Bad Export for You

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

Sometimes a company says "No Export for You" and refuses to release its media outside of its home country. And then there's this situation, where they do release it, but in an intentionally watered-down, poor quality, or overpriced version.

This is most likely to happen with video games and anime. Media produced in Japan are particularly prone to this, because high prices make them expensive in Japan. To discourage Japanese fans from buying cheaper from abroad, many distributors make their foreign products expensive or unattractive (e.g. by removing Japanese audio or subtitles). The fact that they are screwing their overseas fans matters little, as their domestic market is worth far more than the American or European one.

Because companies seldom announce why they licensed a product in a particular way, the information is often spread through rumors, so some of these may be unreliable. This trope is only for examples where you think the company intentionally produced a lower quality version. Please don't list examples which are just "this was a bad port" or "they put out an alpha version" unless you think they did that on purpose, not just because they were lazy or ran out of time. Likewise, don't add examples which are just Americanizing something because they think Americans want it that way. Or, if a localized version loses features—most commonly multiplayer mode—due to lack of infrastructure, that is not this trope.

People in isolated areas can get very angry about No Export for You and Bad Export For You. That is why there are other choices.

Regional Bonus is an inversion of this trope applied to Video Games.

Compare Porting Disaster.

Examples of Bad Export for You include:


  • This almost always means that a work of Japanese origin (animated or live action) has been watered down for release in the United States or elsewhere outside Japan. Prices for everything in Japan are very high, especially for entertainment goods; for example, Anime DVDs are typically $65+ for 3 episodes, $95 for the special edition, with 5 to 10 DVDs required for an entire series. In addition, the distribution system makes it hard to get any media at a discount, especially since the sale of used video games and used electronics are illegal.
Even when the costs of things like overseas shipping and currency exchange are taken into account, it is usually cheaper for the Japanese consumer to import from the United States or other countries than it is to buy the home version. Many companies realize this, and will therefore license inferior versions for overseas distribution (often by removing the Japanese audio and subtitle tracks) so as to discourage this practice.
  • The US release of the original Mobile Suit Gundam lacked a Japanese audio track because there wasn't a Japanese DVD version yet (mainly because of age damage to the audio track) and Sunrise didn't want Japanese fans reverse-importing...especially not with a remastered version in the works. Bandai Entertainment was even forced to replace the original Japanese opening and ending themes with Toonami's custom credits after the first few volumes because of this.
    • Speaking of the music issue, the American release of Zeta Gundam replaces the openings with the Zeta Gundam's orchestral theme from the sound tracks; however, this is because the rights to the openings currently reside with the writer's family, and thus any game that features this series isn't allowed to use the openings in ANY form.
      • Some games do use them, not very many, but there isn't a complete ban on their use or anything like that.
    • Syfy's airing of Mobile Suit Gundam 00 had its endings cut due to music licensing, which would be annoying enough if not for the second season having a minute-long Stinger after each episode, which were hit with Credits Pushback. Often these scenes were plot-critical, such as the penultimate episode showing how Seravee Gundam was destroyed; without the scene, American fans were left wondering why it wasn't there in the big final battle.
  • The original American Princess Mononoke release was going to lack a Japanese track for this reason. After fan outcry, Disney decided to release it with one, but also delayed the release so it wouldn't compete as much with the Japanese release.
