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Reader Comments (54)

Posted: Oct 6th 2011 8:17AM JCSmith said

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I think you should have the option. I'm an American who moved to Thailand 8 years ago. I still always play on the US servers, lag isn't really an issue. MMOs handle latency pretty well usually. There could be a language barrier but so long as that is denoted on the server then it's not an issue.

Posted: Oct 6th 2011 2:12PM sortius said

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@JCSmith As an Australian, I can agree that latency isn't a huge killer in MMOs (200-350ms ping in most games). Most of the region locking has nothing to do with language or latency, it's about distribution rights (looking at you Vindictus). Some companies just flat out refuse to release a game for a region other than the publisher's region, then refuse to find a publisher in other regions.

Any sort of restriction is just taking away from your own bottom line.
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Posted: Oct 6th 2011 8:21AM Pyzlnar said

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No.
There are other ways to deal with people that speak other languages.
(Aka ignore them, put a language icon on a server, or just stop whining and learn a new language)

Region locking is way too forced, and while it's a bit frustrating not to understand what people are saying is something you can live with.

Posted: Oct 6th 2011 8:29AM threetailedfox said

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Region locking is one of the things that I really most dislike with MMOs in general. The language issue has really never been a problem for me. I tend to be on in the early AM, which is when a lot of the main box chat is in other languages, but it's never dampened my experience in the slightest, and actually I've partied with people who didn't speak English once or twice and we worked together well enough, and many games have server selections to take care of the issue completely.

The other issue that's commonly brought up involves microtransactions. Most companies seem to assume that foreign players won't buy anything in the cash shop. I don't have any access to the numbers, but I don't see why that would be the case and had I not quit the game for unrelated reasons, I was actually planning to look into some cash items in Master of Epic, so for me at least it was nothing of the sort. Finally there's also the connection issues, but I've played plenty of SEA servers with no major lag or anything, and so all in all I really don't see the need for it. It just cuts down on potential customers.

Posted: Oct 6th 2011 8:32AM Ancientwolf13 said

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I think it should be allowed if the infrastructure can handle it. I played a few online games with myself being in the Eastern U.S. and my friends being in Europe and Japan and we had no issues with some games having some minor slight latency issues, but others which were unplayable.

I do however believe that single player games should be region free and playable on any system no matter where you are. There is no reason to region lock them. The same goes for movies and music.

Posted: Oct 6th 2011 8:55AM paraLogiki said

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Region locking is evil and in most cases shows a publisher is just being lazy.

I don't mind a game having regions. But locking customer in to one region via clients/product key (wow/sc2/diablo 3) or blocking (aoc) is just plain rude. They hide behind the excuse of "providing the best experience for our customers". But what they really mean is we don't want to pay some fees or deal with the legal issues our game may have so we're taking the easy way out.

I really prefer the games that do have regions, but let you pick which one you want to connect to and let you change (Rift, League of Legend).

I have one gaming friend whom I have been gaming with for 13 years, he lives in Finland, I live in the US.

When WoW came out region-locks were introduces (I think they were the pioneer on the whole region thing with WoW). We went ahead and purchased US versions and he played on US servers all the way through WotLK. I had to buy him every version, and he would use beta clients -> retail clients, wait for me to transfer the disc images, or wait for me to deliver the box in the mail. It was just a major annoyance.

But with Rift, I buy the client here, he buys the client there, and I set me client to connect to EU servers, how pleasant. I will say 100% my "customer experience" with regions was better on Rift than WoW for this reason alone.

Posted: Oct 6th 2011 8:59AM Balraw said

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I think if there is one in mmo's that I am really don't like region locking would be it. Sadly it seems to be one of those things that isn't going to go away any time soon regardless of what I or anyone else thinks.

I suppose its because my very first mmo was FFXI which in entirely region free and so anyone from any where in the world could have access to any server. I personally found the differing mix of nationalities one of the big draws to that game. Sometime language was a barrier in parties but judicious use of the auto translate function usually was enough to get the party functioning reasonably enough that it didn't become too much of an issue.

