On Xbox Live Region Locking

2 min read


Some of you using UK or US Xbox live accounts were horrified to discover that even though south Africa is now an officially recognised region, there still appears to be region locking of sorts. this has become especially apparent for purchasers of the Call of Duty : Black Ops Hardened and Prestige editions, which feature a token to download extra Zombie maps.

Instead of instantly downloading, users have been greeted by a disheartening “This item is not available in your region” message. Bummer! time to whip out that VPN again? For now, yes – but there’s a light at the end of this tunnel.

While some users are reporting encountering region locking, others have been saying that previously restricted content is now available – regardless of region the account is tied to. I’ve been checking, and testing – and the following seems to be in effect :

  • If the restricted (18+) content is available in both stores [originating account (US or UK) and ZA store], then the content will download. Hooray!
  • If the restricted (18+) content is available in only the originating account (US or UK) store, then the content will still be blocked, and you’ll received the “unavailable in your region” message. To download this content NOW, you’ll need to employ a VPN – ensuring that the VPN supplies an IP Address that matches your account’s region. Once that content is available on the ZA store though, you should be able to download it regardless of your account.

The only previously restricted content that is confirmed to be available now is Crackdown 2’s DLC – but as more is added to the marketplace, more restricted content will become available.

We’re still trying to find out if the Zombies maps are available to ZA Xbox Live accounts, and will let you know once we do.

Last Updated: November 10, 2010

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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