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Why you can't download ZombiU before 11pm

Nintendo explains the reason

Nintendo has explained why you can't download 18-rated games such as ZombiU from the Wii U eShop before 11pm.

In Europe, you can only download 18-rated games between 11pm and 3am. The reason for this? Because Nintendo Europe is based in Germany and therefore has to abide by German law which doesn't allow for 18-rated content to be made available during the day.

"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," a spokesperson told CVG.

"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."

ZombiU is now available (well it isn't if you're reading this before 11pm, but you know what we mean) for £54.99 from the Wii U eShop.

Comments

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  1. NintendoForLife Monday 10th Dec 2012 at 14:01

    Can changing the Wii U clock bypass this restriction?

  2. Slinkington Monday 10th Dec 2012 at 14:29

    "German law which only allows for 18-rated content to be made available during the day."

    I think you mean during the night.

    I think a lot of people are overeating to this as it's not that inconvenient. HOWEVER. It's still a pretty stupid law. It will be irritating for certain people. We could argue that, why in England must we live by this German law..? They should take other countries laws into account, not just force theirs upon the other countries that are receiving this service, too.

  3. Yirba Monday 10th Dec 2012 at 14:31

    I can understand why this may be in place for Germany, but I don't see why it has to affect other countries. We don't have such a law here in the UK. If it's because Nintendo of Europe cannot sell the games during this time period, how about making sales go through Nintendo UK or other Nintendo of Europe subsidiaries?

  4. Slinkington Monday 10th Dec 2012 at 14:32

    Can changing the Wii U clock bypass this restriction?

    No, as the service is apparently provided from Germany. This means they control it from their end.

  5. NintendoForLife Monday 10th Dec 2012 at 14:34

    This affects Nintendo TV as well.

  6. santaglause Monday 10th Dec 2012 at 14:42

    it's a freaking joke i'm 30

  7. MummifiedCoconut Monday 10th Dec 2012 at 14:45

    I call BS, the law is only applicable for TV broadcasting. Parental protections/pins for adult rated content should be enough. All Nintendo is doing is being lazy by using a server block and playing it too safe (Guess they are scared in case little Adolf gets a hold of Zombie U and the Daily Heil screams "think of the children,why won't anyone think of the children") thus making life a pain for everyone else in Europe. :roll:

  8. Yirba Monday 10th Dec 2012 at 14:49

    I really hope Nintendo change this at some stage. Otherwise, it's just another reason not to get a Wii U. At this point, I'm extremely unconvinced about getting one, which is a shame, since this is the first Nintendo system I'm unwilling to buy.

  9. triforceguy1 Monday 10th Dec 2012 at 15:01

    I call BS, the law is only applicable for TV broadcasting. Parental protections/pins for adult rated content should be enough. All Nintendo is doing is being lazy by using a server block and playing it too safe (Guess they are scared in case little Adolf gets a hold of Zombie U and the Daily Heil screams "think of the children,why won't anyone think of the children") thus making life a pain for everyone else in Europe. :roll:

    How insensitive and rude.
    And that may be for the UK, but it's different for Germany, in fact, some would say it is very strict in Germany

    Also, I don't think there are Nintendo subsidiaries for every country in Europe, so there's just Nintendo of Europe, not Nintendo of UK, or Nintendo of Italty, just NoE. Though it makes me wonder, why is it we can download 18+ games on 3DS and Wii but not WiiU?

    But if you desperately want to buy a 18+ game, 11pm ain't that late, or just buy it from a shop

  10. MummifiedCoconut Monday 10th Dec 2012 at 15:09

    I call BS, the law is only applicable for TV broadcasting. Parental protections/pins for adult rated content should be enough. All Nintendo is doing is being lazy by using a server block and playing it too safe (Guess they are scared in case little Adolf gets a hold of Zombie U and the Daily Heil screams "think of the children,why won't anyone think of the children") thus making life a pain for everyone else in Europe. :roll:

    How insensitive and rude.
    And that may be for the UK, but it's different for Germany, in fact, some would say it is very strict in Germany

    Also, I don't think there are Nintendo subsidiaries for every country in Europe, so there's just Nintendo of Europe, not Nintendo of UK, or Nintendo of Italty, just NoE. Though it makes me wonder, why is it we can download 18+ games on 3DS and Wii but not WiiU?

