Jun 5th, 2014


Last year around E3, a huge campaign got under way in order to ask Nintendo to end region-locking. President Satoru Iwata never addressed the campaign specifically, but stated there were specific reasons why the company would not end region locking for the Wii U and the Nintendo 3DS. Currently the Wii U is the only home console on the market that experiences region lock restrictions, as both the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 are region free machines.

Members of the NeoGAF forums have revived the region-free movement again this year under the #NintendoRegionFree 2014 hashtag and across several websites. If you’re a supporter of Nintendo consoles and handhelds being offered across the world region-free, then it might behoove you to support these efforts. As stated by the main thread where the organization takes place, the goal is to get Iwata to acknowledge region-locking has more detrimental effects than benefits.

Region-locking IS a restriction, and such an anti-consumer practice has no place in luxury products. Other platform holders have dropped region-locking despite the same cultural, legal, and ratings issues.

What we want is to be able to play legally-purchased games for Nintendo platforms purchased from anywhere in the world, irregardless of any hardware region setting. If parental controls are a concern, access to out-of-region titles can simply be disabled by default and enabled by adults.

If you want to support the movement, there are several things you can do. The first is to sign this petition. Currently it has around 30k signatures and it’s the main petition to be presented to Nintendo as proof that customers around the globe want access to region-free devices.

The campaign has also set up a Facebook page, as well as a Twitter account, @EndRegionLock. If you want to contact Nintendo directly about the issue, there are several places to do so, including many official Nintendo Twitter accounts where you can let them know that you don’t want region-locking to continue. Remember to be polite and non-abusive in your requests, otherwise you’ll just be blocked.

Nintendo Twitter Accounts


The community is active on Miiverse as well, posting several drawings and posts describing how region-lock affects users directly. You can check out those posts and Yeah! them on Miiverse to let Nintendo that you the messages that the author has written. These messages are being written in the official Nintendo @ E3 Miiverse community, so be sure and check there if you want to see what people are contributing to the cause of getting Nintendo to end region-locking one and for all.

Remember, just because it doesn’t affect you doesn’t mean it isn’t a cause worth fighting for. Nintendo is currently the only manufacturer with a region-locked current-gen console.

local_offer    Nintendo  nintendo 3ds  wii u  
  • JBeauregard

    Everything was going good until I saw “irregardless”, Ugh! Besides that, I’m all for removing the region lock.

    • matthew garcia

      Me to. It’s like Nintendo is saying screw a lot of people. Oh your a member of the military and your overseas screw you. Oh your from a 3rd world country screw you your locked out

      • JBeauregard

        Exactly! As well, removing region lock will actually help their software sales. At times they seem so illogical.

        • matthew garcia

          I agree

      • Joseph Oliveira

        That’s a stupid excuse to use Matthew. Everyone knows people in the military gets their shit stolen. Happened to me and it happened to other people I know too.

    • Ha! Me too. I couldn’t stop myself from rolling my eyes exactly at that point. This is suppose to be the mission statement and they let that get through? Really makes the entire thing seem a little less. And it’s not even a grammar nazi thing.

    • “Sean” jjbredesen

      I am 100% against region locking, and i will continue to send long emails to Nintendo telling them how wrong they are and support all of these campaigns, Region Locking is a restrictions, and for me who has bought a US 3DS it is extremely frustrating, half of the apps don’t work because i am in the wrong region etc.

      People who live in countries in the middle east and Africa also get a lot of problems because of it, and i can’t even play Mario Kart 7 with my friends locally because our 3DS’s are different regions. Region locking helps nobody, and there is no reason for them to keep it, there excuse of it helping them administrate services and keep stuff up to regional standards etc. is bs, as they could simply just track your IP and give you the corresponding Eshop content for that area, or better just give everyone the same stuff!

      A thing of the past, and when i can’t even play games with my friends because of it something is wrong.

      Freedom to the people!

      • CommanderBlue

        I personally want the 3ds and Wii u to be region free because I had to buy a new 3ds to play Australian games so that I didn’t have to go through the hassle of importing them from Canada or the US.

    • Tecpedz94

      Can region lock be removed with an update or is it built into the system and cant be removed till they make further devices?

      • Daniel Carvalho

        It is something that can be done digitally. Remember the original WIi? Back at 2008, I had beaten Fire Emblem Radiant Dawn once and was going for the second playthrough – thing is, it was an European version, and my Wii, American -, but then Nintendo released an update that made it impossible to run games from other regions. Despite them saying it was region locked from the start, it wasn’t, it was an update that made it like that.

        • Mario

          Ohh! So technically speaking, region locking can be removed from the systems.

