A world with Borders

Posted by buft (3317 posts) -
In this new digital age the world as we know has become smaller and smaller, the once humble toaster can now call up Australia find out how the weather is on Bondi beach and print its discovery on the side of your morning toast, your friends in countries all over the world can hang out and play video games together and we can now teleport from one point of the globe to another in the blink of an eye.

Ok, so that last parts not quite true but high speed internet access has made it much easier to feel closer to other nations than it has in the past and with it the world has changed but one entity hasn't came along for the ride and that's the men and women who organise the distribution of video games.

As a European citizen that spends his life on the internet reading and writing about my own hobbies its hard not to notice the disparity between continents when it comes to video game releases. Some of these are relatively minor, a 3 day difference in release date for most major video games is hard heart breaking but there are some rather massive discrepancies

Kirby’s Epic Yarn took a staggering 5 months to be released in Europe, the Playstation 3 was delayed 6 months due to manufacturing difficulties. The list goes on and on, well it doesn’t because I couldn’t think of any pertinent examples but rest assured there are lots.

These delays in games can often be explained in very simple ways, Shipping concerns, publishers unwilling to take the risk on smaller markets, localisation problems and in a way that’s fair but one thing really grinds me the wrong way and that’s digital distribution.

In a world where I could watch someone else’s TV from 300 miles away in real time surely I should be able to download the same content from my console or handhelds online store and while I would hope that would be true, its not.

While Microsoft and Sony have generally been quite good when it comes to releasing the same content worldwide Nintendo continues to disappoint European gamers with lack of content on its online store and each company still have problems when it comes to working out a decent exchange rate, most of the time simply settling for the same figure but with a different currency symbol prefixing the number. 
 
whats a Euro?

To sum it all up with a video game analogy, in the world of video game distribution Japan and North America get to take turns being the easy tutorial levels, while Europe is a mid-game dungeon that may require the use of a guide and not everyone will even bother but it could be worse the Australian level requires several GameShark codes and is set on the moon!

#1 Posted by buft (3317 posts) -
In this new digital age the world as we know has become smaller and smaller, the once humble toaster can now call up Australia find out how the weather is on Bondi beach and print its discovery on the side of your morning toast, your friends in countries all over the world can hang out and play video games together and we can now teleport from one point of the globe to another in the blink of an eye.

Ok, so that last parts not quite true but high speed internet access has made it much easier to feel closer to other nations than it has in the past and with it the world has changed but one entity hasn't came along for the ride and that's the men and women who organise the distribution of video games.

As a European citizen that spends his life on the internet reading and writing about my own hobbies its hard not to notice the disparity between continents when it comes to video game releases. Some of these are relatively minor, a 3 day difference in release date for most major video games is hard heart breaking but there are some rather massive discrepancies

Kirby’s Epic Yarn took a staggering 5 months to be released in Europe, the Playstation 3 was delayed 6 months due to manufacturing difficulties. The list goes on and on, well it doesn’t because I couldn’t think of any pertinent examples but rest assured there are lots.

These delays in games can often be explained in very simple ways, Shipping concerns, publishers unwilling to take the risk on smaller markets, localisation problems and in a way that’s fair but one thing really grinds me the wrong way and that’s digital distribution.

In a world where I could watch someone else’s TV from 300 miles away in real time surely I should be able to download the same content from my console or handhelds online store and while I would hope that would be true, its not.

While Microsoft and Sony have generally been quite good when it comes to releasing the same content worldwide Nintendo continues to disappoint European gamers with lack of content on its online store and each company still have problems when it comes to working out a decent exchange rate, most of the time simply settling for the same figure but with a different currency symbol prefixing the number. 
 
whats a Euro?

To sum it all up with a video game analogy, in the world of video game distribution Japan and North America get to take turns being the easy tutorial levels, while Europe is a mid-game dungeon that may require the use of a guide and not everyone will even bother but it could be worse the Australian level requires several GameShark codes and is set on the moon!

#2 Posted by JoeH (197 posts) -

This is one of the things that annoys me the most. When something like simultaneous release is physically possible, but because of legal bull shit or something it gets delayed or can't come out at all.

#3 Posted by dudeglove (7856 posts) -
#4 Posted by buft (3317 posts) -
@dudeglove: damn! 
@JoeH: i hear you man, trenched was the biggest disappointment this week
#5 Posted by Fontan (318 posts) -

I wonder where Brazil would fit in the analogy. We don't even have releases here, all we get is imported from somewhere else, either the US or Europe. The best way for any of us to quickly get a game is buying it through Steam. If you have a console, you'll have to put up with overseas delivery and the customs holding back on everything, which means you'll only get what you ordered after at least two months.

#6 Posted by emergency (1193 posts) -

I can't have been the only one that thought this was a borderland pun. :(

#7 Posted by StarvingGamer (8245 posts) -

@emergency said:

I can't have been the only one that thought this was a borderland pun. :(

You're not :D

#8 Posted by dudeglove (7856 posts) -

@buft: Back in the good old days (post-SNES/PSX era) it used to drive me nuts reading articles on certain video games being released across the pond that wouldn't show up on our shores (if at all) for up to months at a time.

#9 Posted by buft (3317 posts) -
@dudeglove said:

@buft: Back in the good old days (post-SNES/PSX era) it used to drive me nuts reading articles on certain video games being released across the pond that wouldn't show up on our shores (if at all) for up to months at a time.

hey do you recall all the shit ports we got, with the stupid PAL borders and reduced frame rate like soul edge running at 20fps and disgusting looking black borders. UGHH
#10 Edited by buft (3317 posts) -
@Fontan said:

I wonder where Brazil would fit in the analogy. We don't even have releases here, all we get is imported from somewhere else, either the US or Europe. The best way for any of us to quickly get a game is buying it through Steam. If you have a console, you'll have to put up with overseas delivery and the customs holding back on everything, which means you'll only get what you ordered after at least two months.

that stinks, you're somewhere outside the solar system in that analogy i guess
#11 Posted by S0ndor (2716 posts) -

I hate the fact that digital copies unlock 3 days later for legal reasons.

#12 Posted by dudeglove (7856 posts) -

@buft said:

@dudeglove said:

@buft: Back in the good old days (post-SNES/PSX era) it used to drive me nuts reading articles on certain video games being released across the pond that wouldn't show up on our shores (if at all) for up to months at a time.

hey do you recall all the shit ports we got, with the stupid PAL borders and reduced frame rate like soul edge running at 20fps and disgusting looking black borders. UGHH

Thankfully, nowadays, they've replaced such crap with things like DRM which completely lock you out of your games if you lose your internet connection.

#13 Posted by buft (3317 posts) -
@S0ndor said:
I hate the fact that digital copies unlock 3 days later for legal reasons.
i know its stupid, also when we have to wait a week even when all the retailers have all that crap behind the counter waiting

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.