Iwata: Nintendo’s region-lock choice not out of “business ego”


Nintendo’s global president Satoru Iwata has stated that the company’s decision to region-lock their hardware was not made out of “business ego,” but purely for the “cultural acceptance and legal restrictions” needed to be taken into consideration worldwide.

Such comments were made at E3 2013, before Microsoft’s hand was forced to reverse their policies for Xbox One after Sony trounced them with their choices for PlayStation 4. It ultimately led to a fan petition for Nintendo to change their mind.

“From some people’s perspective, it might seem like a kind of restriction. However, we hope people can appreciate the fact that we’re selling our products worldwide,” Iwata explained to IGN.

“There are many different regions around the world, and each region has its own cultural acceptance and legal restrictions, as well as different age ratings. There are always things that we’re required to do in each different region, which may go counter to the idea that players around the world want the freedom to play whatever they want.”

Iwata commented that the entire industry has to “grapple with” such issues, with Nintendo having “historically” always treated their hardware like this.

He closed, “I hope that game fans can understand that the industry isn’t doing this solely out of business ego. There are some reasons behind it.”

Alex Seedhouse
After starting out with a Yellow Game Boy and a copy of Donkey Kong Land, Alex once hid in his room to play The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time one Christmas. Now he shares his thoughts on Nintendo Insider, keeping track of everything to do with Nintendo.
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