  • Toei Animation licensed Sailor Moon, subtitled, to ADV for about... ten minutes. The masters that they gave them were so poor, many fans suspect that ADV was actually stuck using the old masters that DiC originally had to use to make the dub, and they did not give them episode 67 (no great loss, it was a pointless swimsuit episode that had no connection to the plotline, but still irksome on principle). This has been speculated as due to the desire to prevent reverse imports, but nobody really knows. They apparently won't license it at all any more.
    • Similarly, Bandai America licensed Blue Comet SPT Layzner, but according to Bandai's PR rep the masters they received were badly damaged and tinted blue, making them completely unusable. Replacements never came, and after several years the license expired with absolutely nothing to show for it.
  • Night on the Galactic Railroad was released in the West on DVD only once, in 2001. Uncut, properly subtitled, great sound, but bad picture (the source was the laserdisk release). And it's now out of print, with only a few copies available online. The Japanese got a MUCH better DVD only a year after.
  • Milky Animation, a Japanese adult animation company, intentionally gave its American localization partner Kitty Media an unfinished/inferior copy of an episode of the popular hentai series Bible Black because the uncensored dual-language English versions were being reverse imported.
    • And before that, they tried to have the New Testament sequel series released English-only for the same reason; this backfired so badly that the series returned to dual-language by the second volume, with sub-only versions of the episodes on the first volume included as extras to boot.
    • Kitty Media also saw this happen with their release of Moonlight Lady: those with access to the original Japanese footage noted that the visual quality was dimmed quite a bit, to the point where a lot of the details in the character's hair was lost.
  • The original release of Blue Submarine No. 6 was sold a single episode at a time at relatively high prices to make it harder to reverse-import. A cheaper compiled version eventually did come out.
  • This is the reason that some anime releases outside Japan do not feature the original Japanese versions of the opening and ending credits. This has led to cases where the ending sequence changes in each episode in the Japanese version, but the same ending reel is used for all episodes in the English release.
    • That's borderline. Sometimes it does happen because the Japanese won't give the Americans the proper materials, bringing it under this trope, but sometimes it just happens because the American company doesn't want to use openings and closings that contain kanji, and they do have the original openings/closings, but not clean versions. Examples of this include the original release of Trigun, and Sailor Moon.
  • DVD image quality for anime releases outside of Japan are often intentionally reduced for this purpose. One of the most insane, however, was the release of Neon Genesis Evangelion by ADV. Rather than giving ADV high-quality transfers to use for their VHS and DVD releases, ADV was "granted" what essentially amounted to retail VHS copies of Evangelion that would degrade in quality when copied—even to DVD. This lasted until the Platinum Collection was released in America.
    • This trope in general is now made worse with the fact that anime is now often released in some half-finished formats, depending on the studio releasing the show. Recent shows like Super Robot Wars Original Generation: Divine Wars, Gundam Seed Destiny and Code Geass have received massive overhauls when "converted" over to DVD. Most companies are polite enough to generally give the localization companies the "fixed" versions of these shows—but there have still been releases that wind up basically shoving the lower-quality TV episodes at the American audience like it's the best they'll ever get.
  • Bandai's contract when it licensed the first season of Suzumiya Haruhi demanded that, despite the fanbase wanting it badly (and because the Japanese fanbase wanted it too and hadn't gotten it), they couldn't put the episodes on the DVDs in broadcast order, only in chronological order. Bandai reacted by providing two releases: the bare-bones chronological order DVDs and the special editions, which came with Feelies, chronological order and broadcast order discs, single albums and other merchandise.
    • It should be noted that the UK Anime Legends release only has the chronological disks.
