It's not me, it's you XBLA.

I hope you guys and girls living in the rest of the world are enjoying Live. Just remember, most of you don't know how lucky you are.
 
I live in Taiwan, and already we were being treated like second-class citizens by Microsoft, but this week I hit the wall. As it stands, in Taiwan we pay exactly the same amount for a year's Gold membership on Live, but we don't get the Video Marketplace, the Music Marketplace, Community Games, Primetime, Last.FM, or Netflix. There's probably more, but I forget. That was pretty bad, but I'm willing to suck it up. However this year, Live Arcade has been just squatting and dropping a huge load on us.
 
Out of 34 games released on Xbox Live Arcade so far this year, we've missed out on 10. That's right, damn near a third of the XBLA games released this year I cannot buy, even if I wanted to. Sure, I could use a credit card, but not living in America credit cards don't just come flying at me, so I in fact do not and cannot have a credit card. I have to rely on points, much like many people here, and so if it's not in the local marketplace, it's not available at all. I've already emailed Atlas about Zeno Clash UE, only to be told I was shit out of luck. I've emailed Microsoft asking what the deal is, only to be politely fobbed off with no explanation or even help. It's a digital distribution platform, right? Why are there any geographical restrictions on games on a digital bloody platform? There have, in fact, been weeks when we've had no new games at all released. None. Zero. So basically I'm out. I'm done. Live Arcade is dead to me. If they don't want my money, they're not getting it.

28 Comments
28 Comments
Posted by Tetsuo

I hope you guys and girls living in the rest of the world are enjoying Live. Just remember, most of you don't know how lucky you are.
 
I live in Taiwan, and already we were being treated like second-class citizens by Microsoft, but this week I hit the wall. As it stands, in Taiwan we pay exactly the same amount for a year's Gold membership on Live, but we don't get the Video Marketplace, the Music Marketplace, Community Games, Primetime, Last.FM, or Netflix. There's probably more, but I forget. That was pretty bad, but I'm willing to suck it up. However this year, Live Arcade has been just squatting and dropping a huge load on us.
 
Out of 34 games released on Xbox Live Arcade so far this year, we've missed out on 10. That's right, damn near a third of the XBLA games released this year I cannot buy, even if I wanted to. Sure, I could use a credit card, but not living in America credit cards don't just come flying at me, so I in fact do not and cannot have a credit card. I have to rely on points, much like many people here, and so if it's not in the local marketplace, it's not available at all. I've already emailed Atlas about Zeno Clash UE, only to be told I was shit out of luck. I've emailed Microsoft asking what the deal is, only to be politely fobbed off with no explanation or even help. It's a digital distribution platform, right? Why are there any geographical restrictions on games on a digital bloody platform? There have, in fact, been weeks when we've had no new games at all released. None. Zero. So basically I'm out. I'm done. Live Arcade is dead to me. If they don't want my money, they're not getting it.

Posted by illmatic19

PS3?

Posted by odintal

Interesting. 
Are you sure this is the fault of Microsoft and not a problem of trade restrictions in Taiwan?

Posted by sarge1445

move to america or buy a ps3

Posted by Brendan

That really sucks man, I live in Canada and I understand a little of what it's like.  We don't get Netflix or Hulu or many other extras, but man, a third of live games?  That's rough.
Posted by Tetsuo
@sarge1445 said:
" move to america or buy a ps3 "
Blow me or kiss my ass.
 
@odintal said:
" Interesting. Are you sure this is the fault of Microsoft and not a problem of trade restrictions in Taiwan? "
To be honest, it's probably individual publishers, but I still don't understand why the marketplace is regional, or why MS points are region-locked. And yes, I'm pretty sure it's not trade restrictions - hell, if the US sells us arms, they'll sell us anything I reckon.
 
@Brendan said:
 Non-American solidarity brah! Yeah, I've heard Canada gets occasionally shafted too, which in a way seems worse, 'cause (at least some of) y'all are literally a couple hours' drive from the US.
Posted by ObsideonDarman
@illmatic19 said:
" PS3? "
HELL YES!
Posted by Pinworm45

I know how you feel, I live in Canada which makes it more absurd for these restrictions to apply, both because I'm closer to many data centers than many Americans geographically, and because our countries are so intertwined. It's annoying for things like TV too. The vast majority of TV shows are filmed here, and we can't even watch them because of retarded ass laws. 
 