    But if you desperately want to buy a 18+ game, 11pm ain't that late, or just buy it from a shop

    The law in Germany is only for TV broadcasting. Nintendo are applying a law made for TV onto their online services. Hence why they only need to do parental controls/pins for them to be okay. Honestly if it was applicable to downloads I'm pretty sure Sony and Microsoft would have had their butts sued off by now by the German authorities. And it's the same for the 3DS. It's just Nintendo being over sensitive and not willing to fork out extra costs.

  11. Dark nemisis Monday 10th Dec 2012 at 15:23

    So how do people buy 18 rated games in Germany? Are there specialist stores only open after 11pm? I not going to mention how stupid a law this is but why must we (in the UK) abide by it? It's only a server, it isn't legally accountable. No German police have jurisdiction in UK anyway. It's not breaking any law anywhere, never mind diplomatic immunity... ok perhaps a little exterme but you get my point. This is simply laziness, I haven't even got a WiiU yet and it's p**sing me off. Just how far is this going to go? no DLC until after 11pm? no update!?

    as much as I love NoE (most of the time) for doing a good job this is the weirdest rule I have seen yet. It's so stupid (ok maybe I have slipped it in). I hope this is just a starting up flaw that will be corrected.

  12. fasttony2006 Monday 10th Dec 2012 at 15:35

    This is a crazy law,i have being a nintendo gamer for 20years and never heard anything like this before,i also have ps3 and xbox 360 so when i go on their stores i can buy any game at any time off day,why do nintendo have parental controls or even ask you your date of birth in your nintendo network registration when u will have sait download 2 games at 11pm at night.im from ireland not only are germans controlling our government but now our gaming laws,its crazy it realy is,on a side note i own zombu u physical copy and i love it,but this german law sounds like they can telk nintendo what to put out and what time too.nintendo of america have no problems yet when u read reports about this on other sites,lets just say other fanboys from xbox and sony are laughing at nintendo gamers by this stupid law.sorry for any of my grammer im speed typing on phone lol

  13. Yirba Monday 10th Dec 2012 at 15:37

    Also, I don't think there are Nintendo subsidiaries for every country in Europe, so there's just Nintendo of Europe, not Nintendo of UK, or Nintendo of Italty, just NoE.


    Nintendo do have an office in Portsmouth. They don't necessarily have to have a subsidiary in every country. They only need to have one in a country where the law does not apply and it should be fine.

    But if you desperately want to buy a 18+ game, 11pm ain't that late, or just buy it from a shop


    Okay, so what if I want to buy a game but it's already 3 am? I have to wait a whole day to play it! Unless I want to take a trip to the shops, which might be a real hassle. In today's world, people want to be able to access material where they want, when they want. Forcing people to wait until 11 pm, or having to go to a shop defeats the whole purpose.

    Still, why am I complaining? It's not as if there are any games available for Wii U that I'm interested in anyway. I suppose I just feel sad that a system that had so much potential is now crippled by these issues.

  14. 25BBB Monday 10th Dec 2012 at 15:45

    Don't see why that means we have to have the same restriction here though.. Ah well, it's really overpriced on the eShop anyway. :P

  15. Oxo64 Monday 10th Dec 2012 at 16:10

    Absurd.

  16. nintendo rules Monday 10th Dec 2012 at 16:20

    when i click on you should be able to put your dob in to see if you are 18 they do it on nintendo video

  17. Pyron12 Monday 10th Dec 2012 at 16:22

    I call BS, the law is only applicable for TV broadcasting. Parental protections/pins for adult rated content should be enough. All Nintendo is doing is being lazy by using a server block and playing it too safe (Guess they are scared in case little Adolf gets a hold of Zombie U and the Daily Heil screams "think of the children,why won't anyone think of the children") thus making life a pain for everyone else in Europe. :roll:

    How insensitive and rude.
    And that may be for the UK, but it's different for Germany, in fact, some would say it is very strict in Germany

    Also, I don't think there are Nintendo subsidiaries for every country in Europe, so there's just Nintendo of Europe, not Nintendo of UK, or Nintendo of Italty, just NoE. Though it makes me wonder, why is it we can download 18+ games on 3DS and Wii but not WiiU?

    But if you desperately want to buy a 18+ game, 11pm ain't that late, or just buy it from a shop


    You're the one being rude triforceguy because he has a good point. Why do we have to follow their laws? On TV if you have Sky (I don't know what it's like for other providers) you have a PIN for rated 12 films and upwards. Why can't we just do that for downloadable games (and Nintendo TV) that are rated 16 or 18? Much simpler system. As for the final question it's already been explained just read the article.