  • The ADV Films' release of Mazinkaiser is a textbook example of why this trope occurs, with Japanese fans ordering the American version and cannibalizing the Japanese release's sales.
    • This is actually the inverse of the overpriced-export situation—Japanese anime DVDs are outrageously expensive in Japan, and while still quite expensive in the US (a DVD with 6 episodes costs as much as a DVD set of an entire season of a US show) they're nowhere near as bad as Japanese DVDs.
  • The US Blu-Ray of Kurokami lacks a Japanese track. The Japanese licensor seems to be doing this to prevent reverse importation; Japan and the US have the same Blu-Ray region code.
  • Section23 is releasing Asylum Session Stateside this April... but only in a 2D subtitled version despite being made as a 3D Movie.
  • Mostly averted with the US blu-ray release of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. Instead of removing the Japanese audio, Aniplex made FUNimation lock the subtitles so that they can't be turned off unless the English audio is turned on.
    • So they punish legitimate importers who (probably) can't override DVD PGC codes, but not pirates. Good job!
  • The entirety of the 2005 Gaiking series is available on Hulu. However, the subtitle job, to put it mildly, essentially amounts to a very amateurly made fansub; some words, and even entire sentences sometimes get left out, and there's at least one scene in one episode that isn't translated at all (specifically, the scene after the ending credits in episode 31.
  • Some have observed that the VHS / DVD releases of the first three Digimon Adventure/Digimon Adventure 02 film dubs, a.k.a. Digimon: The Movie, use a subpar video track which provides a much more washed-out and bland look. Among other problems. What makes this particularly confusing is that only the films are affected - the DVD sets for the Digimon Adventure and Digimon Savers dubs use higher-quality video tracks on par with the Japanese releases.
  • Monster Rancher, while the anime itself was well made and well translated, large chunks were cut due to violence and blood present, in particular a scene where Genki is slashed across the chest and left for dead had all the blood erased. But, far less understandably, series two was only aired once and the third season, while dubbed, never at all. Even worse, only a couple of dozen episodes were ever released on DVDs and very few of those were printed. If you want to watch the whole thing you need to look up very-poor VHS rips online. Keep Circulating the Tapes, people. Maybe one day it will be available for download on Amazon or iTunes....
  • The season season of Heaven's Lost Property released by FUNimation was downgraded from DVD/Blu-Ray combo box to DVD only. According to an anime distributor, the Japanese licensor were a bit too cautious for having the Blu-Ray release being too soon after the Japanese release date, so Funimation decided to ditch the Blu-Ray option rather than delaying the release date.
  • With UK DVD releases of anime, what commonly happens is the lack of Japanese track - which is frustrating when the US release got both the dubbed and the subbed version. Example: Hell Girl: American Release and the UK release.
    • That's if they release it in the UK at all.
      • Not common at all, at least since early 2000s. Also that DVD does have Japanese. Amazon aren't the best at reporting language tracks.
  • A rare Manga version -- Shonen Jump was so harmed by rampant piracy that Viz had to go to a digital only publishing model -- "Weekly Shonen Jump Alpha," despite the Japanese manga industry being legendarily behind the times in terms of technology. Unfortunately it is only available to US customers at this time, partially due to the difficulty in getting rights to publish it in other countries, but equally due to issues of WSJA being only $1 ($0.50 with a 1 year subscription) -- which is the equivalent of 80 / 40 yen, or in other words 15% - 30% of the price of the Japanese magazine.
  • The western dubbed version of Macross :Do You Remember Love? was apparently rumoured to be used as an education tool to teach English. It featured an eclectic bunch of Australian and Hong Kong voice actors who hammed it up despite the serious tone and had 30 minutes hacked off. It was released on VHS in the UK and US as Macross: Clash of the Bioroids. Due the problems associated with the Macross brand, it may be the only adaptation of this film to come to the west.

