// what is the reason for region locking media?


Sorry if I’m using incorrect terminology.

Killing Eve is region locked to GB apparently and I vaguely remember El Orfanato being only available in Spain for a short while, but it’s seemingly not locked there anymore.

What is the reason for this? Isn’t it better and more profitable to not region lock?

In: 2

There are a few big reasons.

1) Pricing differences – all items are priced for their local area, including media. This allows you to price an item more expensive in Norway, a wealthy nation, than you would in Laos, a lower income area.

2) Prevent cross-region selling and piracy – As in #1, if no region locked, why not just buy it cheap in Laos and re-sell it in Norway? This helps prevent that and applies an additional degree of piracy protection. This is like totally a thing and why lots of stuff is region locked.

3) Rights deal – Media rights are generally not owned worldwide, but handled on a country by country basis, often by local companies in the area, they each need to protect their situation. This is a big deal. If you buy rights, you don’t want others to people able to screw you over in some way. There are also a lot of legal implications in each country regarding intellectual property laws that need to be followed

>Isn’t it better and more profitable to not region lock?

Generally, no.

their a few reasons, including but not limited too:


1) legal issues. certain areas have laws or regulations that need specific adaptions to a work in order to be compliant (for example, national socialist imagery in Germany), so that area gets region locked until a compliant version can be created.


2) logistics. its a non trivial thing to co-ordinate a gobal release, and breaking it down to a regional level allows for a more manageable luanch. also, espically with physical media, thier might be simple production bottlenecks that force a staggered release (ie, they physicaly cant produce enough copies)

3) localisation requirements: if your game is, for example, written in japan by japanese, then it will need translation to other languages before you can sell it worldwide. and this isnt a case of running it though google translator and calling it a day, youd need to sit down and properly translate, including changing idioms and such to suitable local ones (imagine trying to machine translate a story about inner city youths full of “gangsta” speak, for example)

There are many reasons.

In videogames older TVs across the world ran at different frequencies. 60hz for America, 50hz for Europe. The consoles therefore ran at these frequencies and the hardware was physically different so the game carts required region locking or they would have a lot of upset customers with non functional carts for their region .

Gameboys were not region locked because the hardware was the same allover: they didn’t need a TV to work.

Some of it is legal. Europe I believe has laws requiring games be available in all languages, whereas the US just needs English. So slightly different versions.

Pricing is another thing. And probably tax. Being able to charge the optimal price point in each region ensures optimal profits.

Copyright is another. Certain names are copyrighted in Europe that aren’t in the US and vice versa.

Censorship too. Japan famously has less lax censorship requirements than many other places.

Piracy prevention is a big motivator too.

At a surface level, it’s simply licencing agreements. Presuming you’re talking about streaming video services, content is locked to specific regions because the company the platform licences it from has different licencing agreements in different countries, and requires the streaming platform to implement region locking to enforce those requirements.

At a deeper level, there are multiple reasons why a content owner requires regional licencing.

**Pricing.** Different countries have different buying power. What the average American can afford with a week’s wages is very different to what the average Brazilian can afford, even after currency conversion. So regional pricing is used to make things fair. But with modern global logistics and digital distribution, consumers from countries with higher buying power are able to take unfair advantage of prices in regions with lower buying power; region locks prevent that.

**Laws.** Different countries have different laws and regulations for doing business in that country. In some regions, certain content is banned, restricted (affected sales), and/or must meet certain requirements to be sold, so you must prevent those places accessing the version of content that doesn’t comply. In some regions, a foreign entity is required to work with a local partner for distribution, or you don’t get to do business in that region. Sometimes, local laws are so complicated that it’s not practical even for a major corporation to distribute content themselves, so they create distribution or publishing agreements with other companies.

There’s other good reasons like localization, logistics, piracy, PAL vs NTSC standards etc that other people have answered so I won’t repeat what they’ve said.