Nintendo: Wii U’s Weird European Store Restrictions Due To German Law

Nintendo: Wii U’s Weird European Store Restrictions Due To German Law
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Last week, it was revealed that European Wii U owners can only purchase 18+ rated games from the Wii U eShop during certain hours of the night. It seemed like a curious decision by Nintendo of Europe.

As it turns out, the policy exists in order to comply with German law, which requires that any content rated 18+ (the European equivalent to America’s “M” rating) be sold at night.

Nintendo has confirmed this in a statement sent to Eurogamer. From that statement:

“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.

“Therefore the accessibility of 18+ content in Nintendo eShop is limited to [USK: 22:00 UTC until 4:00 UTC] [PEGI: 23:00 UTC until 3:00 UTC].

So, there you have it. If you gotta blame someone, blame the Germans! The jerks. With their lovely countryside, genial people and amazing beer.

Nintendo confirms German law to blame for Europe-wide Wii U eShop 18+ content restrictions [Eurogamer]


  • Yeah – except as a number of people have pointed out, German law is not EU law, so they are basically saying that they are too lazy or incompetent to distinguish between countries in Europe.

    • Also, apparently German youth protection doesn’t automatically even apply to videogames, hence Nintendo’s competitors not having the same restrictions.

      • That’s completely irrelevant to my point. Those countries agreed to share the currency, they did not agree to share this law.

    • and as you clearly failed to read, Nintendo of Europe is based in Germany. Therefore they have to comply with German law.

      Just because the competition chose to flirt with potential lawsuits and fines, doesn’t mean Nintendo has to do the same. They chose to follow the spirit of the law instead of the letter of the law. Even though I personally disagree with the law, I think Nintendo did the right thing.

      • I read they were based in Germany. However the service can be IP adjusted, in the same way Valve sells toned down versions of Left 4 Dead 2 in Australia. Hence the BS.

        I’m not arguing they shouldn’t follow the law in Germany. However, German law is not EU law.

  • does anyone know if that purchase stuff at certain hours of the night is in a Australia or not, I’m looking into purchasing a wii u but if that’s the crap i have to deal with i9 wont bother

  • According to PEGI is not formally recognised in Germany. Germany has its own system – USK . If a game is not classified under USK then it is automatically assumed to be at the highest age rating possible – and this is regardless of the existence of a PEGI rating. So I find it odd that PEGI rated games have the time restrictions as Germany only cares about and uses the USK system.

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