Food and Drink

  • Mountain Dew Energy is the UK's reintroduced version of Mountain Dew, which reworks the unique drink into a sub-par energy drink. It tastes completely different, is yellow instead of green, and has a noticeably less syrupy texture. They say they had to change the recipe to include sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup, but they did this in Denmark and it tastes and looks the same as the US version. Executive Meddling is likely to have been at hand.
  • Something which happens very commonly in UK soft drinks and sweets is that products with a lemon flavour will have it rebranded to lemon and lime, only for that flavour to become the least popular and be discontinued. Notable cases of this are Pepsi Twist (which was popular in the UK under its lemon version and was rebranded as lemon and lime, leading to a drop in sales and discontinuation) and the lemon flavour of Starburst being changed to lemon and lime (which lead to a higher demand for lemon flavour chews of other makes). Nobody knows why this is done with nearly every lemon flavoured product - companies say it's public demand, but it is evident from sales that this is not the case.

Live Action TV and Film

  • Toho is infamous for this.
    • As a result of this, the Parasite Eve movie was released with hard subtitles.
    • May be why Godzilla movies are released in the United States without the extras they had in Japan. Until recently, they didn't even have Japanese tracks.
      • This is why Destroy All Monsters had its American DVD release without a Japanese track or even a menu or chapter stops.
        • This will fortunately soon be rendered moot since Media Blasters is working on a release of the film, which will feature the film's original Japanese version with subtitles.
      • The company that's currently releasing them (Classic Media) is making its own extras for the American releases to make up for this. As mentioned, though, a lot of these movies were unavailable in their original Japanese versions—including the undeniably classic original Gojira—until 2004 or later, well after the American market for subtitled foreign films came in vogue. And now Classic Media is releasing Gojira on Blu-Ray -- before the Japanese release!
      • Which turned out to be another case of Bad Export For You, since the Blu-Ray that we got turned out to be a glorified upscale, rather than the shiny new HD transfer that was eventually released on the Japanese Blu-Ray.
      • Averted with Madman's Australian DVD releases. Granted, they didn't get the license for five of the movies, and Godzilla 2000 is the American cut only, but all the other have both Japanese and English tracks and are anamorphic.


  • For a while in the mid 2000s, record companies would release UK albums outside the UK with a track missing, with the intent of making people import the (more expensive) UK versions. Several examples being Jamiroquai's Dynamite, Kaiser Chiefs' Employment and U2's How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb. They all have UK-exclusive songs that were supposed to be part of the actual album.
  • The US copies of the Foo Fighters' Wasting Light vinyl come with a code to download a better sounding mp3 version of the album. The non-US copies of the vinyl are exactly the same except they don't come with this code. And they're more expensive. What's the point?
  • CD singles, especially of pop music, might have non-album tracks in some territories but in others, they will be replaced by remixes and live tracks. It seems it is cheaper for record companies to produce inferior versions of singles for international markets.
  • The US edition of BT's Movement in Still Life had its tracklist Americanized by the replacement of four of the techno/trance tracks with hip-hop, as well as having the other songs edited down, and it wasn't mixed together like the original UK edition, nor did it include the bonus remix disc.