  18. CraigEmberson Monday 10th Dec 2012 at 16:29

    Which proves we need to be out of Europe once and for all - Germany dictates everything, as they've always wanted. This is ridiculous, people go to bed and sleep before or at that time. 4 hours is nothing... It's shameful.

  19. CraigEmberson Monday 10th Dec 2012 at 16:30

    when i click on you should be able to put your dob in to see if you are 18 they do it on nintendo video


    It should link up to your Club Nintendo account and/or the DOB you've registered with your Nintendo Network ID.

  20. GloverMist Monday 10th Dec 2012 at 16:47

    Look guys, really. I'm not saying I completely agree with this law, but let's be honest here. If you really wanted ZombiU that badly, you could just buy it in the shops. Problem solved. :)

  21. lminett Monday 10th Dec 2012 at 16:58

    At the moment this isn't that bad but, when more 18 rated games come out, its a bit silly, we don't all live in germany, so they need to sort that out.

  22. ThePokekid78 Monday 10th Dec 2012 at 17:10

    Makes sense to me...

  23. dap005 Monday 10th Dec 2012 at 17:19

    Apparently it's not just the German law but the issue with PEGI rules as well (hence why win 8 had issues with 18 plus content). More details are in this blog post: http://kamiongames.com/2012/12/10/nintendo-pegi-restricted-downloads/
    It's very well researched and insightful.

  24. Donkey Kong Jr. Monday 10th Dec 2012 at 17:42

    like i said before, nintendo don't have a clue

  25. danbish Monday 10th Dec 2012 at 17:48

    Nintendo Europe is based in Germany and therefore has to abide by German law which doesn't allow for 18-rated content to be made available during the day.


    And yes, that's right - for Germany. We're not German, we're English and our law doesn't have that restriction so we shouldn't have to suffer by it. Microsoft's European headquarters are in Germany too and they don't restrict 18 rated content on Xbox Live until after a certain time, they vary it region by region according to local laws - in their case Microsoft UK doesn't have to abide by this. The same rules will apply to us, we're in the UK so we and Nintendo UK follow UK law.

    Frankly, I think that's a rubbish excuse.

  26. NOM is NOM Monday 10th Dec 2012 at 18:13

    This applies to ZombiU and Assassins Creed III, personally it doesn't affect me as I'll buy retail. But it will surely put off 3rd Party's from putting DLC on the eShop if it will only be available for 5 hours a day when people are asleep.

  27. thenintendoer Monday 10th Dec 2012 at 18:43

    and they think this is whats going to bring the hardcore back?

  28. Guybrush20X6 Monday 10th Dec 2012 at 18:45

    This is ridiculous. Nintendo spends so much effort trying to shake off the kiddy image only to cowtou to some ridiculous law.

    The problem is it's not going to change until the publishers start saying "we're not publishing unless this gets sorted out".

    Then again NOE has always been the worst division of Ninty for PR. Remember that Geeks and Otakus are the only ones who want extra space gaff?

  29. jaco_p Monday 10th Dec 2012 at 18:49

    In the end, this is all academic, why would want to download a game when you could get the physical copy at a reduced price? If they offered the game at 45 to d/l then this might be more of an issue

  30. Argenthor Monday 10th Dec 2012 at 18:50

    One thing. Parental controls. Nintendo is famous for them and the Wii U has them. Your Nintendo Network account knows your age as well, so (at least in the future) they should rely on this rather than times - under 18s could still be up then!

  31. Riverlution Monday 10th Dec 2012 at 19:11

    Well, thats a silly law, if you have to leave the house at 11PM at night to go and buy 18 rated content. I'm all for hiding it away from minors in a back room in a shop, or in this case, behind a check to see how old you are. But why should I have to wait til the hours that I'm usually asleep by to purchase my content?! Its absurd.

    And you know the really ironic thing? Even if I was to download it at 11PM, I would still only play it during the hours I'm awake, which generally are after 8AM and before 10PM.

    So that was pretty pointless, right? All this does is annoy people.

  32. triforceguy1 Monday 10th Dec 2012 at 21:27


    You're the one being rude triforceguy because he has a good point.