          • Daniel Carvalho

            Technically speaking, anything can be done through updates. Think of those updates as programs, and the Wii U Menu as the Operational System: as long as those programs are compatible with the OS, and the hardware is powerful enough, you can input, remove or alter anything you can imagine.

            Remember Dragon Ball Z Sparking Meteor/Budokai Tenkaichi 3 for the Wii? It had an opening song in Japanese, even for the American version, but after a while in the market, NoA launched an update that removed the lyrics, leaving the opening completely instrumental.

            It’s just the same for games like Skyward Sword or Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze, with their patches that fix game breaking glitches regarding saves being erased or important scenes not being triggered. All done through special changes done to the coding, downloaded through the frequent updates.

            In other words, even if the Region Lock was some kind of physical feature, a change on the Operational System’s code could lift that lock without any problems.

          • Mario


  • Gabe Hoffman

    People go on about how PS4 and X1 are region free but they are truly not. They just didn’t make it system wide. Developers can still region lock games on PS4 and X1 if they please. Just like the fact they aren’t stopping developers from including DRM in their games

  • darkcreap

    I am also against region locking I will follow this campaign.

  • I’ll support it but nintendo will be too conservative to listen.

  • Gabe Hoffman

    I am sorry but 30,000 supporters will hardly be enough to make Nintendo take notice. Why don’t people understand MS never really got rid of DRM they simply didn’t make it system wide. That doesn’t stop developers from including DRM in their games if they want to

    • matthew garcia

      Well they got rid of always online and the camera always having to be on and dropped the region lock. Microsoft are a bunch of sneaky cock suckers no doubt but they have been making the necessary changes faster then I would have thought. Nintendo still refuses a lot even after many years. They could at least drop the region lock. All consoles are guilty of something

      • Gabe Hoffman

        The only reason for the sudden turn around was the massive PR fallout. Nintendo has been listening recently look at Smash Bros for example or Earthbound. And believe me there is always a chance MS could turn right around and bring that DRM back

        • matthew garcia

          Xbox one listened cuz of all the negative feed back and them getting there ass kicked by ps4. Nintendo is starting to somewhat listen cuz Wii u is selling a lot worse then GameCube.

        • peeer

          They actually never removed the DRM… They just removed the always-online thing for disc based games. For your information, the PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii U has DRM, hell even the 3DS has DRM. They use DRM to put restrictions in the content you purchase/download on their online shop. An exemple of a DRM: Look at the demos you download on the Wii U and 3DS eShop, they are always limited to like 10 to 30 uses. Without DRM you wouldn’t be able to purchase digital copies on the internet.

          By the way the whole always-online fiasco was because of the mandatory game installation when you own the disc version of the games. They wanted to have the system to verify if you still owned the games without you having to insert the disc. Which made games rental and purchase of used games obsolete, that’s it. The advantage they promoted with it was that you could play your games at friends without having to bring your game discs with you.

  • Ofri Céspedes

    Because of the region lock, I can’t use the promotion code I got form Mario Kart 8! That is so unfair! And now I have to wait until Nintendo Support will help me (if they will). 🙁

    • Gabe Hoffman

      Why can’t you use the code?

      • Ofri Céspedes

        My Wii U’s region is different from the promotion code is (My Wii U region is New Zealand since my region not on the list so I picked New Zealand, and the code is for Europe regions only, so the eShop on my Wii U denies it. It says that code is worng and I verified that I enter the code correctly, but it still denies it. And yes, I tried to change my region in the Wii, but it blocks me from using my Nintendo Network ID and the eShop.)

        • matthew garcia

          Dude that sucks man

          • Ofri Céspedes

            I know, I hope Nintendo Support help me.

          • friendlyneighbourhoodninfan

            Just create a European Nintendo eshop account, then change your wiiu region to somewhere in europe, log in with your new European Nintendo eshop account and you’ll be able to download it.

            I’ve done it and I’m in Australia.

          • Ofri Céspedes

            Thanks for the advice, but I already know that I should do that, and I’m trying to avoid since I have 10$ on my account on the eShop. That’s why I contact Nintendo Support. Hopefully they will answer soon, or otherwise I won’t have any other choices than doing that.

        • Tecpedz94

          I dont get it why did you put New Zealand if your not from New Zealand? Its odd that they dont have your country on the list but you should put at ;east the closest one to you?

        • kolikooo1

          I’m pretty sure that New Zealand is in PAL region, i just checked it now (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PAL_region) and it looks like it is.