However, It's nowhere near as bad here as it sounds there, so that's lame and I feel for ya. 
 
Still, it's not microsofts fault. I mean, do you really think they're choosing to take less money from ya? 
 
It's mainly due to your own governments laws, or the will of the copyright owner. So the best I can suggest is to find out which it is. If it's the government, try to email your.. well to be honest I have no idea about the politic system in Taiwan but I'm sure there's someone you can email. Even if it doesn't help at least you'll feel like you tried. If it's the copyright owner, IE the developers, send them an email. I'm sure they'd like to be alerted that people in different areas are interested in their product. 
 
Yeah okay, that stuff might not help much. But it's something I guess. I feel for ya.

Posted by sarge1445
@Tetsuo said:
" @sarge1445 said:
" move to america or buy a ps3 "
Blow me or kiss my ass.
 
@odintal said:
" Interesting. Are you sure this is the fault of Microsoft and not a problem of trade restrictions in Taiwan? "
To be honest, it's probably individual publishers, but I still don't understand why the marketplace is regional, or why MS points are region-locked. And yes, I'm pretty sure it's not trade restrictions - hell, if the US sells us arms, they'll sell us anything I reckon.
 
@Brendan said:  Non-American solidarity brah! Yeah, I've heard Canada gets occasionally shafted too, which in a way seems worse, 'cause (at least some of) y'all are literally a couple hours' drive from the US. "
hey dont bitch about your shit being region locked either get the console that isnt fucking region locked or move to the country that gets every thing you had other options
Posted by MacEG

My shoes were made in Taiwan.

Posted by odintal
@Tetsuo: I only ask because I seem to recall the gaming industry having a pretty big beef with Taiwan in regards to their hands off approach at the piracy of games there. 
This was back in the '90s though so times may have changed especially with that new trade deal with china.
Posted by Tetsuo
@odintal said:
" @Tetsuo: I only ask because I seem to recall the gaming industry having a pretty big beef with Taiwan in regards to their hands off approach at the piracy of games there. This was back in the '90s though so times may have changed especially with that new trade deal with china. "
It may well partly be an issue of local law, although the Taiwanese government made some big changes to domestic copyright law about five years ago to bring it largely in line with the Berne Convention (IIRC), which because China are fuckwits Taiwan can't actually sign. Speaking of which, I doubt that trade deal will help, because it's pretty much entirely designed to fuck us. I will have to look into exactly what the problem is, but if the responses I got from Microsoft and Atlas (who I wrote about Zeno Clash) are anything to go by, I'd have better luck just sticking my balls in a blender.

@sarge1445 said:
hey dont bitch about your shit being region locked either get the console that isnt fucking region locked or move to the country that gets every thing you had other options "
Learn to quote properly. Also, go fuck yourself. I didn't write this for fanboys to start furiously masturbating their tiny little boners for or against any particular system.
Edited by EpicSteve

Can you lie about what region you live in? One time I made a British account to get a demo that wasn't available in the U.S. store.

Posted by Burns098356GX

It may not be Microsoft so much as certian laws your country has. I live in Canada, and we don't get netflix, last.fm. 
Besides, you have to pay extra for all that stuff anyways, so its not like there ripping you off.

Posted by Bennyishere

Major Nelson has talked about this a couple of times. Apparently you can't just take a product and put it all over the world when all the countries have different laws, game ratings, etc, but this only explains why violent demos aren't offered in Germany and some other countries. I think it's also because the companies are scared to put their products in markets they have no clue about, or they want to save server-maintenance money by disregarding countries they think wouldn't care anyway. This explains why Madden demos was NA-only and FIFA demos was not available in NA (I think this has changed now, though). Also, sometimes content is exclusive to make the countries it is exclusive to happy. I remember I had to make a fake Japanese account to get the Ninja Gaiden II demo (I fucking love Ninja Gaiden), but the demo is in English! Seems like the only reason it was exclusive was to satisfy Japanese customers that had gotten used to things being unavailable to them.
 
As for Last.fm and all that, music and movie copyrights make it even more complicated, but considering those services are fairly new, I am thinking they will be available to more countries in the future.
 