    I was talking about his reference to Adolf Hitler in it not his opinion

  33. Smouvy Monday 10th Dec 2012 at 22:27

    Which proves we need to be out of Europe once and for all - Germany dictates everything, as they've always wanted. This is ridiculous, people go to bed and sleep before or at that time. 4 hours is nothing... It's shameful.


    Don't think that the UK is alone in this stance. All of Europe finds this ridiculous. Germany has always been uptight about violence and video games, but considering the huge amount of stuff Nintendo already does depending on the country you live in (translations, different content for the eShop, etc.), why would this be any different?

  34. Tailsdreggman Monday 10th Dec 2012 at 22:33

    If you're going to wade into a crapstorm, guys, at least bring an umbrella...
    How many of you have watched an 16 or 18+ video on Youtube? (I'm talking, like, stand-up comedy, get your head out of the gutter) Most of you. How many of you, at that point, were less than the required age? Many of you, I'm sure. I sure was. That's because computers cannot comprehend this devious little trick humans have developed called 'lying.' This time-regulated download is a more effective manner in which to enforce what is essentially law. So maybe it isn't REQUIRED to enforce such a regulation over here. Did you consider that maybe Nintendo thought it was a good idea?

    Let's not blame the Germans, anyway. Especially not in a horribly bigoted manner as I see one particular member resorting to... Haul out a bad memory for them, and, as a History student, I'll start hauling out ours...

    Just by-the-by, NO publisher in their sane mind is going to pull out over this. It's just... not debatable. It's bad market sense.

  35. Jarmez Monday 10th Dec 2012 at 22:36

    And yes, that's right - for Germany. We're not German, we're English and our law doesn't have that restriction so we shouldn't have to suffer by it. Microsoft's European headquarters are in Germany too and they don't restrict 18 rated content on Xbox Live until after a certain time, they vary it region by region according to local laws - in their case Microsoft UK doesn't have to abide by this. The same rules will apply to us, we're in the UK so we and Nintendo UK follow UK law.

    Frankly, I think that's a rubbish excuse.


    We're not all English you know (I'm not English for starters) XD. Though I do agree with what you're saying. As I said in the thread titled "Nintendo block 18+ content on e-shop at certain times", I think a password/code would've been better, rather than blocking access throughout the day until the specific hours. It seems like a step backwards to be honest, but Nintendo aren't fully to blame for this to be fair.

  36. Nintendo Man Monday 10th Dec 2012 at 22:40

    Stupidest thing I have ever <deleted> read on this website.

  37. triforceguy1 Monday 10th Dec 2012 at 23:15

    If you're going to wade into a crapstorm, guys, at least bring an umbrella...
    How many of you have watched an 16 or 18+ video on Youtube? (I'm talking, like, stand-up comedy, get your head out of the gutter) Most of you. How many of you, at that point, were less than the required age? Many of you, I'm sure. I sure was. That's because computers cannot comprehend this devious little trick humans have developed called 'lying.' This time-regulated download is a more effective manner in which to enforce what is essentially law. So maybe it isn't REQUIRED to enforce such a regulation over here. Did you consider that maybe Nintendo thought it was a good idea?

    Let's not blame the Germans, anyway. Especially not in a horribly bigoted manner as I see one particular member resorting to... Haul out a bad memory for them, and, as a History student, I'll start hauling out ours...

    Just by-the-by, NO publisher in their sane mind is going to pull out over this. It's just... not debatable. It's bad market sense.

    Thank you good sir :)
    To be honest, it's might be more of a convenience like this, because you can go buy an 18+ game before you go to bed, and it should be ready and downloaded for you by the time you wake up, try to look at the silver linings.
    Oh, and I bet one of the reasons you get a lot of foul mouthed 9 year olds playing CoD on XBOX Live is because Microsoft don't put these sort of things in place... and that they probably aren't fond of Nintendo either... or they just get their parents to buy it for them. (sorry for the stereotype)

  38. Darkblizz Monday 10th Dec 2012 at 23:17

    It was also laws and censorship in Germany that meant The House of the Dead was constantly referred to as Curien Mansion in Sega Superstars Tennis and Sonic and Sega All Stars Racing.

  39. gabrieljrc1 Tuesday 11th Dec 2012 at 10:50

    Also what is the schedule for 18+ rated videos on 3DS? Assuming same as download content on WII U? :evil: :evil:

  40. SilentDark Tuesday 11th Dec 2012 at 13:22

    Guess I won't be getting a Wii U then. I don't like being told when I can or cannot watch trailers or download games. I am an adult and no children would have access to the console if I did buy it, so why exactly am I being penalised because apparently German parenting is awful?

