Last week, it was revealed that European Wii U owners can only purchase 18+ rated games from the Wii U eShop during certain hours of the night. It seemed like a curious decision by Nintendo of Europe.

As it turns out, the policy exists in order to comply with German law, which requires that any content rated 18+ (the European equivalent to America's "M" rating) be sold at night.

Nintendo has confirmed this in a statement sent to Eurogamer. From that statement:

"Legal age restriction requirements vary across a number of European countries. Since Nintendo of Europe is based in Germany, Nintendo eShop is complying with German youth protection regulation which therefore applies to all our European markets. Under German law, content rated 18+ must be made available only at night.

"Therefore the accessibility of 18+ content in Nintendo eShop is limited to [USK: 22:00 UTC until 4:00 UTC] [PEGI: 23:00 UTC until 3:00 UTC].


So, there you have it. If you gotta blame someone, blame the Germans! The jerks. With their lovely countryside, genial people and amazing beer.

Nintendo confirms German law to blame for Europe-wide Wii U eShop 18+ content restrictions [Eurogamer]