK (obviously english) then from any other european country, again with the same region lock. and both those examples include shipping. so now, the price definitly is not the reason for region locking.

        its like he said: they are cutting us out because they don’t want us to import games from japan that haven’t been released here and probably won’t ever be. they just don’t want our money. idiots… not that i would, because i don’t understand japanese anyway, but some might…

        but i think even worse than region locking is the thing pokemon does where games of different languages are not compatible for direct trade/combat. at least it was like that with diamond/pearl – is it still like that in B/W and B/W2 ? i was so pissed when i imported one edition from UK and took the other one (german) from a nearby retail store, just to find out i couldn’t trade between them.. in a game that is all about trading/fighting your friends, thats a real bullshit move…

  1. pff please. is an import sale not a sale? i would have bought excitebots and a shitload of people i know would have too. same with captain rainbow. would these not have been sales?

  2. ““Is the content that you’re releasing in Country A acceptable in Country B? Germany is notoriously hard-nosed on things like violent content in video games.””

    only germany isn’t a region, europe is, which makes this whole argument pretty pathetic i think

      1. EXACTLY, but NOT due region locking, just through different retail versions. but nobody stops the german guys from importing the game for example from austria, where its german as well, but not cut at all. of from the UK, if they prefer it in english.

        Which is the proof that region locking has NOTHING to do with german laws.

  3. Thats exactly the reason why.
    In the end, region lock and piracy wouldnt be a problem if companies actually brought their games to every region. Xenoblade took 2 years to get to the West. By that time, mos people just pirated it.

    1. i always wonder… do you guys all speak japanese, or how is it that you understand imported or pirated japanese games..?

      1. Finally! I say that all the time!
        Everyones always like “oh why cant i import Japanese games?”
        Because hardly anyone speaks the fucking language -.-

  4. I explained this to everyone a while ago , and I just used logic to explain , I didn’t know for sure but just think about it.

    If say Aliens colonial Marines launches for Wiiu in america and is £10 cheaper than it is in UK and launches a month earlier then loads of europeans would order that American copy , and then the stores in Europe won’t make the money that they need to make in order for Nintendo to continue sustainable sales in that Region.

    All it is , is to balance the sales FAIRLY in each region. Does it suck for us ? Yes ! Is it healthy and safer for Nintendo ? Yes.

    1. Technically, its not cheaper.
      It appears cheaper, but in the end, us paying £40-50 for games is normal. Thats just the price they cost in our economy.

      1. I know , and you get blasted with Shipping anyway. I used to import a lot of Japanese and American games in the gamecube days when those regions seemed to get everything 2-3 months before Europe.

        But these days it’s about even between EU and American and EU even gets a load of shit first sometimes.

    2. the thing is.. why do they release US and European version games at different times anyway? THAT is the real issue here.

  5. Don’t make inferior, stripped down versions of awseome games and try to sell it to me.
    And you can make it available digitally JAPAN! Tatsunoko vs Capcom, Earthbound, I’m lookin’ at yoooouuuuuu!

  6. And activision ! Where the fuck ids our revoloution map pack ? fucking slackers. I’m sick of that fucking Boat level now……

    1. I wouldn’t be so quick to blame Activision. Nintendo is probably the reason DLC takes a long time to be released, not because of the WiiU being a new platform but because Nintendo is old fashioned and stuck in thier ways. They are anal about these things. A simple patch is analyzed for weeks before they release it.

    1. Ooo, thats cool.

      I stay firm on my idea, Retro have 2 games in the works, Metroid/Star Fox, and a new IP, or just Metroid and Star Fox

      1. That actually sounds like a good idea. But according to rumors the second game they’re working on (if they’re working on a second game in the first place) is Donkey Kong for the 3DS.

          1. You and me both. But to be fair Sakamoto is the bad guy, not Team Ninja. They only did the graphics and gameplay, he did the story.

            1. I didnt like the graphics or gameplay. It didnt feel like a Metroid game, even Ridley looked stupid, and the level design was poor, “ooh, forest, lava and ice, original -.-”

              And the fact you never acquired an item, one of the main points of Metroid game was something you didnt even do…

      1. Sony is leaking money for many reasons and i don’t think that is one of them. Importing games is still a minority , but, the majority will still buy and sustain each country’s branch while the minority can import freely for lesser known game or big games that never got a release. I honestly don’t see any issue with removing region-locking from games and other forms of media entertainment. Another thing, most importers will buy the same game twice if the game does make it to their region. They won’t lose money.

  7. Fuck off activision. Some of the best games are Japan only. And thanks to no region lock on my ps3 and vita I can play them.

    *gundam fanboy*

  8. That explains alot. But that still won’t stop me from importing Project Versus J, one of Shonen Jump’s biggest anniversary projects, on my PS3.

  9. Wow, what a silly reason that’s nothing but for more greed and non-sense censorship.

    I think this isn’t fair because there are some games in japan that are japan only or has different content.

  10. There’s no reason why to have region lock. People will continue to hack these consoles in order to get what they paid for. If developers can’t understand that then their consoles deserve to be pride open, removing all of the crap that prevents people from playing games from other regions.

  11. Well as everybody mentioned a game which is not available in region A but available in region B is not a steal for region A, since the game will never hit region A. I do believe people want to have the choice to buy the game or not. If it means to buy an imported game, why not. i think it fair for this people to hack their system (at their own risk of course) if it means the can’t play a game their brought in another region (which would be most of the time more expensive than if it was release in that region).

    Now where it becomes an issue is when a game is release in both regions at the different time (between 1 – 3 months) and unmodified (exclude the translation). I think everybody would agree in that kind of case scenario, it a tough choice for the company and solution need to be taken… well region lock for you….

    Personally I am against region lock and I find it stupid. If it was not for buy imported game. Games like final fantasy, Mario RPG, Chrono cross, xenogear, final fantasy tactics, ogre battle. The remark of those game would never be as successful,

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  14. Region locking has a long history. Originally, it was because European, Japanese and American televisions worked differently and the cartridges needed to be modified for those TVs. DVDs would copy the region locking idea, but had more commercial concerns like the one’s were familiar with such as making appropriate versions of a product for each region. Removing region locking simplifies distribution and anyone can run any version of any given product. However, enforcing it controls how a product is released and forces consumers to buy from local sources or at least within their specified region.

  15. It’s also a sneaky, greedy way for Nintendo to make even MORE money, because of people wanting to buy a different region console just to play the different region games.

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