ZombiU screenshot
ZombiU screenshot

European Wii U owners accessing the Wii U eShop will only be able to view and purchase 18+ rated content between the hours of 11pm and 3am, Nintendo has confirmed to Eurogamer.

This means full titles such as ZombiU and Assassin's Creed 3 can only be purchased during this four-hour window.

Nintendo says the restrictions stem from German regulations applicable because Nintendo of Europe is based there.

"At Nintendo we always aim to provide a safe gaming experience for fans of all ages and ensure that we comply with applicable legal age restriction requirements across Europe," explained a Nintendo spokesperson.

"Legal age restriction requirements vary across a number of European countries. Since Nintendo of Europe is based in Germany, Nintendo eShop is complying with German youth protection regulation which therefore applies to all our European markets. Under German law, content rated 18+ must be made available only at night."

Source: Eurogamer

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rbevanx's Avatar

rbevanx@ Endless

I couldn't agree more TU.
Posted 11:22 on 11 December 2012
DancingRhino's Avatar

DancingRhino@ MJTH

But given Nintendo's history of being heavy-handed with other age-sensitive things, such as friends codes and it's disdain for online, it's not too far fetched to imagine them agreeing to this without much thought.
Posted 22:19 on 10 December 2012
Endless's Avatar

Endless@ MJTH

That's a fair assumption. But knowing what I know about the web, there are ways round it: For example the purchase processing servers being located elsewhere. Perhaps they made a decision that the cost of setting up that kind of infrastructure at this early stage outweighed the inconvenience caused to consumers? They'll surely have to do it at some point though? But I know one thing for sure: They could certainly do without more bad press.
Posted 22:06 on 10 December 2012
MJTH's Avatar

MJTH@ Endless

I wouldn't say this is Nintendo just thinking they know best, with this blanket restriction. It's mainly because their main European headquarters is located in Germany and their server farm is there as well. So therefore they have to obey the laws of the country. That's the reason why it's only effecting Nintendo of Europe and not Nintendo as a whole. That's why other European branches of different companies, don't have the same restriction. The other companies and branches are following the laws of the country their sever farms are located in. EA origins Europe follows the same restrictions apparently, but surprisingly a lot of EA games are only 16+ rated, and EA origins is currently not that big of a service yet, so no one noticed....
Posted 21:42 on 10 December 2012
Endless's Avatar

Endless@ CheekyLee

What about adults that go to bed before 11? When do they buy their games? It's horse*****, sledge-hammer solution for simpletons.

The biggest problem I have with this kind of business decision is that it's yet another company that a) Has decided it knows best in some shape or formor b) Thinks allowing weak-minded people to absolve their own responsibilities by creating the illusion that if they never have to make a choice, they can never be held accountable is acceptable. I am against both in every form.

Educate people so that they are fully aware what their choices entail, what the consequences of their actions are and back them up with as much power as they are allowed. No excuses. No exceptions.

The terms and conditions of today are bull*****, no one reads them and even if you do they are full of so much jargon that the average consumer has no idea what is being said anyway. 10-20 bullet-pointed statements: What you can and cant do. Black and white. Concise, unavoidable, no excuses. That's what we need. The laws that govern these terms are just as much to blame by allowing loop holes in wording to override common sense.

We send our kids to school to learn, compulsory to a certain age. Yet the idea of forcing adults to be educated after 16 seems to be such a ridiculous idea these days.
Posted 21:12 on 10 December 2012
CheekyLee's Avatar


Well, I support the theory, but am aghast at it in practice. It is an over-reaction on Nintendo's part to a problem that has several other ways around it, and an even bigger over-reaction on the part of the entire internet who seem to have taken this as some kind of personal affront.

Yes, I said I support the theory. I don't really see why so many are so upset about restrictions being placed on buying 18-rated products. It wasn't that long ago that you were being kicked out of pubs at 11pm, and Sky TV requires, yes REQUIRES, you to enter a PIN if you wish to watch even a 15-rated movie before 8pm. I don't know too many people who have threatened to cancel their Sky subscriptions because of it, and considering I worked there for over a year I am pretty sure I would have been aware if it was any kind of an issue. The simple facts are that laws for individual countries can and do affect globally available products.

Nintendo should have just insisted that parental controls be set up with HUGE UNAVOIDABLE DISCLAIMERS all over the process, and then when Mr. Tagespost wrote in furious that his "Kind war in der Lage, einen Mord-Simulator kaufen", they would just be able to direct him to "Die Sachen, die wir gesagt, du sollst zum ersten Mal las, Sir". Or even just blocking all 18+ content in Germany, until that country sees sense and joins the rest of the world in this century. And if this really is the only way they see around it, then at least extend the window to something that will just shut the whiners up. (Although I sometimes feel that if Nintendo gave away free money with every game they made that the internet would still moan about it not being enough money.)
Posted 16:11 on 10 December 2012
MJTH's Avatar

MJTH@ Endless

That's the most convoluted part of it all, the advertising for all the 18+ rated games are still there at all times. There is no change in the store front design or the ads. You can still click on the links and search/ find 18 rated games easily on the storefront. Even on the miiverse and home/ start up screen the bubbles for 18+ rated games are still there and still link you to the games eshop page. The only difference is that you're just simply not allowed to purchase an 18 rated game until this time period.....
Posted 15:13 on 10 December 2012
Wido's Avatar

Wido@ Ghost5

Noticed that too. A load of bullox! ;)
Posted 14:59 on 10 December 2012
Clockpunk's Avatar


This is not a viable strategy that third party publishers will be a fan of in the least - here's hoping it doesn't stop ports because of the overly strict regulation.

No surprises that Nintendo didn't reveal this aspect of their marketplace before launch...
Posted 14:57 on 10 December 2012
Ghost5's Avatar


Even the friends list shows ??? when friends are playing 18+ Games...
Posted 14:51 on 10 December 2012
Endless's Avatar


Question is: Does this mean that 18+ games will never be advertised except for during these hours?
Posted 14:47 on 10 December 2012

pblive@ MJTH

Between a rock and a knockwurst, surely?
Posted 14:34 on 10 December 2012
Wido's Avatar


I'm pretty sure this is why parental controls was set up in the first place?
Posted 14:12 on 10 December 2012
Woffls's Avatar


Uhh, do kids in Germany wake up at 3am, then? Thanks for nothing, Germany... except that sandwich I just had from Bakehaus.
Posted 14:10 on 10 December 2012
MJTH's Avatar

MJTH@ DancingRhino

The problem is that Nintendo Europe has it's HQ in Germany. They can't exactly ignore the country laws (however strict they may be), whilst still having their main office there. And they can't just pack up and leave on a dime, in the short term anyway.

Nintendo are kind of trapped between a rock and a hard place on this one.
Posted 13:56 on 10 December 2012

Game Stats

Release Date: 30/11/2012
Developer: Ubisoft Montpellier
Publisher: Ubisoft
Genre: Survival Horror
No. Players: 1-4
Rating: PEGI 18+
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