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Nintendo eShop now adopts the IARC rating system

Mpl90

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Mar 10, 2011
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A while ago, Nintendolife posted an article where it was stated how IARC was coming soon to the eShop, specifically in this extract

http://www.nintendolife.com/news/2015/10/international_age_rating_coalition_system_iarc_set_to_come_to_the_eshop_very_soon

Already available on Google Play and the Firefox Marketplace, its arrival on the eShop seems to be around the corner. Renegade Kid's Jools Watsham has told us that when looking into obtaining ratings for Dementium Remastered he was advised by his source that the IARC system is coming "very soon"; it was suggested that he hold fire and rate the game for Europe through the new system. That leads to an optimistic assumption that it's a matter of weeks, not months for this to kick in.
It's worth recognising that this could be a hugely important development for small Indie developers, reducing some cost and time constraints in bringing their games to more markets. Hopefully more download titles will arrive across all territories once this rating system goes live.
Now, it seems it's already working, as testified by two indie developers.

RCMADIAX

https://twitter.com/rcmadiax/status/659872103366303744

And our own Gualtica (ZaciSa: Defender of the Crayon Dimension)

Nintendo IARC is a go!!! As a indie dev, I am so excited. Along with my next 2 games (both early 2016), now going back and releasing ZaciSa in AU! :)
In case you're wondering what IARC is

https://www.globalratings.com/

And how it works



The Nintendo eShop joins Google Play and Firefox Marketplace as digital stores adopting the international standard. Both Xbox Live Store and Playstation Store will adopt it in the future.

Rate me L for Late if old.
 

matrix-cat

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Jan 9, 2009
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Hopefully this mean no more indie games that inexplicably never appear on the AU store. And, yeah, region-free-ness, obviously.
 

LewieP

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So presumably a step towards making international releases easier for devs? I gather right now it is tricky to release an eShop game in Japan, beyond just the difficulty of translation and such.
 

Oregano

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Mar 13, 2013
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Honeslty my biggest hope with Nintendo adopting this system is that it means a return to region free. Concerns about global ratings were on of their (rubbish) reasons for region locking.
 
May 22, 2010
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Step in the right direction for a completely region-free eShop. Good job, Nintendo.
Indeed, as this has been one of Nintendo's justifications for being region locked previously. Also, it suggests that they are trying to make their platforms more accommodating to third party devs and pubs rather than just building what suits them and expecting the rest of the world to lump it or leave it.

Hopefully.
 

@MUWANdo

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Jun 7, 2011
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So presumably a step towards making international releases easier for devs? I gather right now it is tricky to release an eShop game in Japan, beyond just the difficulty of translation and such.
This decision doesn't have much bearing on that specific issue. Japanese releases for western devs are impossible by design; Nintendo (and Sony, more or less) want and expect devs to go through a Japanese publisher.

EDIT: IARC doesn't seem to cover CERO, anyway.
 

GulAtiCa

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Jan 19, 2013
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Like I said, I'm super excited! Perfect timing, as very close to needing to get a new game of mine rated.

So presumably a step towards making international releases easier for devs? I gather right now it is tricky to release an eShop game in Japan, beyond just the difficulty of translation and such.
Japan on the eShop requires a Japanese publisher. So still difficult. That prob won't change for Wii U/3DS since it's a Nintendo policy.
 

vanty

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Could this mean Hotline Miami 2 could be released in Australia now if it has a rating equivalent to MA or R in Europe?
 

Luigiv

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I wonder if it's possible for devs to go back and update DSiware games with IARC ratings. If so; Wayfowrd, please release Shantae 2 and Mighty Milky Way in Australia. I bought them on my old 3DS (back, before NNID, when it was possible to switch eShop region) but lost them when transferring to my New 3DS. Whilst the games are linked to my NNID now, I can't redownload them because they're not on the Aussie portal. :(
 

Airola

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Jun 25, 2015
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Oh yeah!
Maybe we'll finally get THE LETTER on the European eShop!

Seriously, I have a thing for the bottom of the barrel games - such as Tested with Robots which is very amusing in its hugely unfinished quality - I think I even paid the full 10e price for that one! I mean, if some random person decides to become a game developer and actually releases his totally undeveloped game on an actual video game console and DARES to ask that much money, hell, I'll bite!

I will also buy all of the RCMADIAX games. Not that they are as bad as those I mentioned before. I liked Blok Drop U and thought POKER DICE SOLITAIRE FUTURE is one of the best video game names ever (it's surprisely entertaining game too - well, what Yahtzee clone isn't?).
 

Crema

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I may be jumping the gun but it's starting to feel like Nintendo are going to get things right over the next couple of years.
 

L~A

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Like I said, I'm super excited! Perfect timing, as very close to needing to get a new game of mine rated.


Japan on the eShop requires a Japanese publisher. So still difficult. That prob won't change for Wii U/3DS since it's a Nintendo policy.
Yeah, Sony's been snatching indies left and right in Japan, while Nintendo gets nothing for obvious reason. This is not good at all.

Speaking of which, why is it required?
I remember Circle Entertainement talking about it once. Here:

I understand a lot of Western publishers feel the rule is unfair, but Japan is a special market, so I understand why Nintendo would want to control the quality of content and require a local publisher to handle publishing duties,” Chau explained. “One of the important reasons for this is for support issues following a game’s release. Japanese players e-mail publishers for support or make phone call inquiries, so you need a native Japanese speaker to answer their questions. You can’t really expect Japanese players to speak to you in English, so a local company is a necessity.
About CERO:

“In Japan, these steps are quite a bit more complicated than they are in the U.S. and Europe in our experience,” Chau says. “Nintendo also provides comments to publishers, after receiving a new game proposal, regarding content, price and so on. There’s a master submission date that you need to adhere to, as well as make all of the necessary modifications required for a Japanese release, even if you’ve already released a U.S. version of your game. You can’t just translate your game into Japanese and call it a day.”
That last bit might change, as I remember reading CERO was interested in joining the IARC.

