I’m not sure how much region-locking has impaired your life, but it has become a frequent annoyance for an ex-pat like myself. True, Nintendo’s policies on the issue has shut off a whole generation of excellent Nintendo 3DS and Wii U games that might never make it to States. That aside, there is also the issue of Steam which allows publishers to deny English versions of Japanese games to be sold within the country’s borders.
Seriously, if I want to buy a SEGA game like Valkyria Chronicles, for example, through Steam, it’s just not going to happen. The page has been blocked from my browser, and even after finding a way to legitimately purchase it, successfully downloading it is still a crap-shoot.
Which is why I am always happy to see that there are some publishers out there who are willing to move forward in this increasingly connected world and realize that borders simply can’t continue to hold back the digital revolution. Bandai Namco is apparently one of these companies as it has just stripped Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition from its region-locking on Steam.
“A nice fix is available for all players since January 19th 2015 to completely remove the infamous multiplayer region lock in Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition.”
It’s a wonderful gesture that hopefully shows the company, one of Japan’s most influential, is increasingly becoming aware of the futility of locking content available on the Internet away in a box, enjoyable only to certain regions.
I’ve mentioned before that Steam could very well be the future main platform of many Japanese franchises because of its cheap availability, and as this becomes more and more apparent, hopefully publishers will follow suit and make their games available for all, including ex-pats.