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Next-Gen: The Hardware Developer Guide to Not F'ing Up


5. Break Free
Regional locks has been the bane of gamers' existence for years. Constantly taunting players as they have a system that a game is designed for but cannot play it due to its coding being locked out from their part of the world. Even with some Japanese only games being recorded with full English voice acting or games being released in Europe, we still see some games never get approved for U.S release - including some series that have abandon in other countries. If region locks were lifted, it would allow players to follow their beloved series no matter where they live.

There are currently three pillars that support the use of region lock. The first is to allow developers to maintain a set price for their games. Daily irregularities in currencies balances prove to make it difficult to keep a single price around the world. However, with the internet, people could order directly from the developer or select retailers where I universal price decided before the game's release.

Next is the desire to have staged launches or specific street dates for countries. By allowing restrictions on playability in each country, developers have some control over the game's release. The idea behind this is to prevent huge waves of demand from around the world on the title's release. It is easy to say that a developer just needs to produce enough copies to meet the demand and by having an online ordering system, they should hypothetically be able to track the demand before the game's release. Or even offer the game up as an available downloadable title to system owners in other parts of the world - an option that should greatly be considered, especially as the idea of digital distribution continues to be exploded.

Finally is the issue regarding the content of the game. Each culture has a very different views when it comes to controversial content such as violence, gore levels, and sexual content. Some countries may be a bit more sensitive than another particular how America tends to shy away from sexual tones but exploits violence while Germany shares an opposing view. Out of the three reasons, this will be the hardest to overcome mainly due to legal reasons. Even if a game developer was to refuse shipping to a country due to its rating, having it be more easily available would make it easier for people to possibly import illegal media to their country. The only solution that I can think of would be for developers to somehow release a patch that prevents a specific title from being playable on a system registered to a country that it is banned in instead of restricting all games. Even if people found a way around it, the effort would discourage the average consumer; those who would try to cheat the system probably do it already and probably would not stop either way.
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About Faye Dantesone of us since 10:00 PM on 02.07.2010

When I move my mouse around it's like my hand and the mouse don't even exist and that I am moving the pointer around solely with the power of my mind. I have achieved nearly 100% synchronization this machine and soon I will become The Internet.

It has been nearly 5 years since I've last written anything on Destructoid or any other sites. After a little rebanding and a lot of time to reflect on life, I have returned to try to breathe life back to two passions that I have neglected more than I wanted. I won't bore you with what I've been doing since then (moved a few times, got engaged, got married, and bought a house), but I'm happy to be back!

Pocket Camp ID: 4795 5943 592
Pokemon Go Code: 0731 6378 1705
Steam: Faye
FFXIV: Faye Dantes
PSN: Trapped_Artist
Twitter: zomg_its_steph

----- Past Promoted Articles ---

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Aaamaazzing: It Hurts
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