          • Ofri Céspedes

            True, but on the note of Club Nintendo with the PIN, it says that PIN applies on Europe countries and New Zealand isn’t on the list. So the promotion also applies only on Europe countries. Region lock.

        • SanFor

          I’m in Colombia and to download eshop games I had to create a Canadian NNID and everytime I want to access the eshop, I have to go to settings and change my region from Colombia to Canada and back when I want to continue using my Colombian ID. Have you tried that? That’s how I downloaded a virtual copy of Mario Kart and then my copy of Pikmin 3

    • Ruairidh McGhee

      You will be able to use the promotion code if you create a new user that is from the European region (as well as a new Nintendo Network account to use with eShop). I know you probably do not want to do it, but it is what I had to do with my Wii U as I got the Zelda: Wind Waker Premium Pack from Britain.

  • Santiago

    Can someone explain to me the effects of region locking when you live in the US
    Thank you

    • Gabe Hoffman

      Well mainly your system will not accept games from Japan or Europe mainly it only really affects you if you are a big import fan

      • Santiago

        Thanks, this was helpful. is there any downside for Nintendo to stop regionlocking? or, why would companies even do that in the first place?

  • Agent721

    I signed the petition. I can’t believe some of you guys are harping about irrigardless. Task about getting lost in the trees.

    • Alejandro Castillo

      high af rn

  • DJKeens

    Good cause “irregardless” of the likelihood Nintendo will buckle. (Sorry I just can’t accept that word, darn double negatives).

  • J_Joestar

    I don’t know about digital games, but i wonder if developers can simply not input a region code into their physical games or are they contractually obligated to do so?

    I remember when there was all the rage about P4Arena being region locked.

  • Rinslowe

    This would be good. Nintendo will you listen to the fanbase? Next generation you say?

    • StigtriX

      At least the next generation will not lock virtual console titles to the type of console you have. That is what I got as a subtle answer after sending them a long mail 🙂 Because of how the system works at the moment, they are not able to provide that service, but a new platform will be made for the next generation. This will most likely also include no region locking.

    • “Sean” jjbredesen

      If they do not make it Region Free next generation, i will personally record a video of me storming Nintendo of Japans HQ and forcing them to do it, and then post it hear. The consumer support guys are starting to get annoyed at me after the 12th mail i have sent to them regarding the subject, each mail over 1500 words, and now they are referring me to other divisions and distributors etc.

      The worst part is that they support guys agree with me, but they can of course not say it directly because of the rules they have to follow, always laugh when reading the replies because i know how frustrating it must be to have to reply with no reasonable arguments that i will accept xD

      • Rinslowe

        Region locking is an archaic and useless decision on Nintendo’s behalf.


        I look forward to watching the great ass kicking you’ll receive from the security guards after Nintendo have you escorted out of the building

        • “Sean” jjbredesen

          I am sure it will be great, but there bodies will not be ready, for my 200meter tall Godzilla fils a mech!

  • CEObrainz

    Are there any games for the Wii U that can only be purchased in Japan as I suspect that NTSC and PAL Wii U’s share the same library at this point in time?

    • Rich Garriques

      isnt wii u region locked?

    • JFizDaWiz

      Taiko no Tatsujin Wii U. i want it!

    • SkullScience

      Dragon Quest X on Wii U looks awesome in Japan. I would be all over that if it was out in the West!

    • megamanultra

      kamen rider Battride wars 2 will likely only be Japan only. And I would buy it in a heartbeat.


      • J_Joestar

        this was sorta DW-ish right?
        same here then, would get it in a heartbeat if it didn’t involve having to get a J-region Wii U.

        • megamanultra

          It runs on the same engine for sure. But if you have ever seen the Kamen Rider series, it’s very faithful and has a ton of attack variety. The only current alternative is to get the ps3 version. But I’d much rather have it on the U.

    • Daniel Carvalho

      Sonic Boom won’t be released in Japan. If there’s anyone in Japan interested in getting the game, they won’t be able to.

  • Archibald Crews

    I’d like this to happen. Sometimes Nintendo still has their head in the 80’s

  • Sdudyoy

    As much as I don’t like region locking, I highly doubt Nintendo will remove it just because people are against it, I’ve been wrong before, but I don’t think this will happen.

  • Daniel Carvalho

    I speak Japanese, have been learning the language for more than 7 years now, but I can’t play any games in Japanese on my Nintendo consoles because of the Region Lock! I didn’t choose to be born here, I didn’t choose to live here (I’m working my ass off to get enough money to leave this country), yet I can’t play Japanese games because I was born here!