Video Games

  • Shows up in, of all places, arcade games. In many cases, it's actually a form of region locking, in which the game cartridge detects the region of its underlying BIOS, and if it's running on a non-Japanese BIOS, locks away certain features and even changes the difficulty. Examples:
    • Radiant Silvergun will only allow you to use three weapons, instead of the standard (and very much so needed) seven, unless you're using a Japanese ST-V board.
    • Magical Drop II hides the challenge mode from US Neo Geos, and switches to an alternate voice bank of sub-par quality.
    • Magical Drop III hides only the hardest difficulty of VS. CPU mode, but takes away the character's voices completely, replacing them with a generic and annoying announcer.
    • The King of Fighters removed Mai's breast bounce animation and some blood in certain regions of the game. This censored version is what was unfortunately used for the KOF 2000/2001 collection for PlayStation 2.
  • In the Famicom/NES era, Konami could produce its own Famicom cartridges but had to buy NES cartridges from Nintendo. The result was that a lot of games were stripped down during NES conversion to save costs. One example is Contra, where the cutscenes and map screens were removed.
  • The SNES port of Fatal Fury Special reduced the cartridge size from 32 Megabits to 24 for its European release in order to sell the game for a lower price. As a result, many animation frames were cut, along with four of the playable characters (Big Bear, Cheng Sinzan, Axel Hawk, and Laurence Blood).
  • The American release of the Double Dragon 3 arcade game added a shopping system in which the player could purchase new playable characters, weapons, special moves, greater maximum health, and faster attack speed, by actually inserting more tokens into the machine. The Japanese release had no such system. Instead, you could choose between any of the four character types from the get-go, your special moves were usable by default, and weapons are simply found lying around.
    • The American version of Super/Return of Double Dragon lacked the adjustable difficulty and true final stage of the later-released Japanese version, had many of its music tracks misplaced or left out, and had alot more glitches, such as being unable to switch weapons, juggle enemies with the Hurricane Kick, or catch boomerangs.
  • Ace Combat 3 Electrosphere. The Japanese version had 52 missions, branching to allow you to do the game from all four perspectives at once, the ability to change perspective on the fly, anime style cutscenes for all those branching mission paths, and more. What we got internationally was one perspective, only one of those cutscenes, and generally international players were left scratching their heads as to what the heck was going on. What's worse, pretty much every game after Electrosphere contained countless references to its plot, which go completely lost on non-Japanese fans.
  • While Harvest Moon exports are in no way bad, they are often seen as inferior to the Japanese versions (even putting aside the Misblamed aspects). They often contain glitches not present in the original, So Bad It's Good translations, a lot of errors in the text, and things taken out (the most infamous being the lesbian marriage in one game). Rune Factory has the same troubles when under Natsume. It's apparently even worse outside of NA.
  • The localization of the Nintendo DS remake of Dragon Quest IV inexplicably excised the additional 'party talk' available in the game which was added to give much needed characterization.
  • Earnest Evans was moved from the Sega CD to the Sega Genesis for the American version. Besides the music being lower-quality, all of the cutscenes were removed, leaving the American version without a plot. Since Annet(te) and Zigfried only appeared in cutscenes, American gamers did not recognize them in the sequel, El Viento.
  • The American version of Captain Silver for the Master System is only 1-Megabit instead of the original 2-Megabit size that the Japanese and European versions were sold as. Because of this, two whole stages were removed and many enemy characters, including half of the bosses, were removed. Additionally, the visuals in the ending were removed, leaving only a text-only epilogue. Despite this, all of the enemies and stages that were cut from the American version are still listed in the manual.
    • Sega did the same thing with the Master System version of Enduro Racer. The Japanese 2-Megabit cartridge was cut down to half that for American and European release, thus reducing the number of levels from ten to five.
  • The European version of Professor Layton and The Specters Flute completely cuts down the RPG Professor Layton's London Life, claiming it'd take a while to translate it. Then take longer to release the game. To rub salt on the wound, Americans and Australians get it right off the bat, where you needed to beat the game to unlock it in the Japanese version.
  • This has been done with the Tales (series); but only a couple mild examples:
    • Tales of Phantasia - when it was finally given a localization, it was the Game Boy Advance version, which suffered from the transition from Playstation to Game Boy Advance, and was in general just old. Conveniently, a better version was announced for the PSP later that year...
    • Tales of Legendia basically cut voice acting from half the game because the localizers thought the character quests were an optional Post Script Season.
    • Tales of Symphonia also cut the voice acting from all the skits (Which is A LOT of the voice acting, like the example above).
    • Tales of Vesperia has been seen as this, once the Play Station 3 version came around and added so much more content it might as well have been an Enhanced Remake rather than an Updated Rerelease. US and PAL only has the 360 version.