Don't think I have played any other mmo that had such a diverse mix of players (in terms of nationality) which is to their loss imo

Posted: Oct 6th 2011 8:59AM Chiren said

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No.

Being US based I play with people in EU all the time. Its a real pain to get onto EU servers when things are region locked.

Posted: Oct 6th 2011 9:23AM MrSquiggles said

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@Chiren

zhu /
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Posted: Oct 6th 2011 9:04AM Grinstone said

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I can't think of a single good reason for region locking. What could the goal for such a policy be except a misguided attempt to balkanize the gaming community?

Or is it supposed to be a means for these companies to promulgate their anti-immigration views?

Really, the whole idea completely baffles me. Who wakes up one morning with the idea, "Hey, lets build artificial borders into our games!"

Posted: Oct 6th 2011 7:18PM Resurge said

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@Grinstone really? promulgate and balkanize in the same post? You are trying too hard. 5 bucks says most people here don't even know wtf those words mean.

if you still can't think of a good reason, think hard about $$$$ and 99 times out of 100 the answer is in there somewhere.
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Posted: Oct 7th 2011 5:59AM Grinstone said

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@Resurge

See, I don't know how region locking helps them make money. If you've got some insight that can explain that to me, don't be shy about sharing it.

Incidentally, using words like promulgate and balkanize isn't trying too hard. It's called having a vocabulary. Sort of the opposite of '$$$$', if you will.
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Posted: Oct 6th 2011 9:05AM xBludx said

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No. It's very irritating. I'm in Asia and there are a lot of region-locked games for me and I have to go through a lot of hoops to play on American servers. It sucks.

Also, I bought a game and was able to play it here. A couple of years later, that game maker made a deal to release in this country and now I'm locked out of the game I bought. I can't download it from my current location. I think if you buy a game, you should be able to play it as much as you want wherever you are.

Posted: Oct 6th 2011 9:07AM Purplepastafarian said

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Region locking is just the lazy way to deal with lag. While the language barrier can be an issue simply by setting up multiple chat channels you allow players to form their own sub communities within the game.

EVE is a great example of what can be done without region locking, everyone plays together on a single server and thanks to CCP's continuing efforts lag is only an issue when several hundred players start shooting at each other (And lets be honest how many mmo's feature combat on a comparable scale).

Region locking allows the mmo industry to invest the minimal amount in lag prevention and limits the players experience by restricting who they can play with.

Posted: Oct 6th 2011 9:09AM Jack Pipsam said

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No, Its bad enough that Bioware isn't putting it out here right away, so blocking would kill so many sales.

Posted: Oct 6th 2011 9:18AM (Unverified) said

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or maybe its blocked in some countries where another company holds the publishing rights or the publisher is not allowed to sell their games there.

just saying. im us and due to work play on EU prime time, so i know blocking can suck, but sometimes there is a reason for it.

Posted: Oct 6th 2011 9:22AM Scuffles said

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Simple answer to region locking.

For Console games
No, no, never never, NO!

For Online MMOs
Maybe ......
Of course most MMOs are not region locked unless the region their blocking has a contract with the developer to publish the MMO in their region........ Or their region is the source of severe problems.

Even then region locks never really stand what with proxies and all.

Posted: Oct 6th 2011 9:33AM FrostPaw said

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No, Never.

Reccomending a specific region based on IP address is perfectly fine for latency concerns and should be enough to keep idiots happy who can't think for themselves but it shouldn't be enforced.

Give players the option to change region but warn of potential latency issues if they do so, allow them to click "I understand" and then it's up to the user.

Posted: Oct 6th 2011 9:35AM smartstep said

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Simple answer. NO.

Posted: Oct 6th 2011 9:58AM CricketB said

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I think region locking belongs in the last decade. There may have once been technical reasons to do so, but they're long gone. Now I can't imagine a single good reason to stop me from playing with my friends across the globe.

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