    I learned English because video games were not translated into Portuguese when I was a kid (it was only during the PS3 era that AAA games started being translated to Portuguese), and that’s how I planned to study Japanese as well. Except that I can’t do that, because not only most games don’t have an option for Japanese Audio and Text like Fragile Dreams, for example, has – despite how much free space in disc there is -, I can’t even get the game from another region!

  • StigtriX

    The best solution would be to let the user choose the desired language for games, then the respective content would pop up. Why not tie prices only to region and track by IP instead? Why should I not be able to enjoy a game in Japanese if I wish to?

  • xPhoenixMoon

    Funny I was just talking about Reggie, as long as Reggie is apart of Nintendo, they will probably never unlock their systems.

    He has made this clear several times that they will not do it. I don’t understand why people bother sending lengthily emails to Nintendo either when Reggie the asshole that he is has stated Nintendo doesn’t listen to anything you fans say or will ever use what you say to help run their business.

    “I have to tell you — it doesn’t affect what we do. We certainly look at
    it, and we’re certainly aware of it, but it doesn’t necessarily affect
    what we do.”

    Enough said, region locking isn’t happening no matter how many Nintendo fans want it. Honestly since when has Nintendo ever really done what fans want? Nintendo is in their own little world, they do what they want and feel is right regardless of what their fans suggest, which isn’t always bad for them but sometimes it gets a little over bearing.

    • TehEngineer

      Recently, and it’s been shown on Miiverse, Nintendo has been listening to their fans. I personally don’t think well ever see a region lock free 3DS or Wii U, but if these petitions and campaigns gather enough strength, the next-gan consoles will be unlocked.

      • bob

        I really could go either way. I don’t want to play games I can’t understand the story on, so really need universal subtitles, but I think the average consumer is smart enough to know if they are buying a game that is another language. Region locking isn’t protecting consumers or developers so it really doesn’t make sense.

    • The Clockwork Being

      NIce try Phoenix but Nitnendo has shown plenty of times that they listen to their fans and also sometimes do the right thing. Everyone was screaming that they wanted the gamecube controller to be usable in the new super smash. And what do we have? A gamecube adapter presented in a super smash trailer.

      And you aren’t tricking anyone with those 66 upvotes. 65 of them are from Guest votes. Plus recently I have seen you trying to put people against Nintendo on this website.

      Nice try xPhoenixMoon but I am not fooled.

      Edit: And before you call me a fanboy, you really haven’t spent enough time on this site.

      • bob

        They listen, buy money talks loudest. The comment Reggie made I think is that they look at the comments to decide what strategy they go with that they see as profitable, not to make new ideas.

  • companyoflosers

    they should include english (and other language) subtitles in games from other regions if this gets through that way its less of a pain to play imported games.

  • TCar

    Such a stupid thing to petition about. Not a single good reason to get rid of it.

    • Erika

      *wrong comment*

  • Someone

    I´m 100% against region lock, I´ve been wanting to play the new titles of the professor Layton games but they are only sold here in my language, and the voice acting is unbearable. I just want to import them from America like I used to do with the first 3 games of the series =(
    Seriously, why won’t they just listen to the fans. It has only benefits for both sides because they can get a lot more profit out of this (which is profit they need!). I just can’t think of any reasons why region lock is necessary.

    • Arthur Jarret

      I always import the Layton games from the UK – PAL region + in english. Also, you will still get Club Nintendo stars from them.

  • Mario

    Oh boy. Here we go again. -_-

  • readypembroke

    I personally don’t care about region lock. I can’t read other languages besides English but it would be up to par with Sony and MS on region locks if it were removed.

  • Logan Wayman

    Region freedom, bonsai!

  • leo

    Its 2014 not 1990 #RegionFree

  • Cdwoods

    Wow, I’m not affected by this that much compare to others. But i really hope they get their wish because region locking is just an annoying uneccesary pest.

  • Darkness

    Nintendo will always be behind Sony and Microsoft when it comes to everything. I enjoy all systems and have owned all types but Nintendo needs to grow up! I agree with this petition and this one against Nintendo as well

  • HorizonChaser

    I’ve signed the petition and posted on MiiVerse. At least Tom will read it…unless he filters that out.

  • Logan Waltz

    Region lock hurts sales. Americans can’t get Japanese games, and Japanese can’t get American games. I still want to play mother fucking Shining Force Feather.

  • ufg

    I’ll sign the petition, but I don’t think that’s the way to go for this. They aren’t region locking because it’s a popular opinion, they are doing it to please game developers. If they managed to contact some industry professionals to rally Nintendo, that’d get the ball rolling more.

  • Cyntheta Luis

    Ummm, that is some nice miiverse art there, seems like no one appreciates it…