    • In Europe it's even worse! Apart from inheriting the cuts from the American editions, "Tales of Vesperia" didn't have Spanish and Italian translations.. even though those translations were actually made! They just decided not to include them at the last moment. Also, look at the cover and back cover of the Spanish edition.
      • The winner is the European version of the 3DS edition of Tales of the Abyss. Namco only localized one thing for other languages apart from English (which was the American localization anyway): The part of the instructions booklet that explained how to boot the game. The rest is in English in every single country. Even the freaking back cover!
    • ....overall, considering how most of the other Tales games get No Export for You instead, it's easy to see why everyone agrees Namco hates Westerners.
  • Fire Emblem : Radiant Dawn is a borderline example. In the Japanese version, Hard and Maniac modes (renamed Normal and Hard in the English vesrsion, which was another bad choice.) featured extra dialogue. The English version made all versions have the same dialogue, but they used the shortened script from the Japanese Normal mode. There isn't much generally much of a difference, but some chapters make a lot less sense without the extended dialogue. (For example, the final chapter of Part 2 went into more deatail on Ludveck's motivations, and even featured a significant Title Drop.) On the other hand, the English script did fix several plot holes in the Japanese storyline.
  • At least the Spanish and German versions of Digimon World cannot be beaten as they didn't have time to translate the ending, so they made it unreachable. One of the warps in the Very Definitely Final Dungeon doesn't work and thus the Final Boss cannot be fought. They didn't even bother to fix this for the Platinum release.
    • While not as hampering, you can't enter Ogremon's hideout either, though it's not required to beat the game it's still a good chunk. It's fairly noticeable too, the Agumon you need to beat to enter won't talk to you and if you sneak behind him, you can't enter.
  • The Japanese version of Initial D Arcade Stage 4 introduced national online battles and the ability to change data on your save card online via cellphone or computer, among other things. The Japanese version of Initial D Arcade Stage 5 introduced special Japan-wide events that would let you unlock special parts/paint jobs. None of these features made it into the English release of 4. Even the Chinese version of 5 got its own special events (presumably as an incentive to not import Japan-version machines, which some arcades had done with 4 and almost universally with 3). They also went and took auras away from the English versions of these games until Version EXP 2.0 of Initial D Arcade Stage 5.
  • The Japanese version of One Piece: Unlimited Cruise SP contained both parts 1 and 2 of the Wii version plus the new Marineford mode, adapting an arc the original game didn't include, but the European version is missing part 2 entirely. Worse, since this is a One Game for the Price of Two deal and the plot isn't concluded until the second game, it's effectively like getting half a game, not just one of two games. And to think the 3DS enforces a Region Lock for the first time on a Nintendo portable. Oh, and the game was still advertised as "Unlimited Cruise SP" with no indication whatsoever that half of the game was entirely missing. Fans weren't happy.
    • Slightly subverted in that the second game is eventually getting released as well, but as its own game. Making it even more One Game for the Price of Two. Still a middle finger for Europeans.
  • Dragonball Z: Hyper Dimension was released in France and Spain without its story mode, simply to cheapen translation costs. Note that the only modes otherwise are Versus and Tournament, making it terrible for singleplayer.
  • The US version of Dance Dance Revolution Super NOVA lacked the eAmusement feature, preventing access to the secret songs outside of the Extra Stages.
  • Music licensing issues have plagued the Gundam video games for years, with games like Gundam Seed: Never-Ending Tomorrow and Dynasty Warriors: Gundam being forced to use the same catalog of generic game music in place of music from the actual anime.
  • The Famicom Platform Game Hao-kun no Fushigi na Tabi had the intro screens and last third of the game removed when it was localized as Mystery Quest.
  • Another Famicom Platform Game, Fudo Myouoden, had a lot cut out when it was released in the U.S. as Demon Sword due to reducing the cartridge size.
  • Xenoblade X was released in the west with fewer voice options for the main character, fewer character creation options, unique outfits clumsily replaced (the thumbnails still show the original) by copies of other in-game outfits, keeping (with no explanation) jokes about a character's name sounding like food even though it doesn't in English, inconsistently applied name changes, created an Artifact Title by changing the meaning of the BLADE to make them look like construction workers instead of mercenaries, and inserted Totally Radical memespeak EVERYWHERE. Backlash naturally ensued when 8-4, the translation company behind the hack job, claimed they were "always super respectful" to the original work and went so far as to claim anyone who wanted a translation that didn't suck was unpleasable and should go away.