Source
 

sörine

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Sep 1, 2013
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I wonder if it's possible for devs to go back and update DSiware games with IARC ratings. If so; Wayfowrd, please release Shantae 2 and Mighty Milky Way in Australia. I bought them on my old 3DS (back, before NNID, when it was possible to switch eShop region) but lost them when transferring to my New 3DS. Whilst the games are linked to my NNID now, I can't redownload them because they're not on the Aussie portal. :(
The DX version of Shantae 2 is coming to 3DS/Wii U so that'll likely make it over. You have to rebuy it though. :/
 

Khaz

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This decision doesn't have much bearing on that specific issue. Japanese releases for western devs are impossible by design; Nintendo (and Sony, more or less) want and expect devs to go through a Japanese publisher.
Speaking of which, why is it required?
It's probably a language thing. You put a publisher between the western dev and the Japanese audience, acting like a language buffer. Nintendo of Japan and their customers will only deal with people speaking Japanese.
 

Luigiv

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sörine;183509705 said:
The DX version of Shantae 2 is coming to 3DS/Wii U so that'll likely make it over. You have to rebuy it though. :/
Oh cool, I don't mind repurchasing (as long as the prices aren't ridiculous), though I'll still need a way of getting my fix of cute, French speaking aliens.
 

Disorientator

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Finally, excellent news!!

As an EU-based indie developer, it just didn't feel right to skip the "local" EU market because of age-rating costs.
 

Vena

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Nintendo's really been leading the charge on helping indies and cooperation with said smaller developers. Also this bodes well for regional locking on the next console (or lack thereof).

Good to see, and the changes since Baker took over in NoA have been undeniable and definitely not coincidental.
 

Shiggy

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Nintendo's really been leading the charge on helping indies and cooperation with said smaller developers. Also this bodes well for regional locking on the next console (or lack thereof).

Good to see, and the changes since Baker took over in NoA have been undeniable and definitely not coincidental.
What's the relation between this rating system and region locking?
 

Luigiv

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What's the relation between this rating system and region locking?
The parental controls are based on local ratings so Nintendo has been using them as an excuse for why the systems are region locked (the parental controls wouldn't work if the local rating is missing). This update would allow all games to launch with ratings for all regions hence why people are hopeful it'll help curcumvent region locking (honestly I'm not so sure about that myself).
 

Shiggy

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The parental controls are based on local ratings so Nintendo has been using them as an excuse for why the systems are region locked (the parental controls wouldn't work if the local rating is missing). This update would allow all games to launch with ratings for all regions hence why people are hopeful it'll help curcumvent region locking (honestly I'm not so sure about that myself).
As you say, that was just a bullshit excuse by Iwata. We have different rating systems in Europe, yet there is no region locking within Europe. At the same time, the rating systems have not prevented Microsoft or Sony from not having region-free systems. The new rating system doesn't mean anything, sadly.
 

Eusis

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As you say, that was just a bullshit excuse by Iwata. We have different rating systems in Europe, yet there is no region locking within Europe. At the same time, the rating systems have not prevented Microsoft or Sony from not having region-free systems. The new rating system doesn't mean anything, sadly.
I half expect that even if they dump region locking that instead it'll be because of a full on overhaul of how they handle their platforms, not because of this change.
 

DaSorcerer7

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As you say, that was just a bullshit excuse by Iwata. We have different rating systems in Europe, yet there is no region locking within Europe. At the same time, the rating systems have not prevented Microsoft or Sony from not having region-free systems. The new rating system doesn't mean anything, sadly.

Agreed. Both Sony and MS haven't adopted this yet, and they're both Region-free.
 

Starwolf_UK

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I'm also curious what this means for smaller regions with unique ratings such as South Africa and Russia, though a quick glance linked those two to government ministries in their respective countries.

Thinking about it more it probably means no changes as so far from a Nintendo centric point they seem to have gotten pretty much everything Europe does (the Art Style games on DSiWare are one exception and Russia at that).

Also anyone expecting delays between regions for indie games to go away. Not while different lot checks exist with slightly different standards (there is no reason why a game that was accepted in the USA then gets rejected in Europe).
 

Jiguryo

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This is awesome. I have lost count of how many digital games got delayed in Brazil due to local regulatory stuff.

Castle Crashers Remastered, for instance. :(
 

DownGrader

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I'm also curious what this means for smaller regions with unique ratings such as South Africa and Russia, though a quick glance linked those two to government ministries in their respective countries.

Thinking about it more it probably means no changes as so far from a Nintendo centric point they seem to have gotten pretty much everything Europe does (the Art Style games on DSiWare are one exception and Russia at that).
There were some temporary problems with Comic Workshop and STARWHAL in Russia, and I don't know if Ninja Gaiden 1 (3DS NES VC) is still unavailable here, but that's about it. Don't know why there is no Art Style DSiWare here, though.

As far as I know, age rating in Russia does not require approval from someone - the publisher self-rates the game, and the Minsvyaz (Ministry of Communications) take actions only if the game does not comply with the rating. But I am not a lawyer and can be mistaken.

EDIT: Just checked - still no Ninja Gaiden 1 on Russian 3DS eShop.