Youth protection regulations mean 18+ rated games can only be sold between 11pm and 3am
Nintendo has blamed German laws for restricting mature-rated game downloads on the Wii U eShop in Europe to between 11pm and 3am.
The news came to light when an Italian Wii U owner received a customer support e-mail detailing the regulations in place, designed to help protect young users.
“We would like to let you know that Nintendo has always aimed to offer gameplay experiences suited to all age groups, observing carefully all the relevant regulations regarding content access that are present in the various European countries,” read the e-mail.
"We have thus decided to restrict the access to content which is unsuitable to minors to the 11pm - 3am time window."
The restrictions mean that titles like Ubisoft Montpellier’s shooter ZombiU cannot be downloaded during the day.
Nintendo has since responded to the news, and a spokesperson told MCV that as Nintendo of Europe is based in Germany, the eShop had to comply with German youth protection regulation.
"At Nintendo we always aim to provide a safe gaming experience for fans of all ages and ensure that we comply with applicable legal age restriction requirements across Europe,” said the spokesperson.
“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."