The stupidity that is the Nintendo e-shop’s regionalisation
This is a rant about idiocy.
Idiocy from either Nintendo or from THQ Nordic. I’m not sure which company – it could be both of them, to be honest – but it’s idiotic, nonetheless.
Recently, THQ Nordic released the remastered version of its third-person action game Darksiders on the Nintendo Switch: The Darksiders Warmastered Edition. I was interested in buying it as not only was it, in my humble opinion, the best game in the Darksiders series, last week Digital Foundry did a rather nice video covering how the game has both a performance mode (which locks the frame rate at 60FPS but drops the visuals slightly) and a graphics mode (which caps the frame rate at 30FPS but looks prettier).
“That sounds like a bit of me,” I said to myself this week. I hadn’t bought a game for my Nintendo Switch in some time, and I did like the original Darksiders. So, I went looking on the New Zealand e-shop for Darksiders Warmastered edition. Nothing. Nada. Zip. It wasn’t there.
I was confused. The game was released on April 2. Maybe it had just been delayed. So I searched for it again: Nope. It wasn’t there.
So, I asked the helpful Twitters and was told by one of my Australian chums (Dylan Burns) that it was on the Australian e-shop for $49.95 but he would check with one of his Aussie chums (Daniel Vuckovic), who was knowledgeable in all things Nintendo (he runs vooks.net, no less) on what the situation was. It seemed it was a bit of a mystery.
Vooks looked into it and this is what he said (in Twitter form):
Sure, enough, I clicked on the NZ e-shop link and got this:
I clicked on the Aus e-shop link and got this:
This is just idiotic, Nintendo and THQ Nordic. How does this sort of ridiculous situation come about?
Seriously, though, how does such an idiotic thing happen? How is that Australia is three hours away from New Zealand by plane, yet I can’t download Darksiders Warmastered Edition???? Some states in Australia take longer to fly to than it does to New Zealand, yet they haven’t been penalised.
New Zealand and Australia are lumped into the same region by video game publishers all the time yet here we are with a mind-bogging situation like this where one country is penalised over the other.
Does Nintendo and THQ Nordic think so little of Switch owners in New Zealand that they won’t release the game in our e-shop? Probably, to be honest. I really don’t think either of them give a shit about little ole’ NZ. It’s just a smack in the face for Nintendo Switch owners in New Zealand [NZ doesn’t even have a distributor of Nintendo product: Everything has to come from Australia].
I was quite happy to pony up and pay for Darksiders Warmastered Edition because it looked like a good port, but you know what? I’m not going to now, just out of principle. And not even selling a physical version? It’s as if THQ Nordic don’t actually want people to buy the remastered version of its game on a portable platform, especially in Australasia.
Sure, I could buy it from another e-shop but, frankly, why the hell should I? Why should I give either company my money when they show disregard to the country I live in? [Apparently, the first two Darksiders are free on Xbox Gold, too, so that’s another reason not to spend my money on the Nintendo Switch version.]
So much for living in a connected world where there are no boundaries …