Guest Blogger: Sam
Regional lockouts have always been a pet peeve of mine, and while I understand the foundational reasons for their use, I have always found them to be a lazy way of achieving other goals.
Games and movies help plant the seeds for technological imagination, and in return, advances in technology help further along the capabilities of games and movies. It is an ever ongoing spiral, and as a species we should be moving towards removing any and all walls that may stand in the way of advancement.
As a student in game design it is a little uncomfortable to think that a game I create some day may not be distributed in some section of the world due to a reason like regional lockouts. To me the idea of running a company, spending millions of dollars in production costs and working with a team that has devoted itself for several years on a product that may only be distributed in one country is something that does not sit well, and I find it hard to believe that I am the only one who feels this way.
Recently Xenoblade was released in Japan, Europe, Australia, and much to the dismay of US game players; Nintendo announced they had no plans to release the game here in the states. While a few years ago this would have meant that most US gamers would not be able to get their hands on it, people who were willing to pay the extra cost were able to order the game right off of Amazon and have it shipped to them just like anything else. From there all it took was a quick “hack” to the players WII and they were off playing the game.
Sites like Amazon combined with increasing internet access around the world, is giving practices like regional locks a very hard time. As people become more educated, and availability becomes easier, new methods are going to need to be adopted, and companies will no longer be able to rely on something as basic as regional locks.