  • Not wanting to be outdone by their contractors, Nintendo of America's internally handled release of the 14th Fire Emblem game commits virtually every sin of translation possible short of gibberish dialog, which it only avoids because the script is rarely a translation instead of original writing. Cut content is everywhere, names are both changed for reasons that make sense ("Luna" became "Selena" because English can't represent the subtle difference her name and the series's recurring spell) but far more often for no reasons but to create plotholes ("Harold" became "Arthur", even though the series had an Arthur and he wears a prominent H shaped belt buckle) and names transliterated directly despite clearly being a real name that should be translated differently ("ベルカ" is rendered "Beruka" despite "Belka" being a real Russian name.). The main character has few voice options and these voices all share the same lines instead of each having a slightly different personality. A serious character became obsessed with pickles, referencing them every other line, while a conversation was replaced with a string of ellipses. The English audio was created by actors who did not know the name or personality of the character they were voicing, let alone the context of the lines, and is as bad as you'd expect. The result was so bad, with its problems poorly hidden in pre-release, that a fan re-translation began before the English version was officially released.
  • Outrage from Moral Guardians forced Rockstar Games to Bowdlerise the Grand Theft Auto series in Japan. Since the CERO ratings were more of a suggestion than a strictly-enforced advisory deterring minors from purchasing and playing games unsuitable for them, said youngsters were able to get their hands on GTA and run amok in a virtual city to their hearts' content. Following the restrictions imposed on the sale of Grand Theft Auto III in the Saitama and Kanagawa prefectures, Rockstar was forced to apply a number of changes to appease authorities. As shown in a video by Vadim M and BadgerGoodger,[1] it gets egregious with Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas where a number of draconian and awkward changes were made to placate both Sony and the local censors. These also led to San Andreas‍'‍ release in Japan to be delayed to 2007, three years after its original PlayStation 2 release.
    • The wanted system is altered where shooting or maiming civilians with projectile or incendiary weapons awards CJ with an instant wanted level regardless of police presence. This makes most missions unnecessarily harder as you'd be hounded by law enforcement even if you shot someone in a secluded area. Strangely enough, this does not apply to melee weapons.
    • CJ is no longer able to stomp peds to pulp or do any foot-based attacks.
    • The bone squishing sound is no longer present.
    • Setting CJ or civilians on fire will no longer result in them screaming in agony.
    • A number of mission strands and plots were awkwardly censored or cut altogether--some of the missions where CJ is tasked to kill certain civilians were subtitled to seem as if those civilians were somehow affiliated or associated with the Ballas of all people.
    • The adult content in the game was also toned down, something Western players found to be pretty ironic considering the bizarre Widget Series and eroge in Japan, though the latter, like with most pornography, is also strangely censored.
  • The North American release of Colin McRae Rally 2.0 for the PlayStation ran at a somewhat slower speed due to refresh rate differences, i.e. the game renders at 60 hertz but is slower due to the update rate at 50. Not only that, but the Codies apparently sought to Americanize the game by replacing Nicky Grist's pace notes and narration with an uncredited American voice actor. As rallying is more popular in Europe than it is in the States, and Colin McRae being relatively unknown outside of Europe for that matter, the NTSC release seemed more like an afterthought.
  • As the install base of the SECAM colour standard (then France, the Soviet Union, and some countries in Africa and the Middle East [2]) was small enough not to warrant extensive support, Atari simply used the black and white SECAM signal and assigned colours to eight luminosity values in the Atari 2600, which meant that games played on French-market Ataris end up looking like a weird cross between a ZX Spectrum and a DOS game in CGA mode.
  • The Japanese version of the original Spyro game makes the camera worse to the point of non-functional, reduces the player's speed massively, makes the health meter impossible to read, and adds some signposts which will give you instructions like or not. The sequel repeats most of these problems, though there is an option to make the camera functional again. This version's legacy is primarily the extremely fanciful font used to write "スパイロ" for the logo, which looks a lot like "Ripto" to native users of the Latin alphabet and provides the name for the sequel's antagonist.
  • Valkyrie Profile: Silmeria is one of four PlayStation 2 with HD support, with an option to output 1080i resolution. For whatever reason, this option is absent from western releases. Nowadays with emulation upscaling the default 480p graphics in emulation will produce a better visual than the interlaced 1080i, but anyone on original hardware just gets an inferior signal.
  • When Amazon Games (a division of the internet store company) published a western version of Lost Ark they translated it poorly, made a horrific English voice track without a dual audio option, completely changed several characters and outfits for censorship and lore breaking Race Lifts, implemented a horrible auto-moderation system that bans innocent players at random and barely touches malicious ones, allowed Real Money Trade bots to run rampant in what is believed to be an attempt to inflate player counts (leading to, within a year of launch, over a quarter of a million bots compared to ~40,000 active players), and made the monetization and grind even worse (which is observed to be rather impressive feat for a Korean MMO). Amazon Games seems not to regret this handling, as the first thing they announced for their next project, the western release of Blue Protocol, was that it too would be censored.