    Suprised the right-wing press hasn't jumped all over this yet. This is bound to stoke the anti-European fires here in blighty.

  41. Dan-the-Wii-man Tuesday 11th Dec 2012 at 21:52

    Its fine no-ones gonna buy it from the eshop at 55 anyway

  42. liveswired Tuesday 11th Dec 2012 at 23:27

    Nintendo obviously don't realise Germany lost World War 2. :oops:

  43. liveswired Tuesday 11th Dec 2012 at 23:34

    and they think this is whats going to bring the hardcore back?


    Well I guess most of us 'hardcore' watch our blue movies between these times.................lol

    But yeah, someone mentioned it costs 55..........lol............don't think I'll be leaving Left for Dead on Steam anytime soon.

  44. Elliot117 Wednesday 12th Dec 2012 at 10:00

    Wow. This is hilarious. I'm so glad I bought my xbox years ago and ditched nintendo. At least microsoft don't try and treat me like a child. They just charge me for using online... hmm... but It's nice to see nintendo is finally bringing out a more adult selection of games just a shame they still lock them up tight. It's a stupid law, if someone underage wants it, They can stay up beyond 11pm it's not hard. (if you ask why I'm here if I ditched nintendo, I mean ditched them as a main console, I still have a 3ds and wii but I rarely play them and come on here now and again to find about 3ds games that my 3ds yearns for. It's hungry and it's hunger hasn't been satisfied in a while, it gets angry when it's hungry and beats me sometimes.)

  45. fluggy2003 Wednesday 12th Dec 2012 at 14:14

    Ah Ninty, you give with one hand and take away with the other. Another baffling decision. What is it with their products that they can't get right. Motion controls that needed an add on to work properly, a handheld u needed to buy a control pad for, a pro controller that doesn't support a headset, a Wii mini console with no SD slot, no gcube ports and no Ethernet or Wifi (in 2013 this is unacceptable. Please start considering what customers require. These oversights are getting too frequent to keep ignoring. The R&D department should be sacked. I love u Nintendo but its time for a change. Its not hard to get it right.

  46. K-tet Wednesday 12th Dec 2012 at 14:19

    As people have mentioned and have eluded to, it's a strict German law, and as we know, Nintendo of Europe GmbH is registered in Germany, and therefore has to abide by German laws.

    This is where it all falls apart however. German laws do not apply to other European states. They apply only to Germany. The issue is because Nintendo's servers are all based in Germany, they have to legally abide by the strict laws imposed by Germany. Unfortunately because these laws are vague in terms of digital content and broadcasting, there is no loophole for Nintendo to exploit without moving their entire operations across to another country, nor are there any exacting EU laws in place that dispel any regional laws in relation to this. Furthermore, you can walk into any German game store and buy any mature-rated game you want providing you have legal ID on you if you're asked to prove your age. Yes, German law is something only Germany can abide by, and we know Nintendo have Parental Controls that can be used to monitor and filter certain content from minors, but the key is the location of the servers, and unfortunately, Germany likes to think that she still rules the world, even after the loss of two world wars.

    Sadly, this is something we can't blame Nintendo for (in other words, it's not their fault). If the German laws allowed for both an individual Nintendo Network ID and Parental Controls to take the reigns and filter content depending on the age of an individual accessing the eShop, we wouldn't have this problem in the first place. If however we convince Shibata to move his operations to the UK, EU laws don't apply in that regard, and the garden will be rosy.

    Europeans always get shunned, one way or another. It's been this way since the days of yore. Perhaps someone should start a petition and get European gamers to sign it and bring it to the attention of the European Courts. Just a thought.

  47. yellowds Sunday 16th Dec 2012 at 22:15

    Oh, and I bet one of the reasons you get a lot of foul mouthed 9 year olds playing CoD on XBOX Live is because Microsoft don't put these sort of things in place...

    Unless I'm mistaken, it is only the downloading of the game that is restricted, not the playing of the game.

    *NEWSFLASH* if a 9 Year old wants the game and their parents are irresponsible enough to buy a retail copy for them and let them play it, A) they can still do this. and B) the parent could stay up and download it for them.

    This sort of restriction should ever exist, because games are rated for a reason, but it is the parents that break the rules for their spoilt brat children.

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