It's a shame about Zeno Clash, I really liked that game. Apparently it is not available in any Asian countries.

Posted by MikkaQ

It's a legal thing, for example, Canadian ISPs are all basically owned by or rent lines from the two biggest cable companies here, and since they also provide everyone with cable TV, they don't let internet companies do things like Hulu, or Netflix streaming here, because it affects the ISP's profits. Fun, I know. I dunno how Taiwan's set up like that though.

Posted by sarge1445
@Tetsuo said:
" @odintal said:
" @Tetsuo: I only ask because I seem to recall the gaming industry having a pretty big beef with Taiwan in regards to their hands off approach at the piracy of games there. This was back in the '90s though so times may have changed especially with that new trade deal with china. "
It may well partly be an issue of local law, although the Taiwanese government made some big changes to domestic copyright law about five years ago to bring it largely in line with the Berne Convention (IIRC), which because China are fuckwits Taiwan can't actually sign. Speaking of which, I doubt that trade deal will help, because it's pretty much entirely designed to fuck us. I will have to look into exactly what the problem is, but if the responses I got from Microsoft and Atlas (who I wrote about Zeno Clash) are anything to go by, I'd have better luck just sticking my balls in a blender.

@sarge1445 said:
hey dont bitch about your shit being region locked either get the console that isnt fucking region locked or move to the country that gets every thing you had other options "
Learn to quote properly. Also, go fuck yourself. I didn't write this for fanboys to start furiously masturbating their tiny little boners for or against any particular system. "
yea im a fan boy because im telling you good advice and to stopping bitching on the forums also I own an xbox look me up on live UndyingSarge I highly doubt a ps3 fanboy would have 32000 gamescore. Ok so fuck you sir and fuck you country
Posted by Sammichman

Don't get a PS3, get a PC. Zeno Clash on PC > Zeno Clash on Xbox.

Posted by sarge1445

ohh or final option make a us account and import point cards that might work also god damn

Posted by Pinworm45
@sarge1445 said:
yea im a fan boy because im telling you good advice and to stopping bitching on the forums also I own an xbox look me up on live UndyingSarge I highly doubt a ps3 fanboy would have 32000 gamescore. Ok so fuck you sir and fuck you country "
Please GTFO the giant bomb forums, I came here to get away from people like you
Posted by haggis
@Tetsuo: The marketplace is regional because content is regional. It has nothing to do with Microsoft and everything to do with different copyright laws. Don't blame Microsoft for this, blame large media conglomerates like ... Sony (ok, couldn't help but make a little dig at them) and Paramount and yadda yadda yadda. Microsoft has to impose those companies' content restrictions. No doubt Netflix and Microsoft would love for those restrictions to be lifted, but it's not up to them.
 
Media companies are very protective of foreign distribution rights. That's basically all this comes down to. Movies, games, etc. It's all about rights management, and the fact that local laws vary. If you want this to change, call your local government representative (if you're lucky enough to live in a country that has them) and complain. It's not Microsoft's fault in this instance.
Posted by JJWeatherman
@EpicSteve said:
" Can you lie about hat region you live in? One time I made a British account to get a demo that wasn't available in the U.S. store. "
I too did that, but I made a Japanese account. Also I remember the GB guys making a Canadian account to play the 1 vs. 100 beta that was only out in Canada at the time. So I'd say it's worth a try.
Posted by haggis
@JJWeatherman: I don't know. I'd be worried about a ban :/  But maybe I'm just too paranoid.
Posted by JJWeatherman
@haggis said:
" @JJWeatherman: I don't know. I'd be worried about a ban :/  But maybe I'm just too paranoid. "
Good point. If you're really invested in your current account, I'd say you're better safe than sorry.
Posted by Spoonman671

Normally I wouldn't condone it, but you could go haxxors.

Posted by ShoddyGo
@sarge1445 said:
" ohh or final option make a us account and import point cards that might work also god damn "
this
I have made japanese and american accounts, seperate to my main account so I can do exactly what you are whining about.
Posted by Gamer_152

I've always felt kind bad for the gamers living outside of major territories but I had no idea Microsoft were short-changing people this badly.

Moderator
Posted by sate2801

yeah bro
I live in Hong Kong, and I'm STILL WAITING for Doom2 and Blacklight Tango Down while the rest of the world already play through it and moved on