  • This trope is fairly common in international sales of military hardware:
    • Various weapons systems have distinct "export models." The export model might exclude some of the latest technology for national security reasons, or simply to offer the weapon at a lower price.
    • The Soviet Union took this trope to extreme lengths during the Cold War. While any T-72 tank would be theoretically the same as any other, in reality, front-line units stationed in Germany would get the best-built tanks, while other Soviet and Warsaw Pact units would get lesser ones. Soviet third-world allies and clients like Syria or Angola? They'd get the "Monkey models," versions equipped with lower-grade fire control systems, armor, ammunition, etc. This had the dual virtue (from the Soviet perspective) of arming the "brothers and friends of the USSR" on the cheap, while also serving a disinformation purpose (for instance, Western intelligence officers analyzing a captured Syrian tank might draw incorrect conclusions about Soviet capabilities.)
      • Sometimes it was not only a case of intentionally lowered capabilities, but also genuine ripoffs. A "genuine" T-72 uses high-quality composite armor employing expensive materials like Boron... when the manufacturer was having financial difficulties, they might have used whatever was on hand ie. rubbish!
  • This used to be US law for internet software, such as web browsers and email systems. It was illegal to export strong cryptography software, being classified as weapons. Companies like Netscape and IBM were forced to produce a "US Only" version with real, working security and a deliberately broken "International" version. Fortunately, this was relaxed in 1996 to only include a short list of "rogue states".
  • Bandai America's Power Rangers toys as of the past decade or so. Compared to the Super Sentai toys, they are being toned down to be NOTHING like the one US kids see on TV. Problems like lack of paint, molding inconsistencies (the Power Rangers Operation Overdrive Zords being a particularly huge offender, as seen in this article, when this seemed to hit it's peak), lack of detail, etc are clearly evident on the US toys in comparison. This happens on both the DX Zords and the weapons. It is likely due to the fact most American parents (who, despite some long time fans' claims, comprise the group who buy the most PR toys) are unwilling to spend more that $50 on a toy with no educational value, whereas the Japanese have no such reservations.
    • In a rather stunning aversion, Bandai had the SH Figuarts of Shinken Red and Gold released in American Toys R Uses along with the Power Rangers Samurai toys. These figures are the exact same ones the Japanese got, with the packaging saying "Shinkenger" rather than "Power Rangers". The other four members of the team didn't make it over, presumably because they were limited run, web-only preorder items and Bandai didn't want Japanese fans just reverse-importing them to get around this.
  • Certain export versions of Samsung's flagship Galaxy S smartphones, particularly those sold in North America, are locked down permanently with a secure bootloader with absolutely no provision to unlock it to facilitate custom ROMs or rooting, largely due to pressure from major US cellular providers. It is possible to customise them still, but not to the point that users of Exynos-powered Galaxies enjoy outside of the US.
  • While Oppo subsidiary Realme treated most of the world with a triple-camera variant of their C3 smartphone complete with a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, those in India aren't as lucky as the C3 variant sold there only came with two rear cameras and no fingerprint reader. Adding insult to injury is the Australian-market model which came with an NFC sensor for wireless payments. In fairness though, the Indian variant is a tad cheaper but is otherwise identical as both phones share the same MediaTek Helio G70 system-on-chip, the same amount of RAM and onboard storage. Assuming you'd only care about playing PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds or Mobile Legends and not much else, the inferior camera setup and lack of biometrics shouldn't be that much of a loss. And then they eventually released the Narzo 10A, which is by all intents and purposes a rebadged international variant of the C3 with a slightly redesigned backplate.
  • For a time from 1973 to 1982, cars from foreign marques had to comply with the United States' 5-mile-per-hour bumper regulations, where protruding bumpers were installed onto US-market versions of cars at the time. This did not sit well with Lamborghini Countach owners in the States, who took out what amounted to an eyesore on their cars' front ends. The "bumper politics" is still felt by European manufacturers to this day, one example being the Bugatti Chiron whose rear bumper pieces were added for the US market.
  1. GTA SA - Strange Japanese Censorship - Feat. BadgerGoodger
  2. Now some countries in Africa, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Moldova, all of whom are trying to convert away.