A few days back, Nintendo became the first ever console company to do a Humble Bundle. For those who don’t know, Humble Bundles are absolutely-amazing deals. You can pay what you want and get games, you can pay the average price and get more games, or you can pay the set price (which is $10 for this bundle) and unlock all the games. It’s an insane deal! To add to this, they’re adding in more games over time that you’ll get for no additional cost, if you’ve already payed more then the average price. In the end, this bundle will include over 8 games for around $88.
However, even though this is an amazing deal, and even though Nintendo made history by doing this, the internet has been pretty down on the bundle. The reason? Region-Locking. Unfortunately, this bundle is only available in the Americas (minus Brazil). This means fans in Europe and Australia can’t partake in the awesomeness. This has caused some pretty major backlash that both Humble Bundle and Nintendo have responded to.
In an interview, Nintendo’s Damon Baker stated that this deal has been in the works for 6 months. He also stated on Twitter that they tried for for months to make it a global deal. Humble Bundle put a message out on their blog regarding the region blocking issue. Here’s what they said:
One of the reasons we launched the first Humble Bundle was to bring indie games to more people. We agree that region-locking is not ideal. But without it, we may not have had this opportunity to promote these great indie games on dedicated video game platforms.
Our goal is to make games as universally accessible as can be. That’s why, while we strive to sell DRM-free games when possible, we also explore services like Steam, Origin, uPlay, and now the Nintendo eShop. These services allow us to offer more games at pay-what-you-want prices while raising more money for charity and reaching more gamers.
In the end though, there isn’t much that Humble Bundle or Nintendo of America can do to change the situation. However, the feedback that we’re seeing can do good. In the recent investors meeting, Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata stated that they’re looking into removing region-locking with the NX. The feedback over this could help push the decision, in what is in my opinion, the only viable direction.