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Nintendo's European Wii U eShop blocking mature titles during the daytime (updated)

via images.eurogamer.net

European Wii U owners are reporting being unable to buy or watch trailers for mature-rated games in Nintendo's Wii U eShop. Eurogamer reports that they are unable to access the pages for ZombiU or Assassin's Creed 3 during daytime hours, even with no parental controls set. Instead, they're greeted with the message "You cannot view this content. The times during which this content can be viewed have been restricted." As Polygon notes, that's clearly not happening in the American eShop.

The issue was first reported on the NeoGAF forums, where a user in Italy contacted technical support about not being able to see or purchase ZombiU, which is rated PEGI 18, despite having no parental controls set and his (over 18) date of birth added to his account. A customer support representative allegedly responded with the following, translated from Italian by the poster:

Dear customer, we would like to let you know that Nintendo has always aimed to offer gameplay experiences suited to all age groups, observing carefully all the relevant regulations regarding content access that are present in the various European countries. We have thus decided to restrict the access to content which is unsuitable to minors (PEGI) to the 11 P.M. - 3 A.M. time window.

A customer service email is far from proof that this is official Nintendo of Europe policy, but at least some European customers definitely seem unable to access mature content. We've reached out to Nintendo and will update with any further information.

Update: Nintendo of Europe has confirmed to Eurogamer that the restriction is due to local laws applicable to all of Europe:

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.

The Verge
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