No Export For You / Video Games

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    Game Company-Specific Examples 
These examples are sorted by company name.
  • None of the Alice Soft games will ever make it in the US due to their controversial nature. AliceSoft even blocked off their website to any and all foreigners.
  • There is no Atlus Europe so any game they make or translate has a hard time coming there. Their in-house games are great, as other companies pick them up sometimes (like Nintendo with Trauma Center). The games they license for translation from other companies though, like the Summon Night or Super Robot Wars for the Game Boy Advance, are still without European localization.
  • Bethesda's earlier Elder Scrolls installments ended up becoming this in Japan after the fact. After Microsoft released the Xbox in Japan, American gamers received the third installment, Morrowind. Xbox sales tanked in East Asia, and the powers that be had a case of And You Thought It Would Fail. However, without Region Coding on the console, Japanese gamers could still play Morrowind in English via Import Gaming. Interest in the game spread by word-of-mouth, turning the game into a Sleeper Hit on both PC and the handful of Xbox consoles in Japan. Eventually, the fandom created sites with instructions, walkthroughs, explanations, resources, and plot overviews in Japanese all the way up to complete fan translation patches. Bethesda eventually noticed the publicity, and made sure to create a Japanese localization of Oblivion and later Fallout 3. Oblivion also follows First Installment Wins over in Japan, as it is the installment where most Japanese started playing. Westerners usually exercize this trope over Morrowind or Daggerfall. Because of this, Oblivion was sometimes less well received in the West. Japan has managed to invert this when it comes to game mods. All Elder Scrolls games have a strong modding community, however many Japanese modders are notoriously xenophobic and like to flaunt their admittedly brilliant creations to the west then deny any access to them, to the great frustration of many.
  • Ace Attorney Investigations was never released in any language other than Japanese and English. A German group of fans is rebelling against this and currently doing a fantranslation, similar to the English one that was done for Mother 3. As of August 2012, the French and Spanish fans have gotten into the mix. The first episode has been fully fan-translated into Spanish. Later on, no one outside of Japan got Ace Attorney Investigations 2, at least not on DS. Capcom has kept the door open for a release some other way, but it seems more a token gesture than anything else (however, if they turned out to have intentions to change the system, it wouldn't be the first time a company did so — Rising Star Games, the European publisher of the Harvest Moon series, didn't get around to releasing the Nintendo GameCube game Harvest Moon: Magical Melody in its region until its system's successor, the Wii, had already replaced it, resulting in a port to the latter for that region and later in North America by the publisher there, Natsume). The English fan-translated version of Investigations 2 is now complete, link available on the main Ace Attorney Investigations page.
  • Every Cave Shoot 'em Up after DoDonPachi has gotten an Asia-only release; if you want, say, Mushihime-sama or Espgaluda on the PS2, and live outside of there, expect to shell out at least the equivalent of US$70 (unless you are an extremely good bargain hunter). Then again, shoot-em-ups are a niche genre here in the United States. There were plans to bring a couple of the games to XBLA, but Microsoft rejected. Cave has been trying to avert this, as they've given some of their games some form of English release (Deathsmiles, Guwange), or at the very least have made them region-free (Mushihime-sama Futari, EspGaluda II Black Label), making importing them much easier. This continued even in the face of Aksys (who published the US version of Deathsmiles) saying they're not interested in publishing additional shooters for the US. Deathsmiles IIX actually received a US release - in the form of the unedited Japanese game (Japanese Achievements left intact) available over Games on Demand. Even when Cave could find no willing publishers for an American release of DoDonPachi Resurrection, Rising Star Games made their European release of the game compatible with American consoles, in a bizarre inversion of the usual situation (usually, Europe's the one importing from America). It was subverted in 2015, when several Cave games were announced for release in Steam, starting with Mushihime-sama.
  • A bunch of titles by Fill-in Café remained in Japan.
    • Asuka 120% Burning Fest., a fighting series about highschool girls representing different school clubs duking it out against each other is one of their more notable titles, with a bunch of revisions and re-releases across different platform, none of which got released anywhere else.
    • Panzer Bandit, what could be described as the PlayStation's answer to the Saturn's Guardian Heroes, stayed in Japan and never got localized in any shape or form. It did, however, got re-released on PlayStation Network in Japan, so anyone with a Japanese account and the yen to purchase the game can import it this way.
    • Mad Stalker: Full Metal Force, a game where you take control of giant mechas beating the tar out of each other sounds like something worth bringing out to Western shores, too bad it never left Japan. Not even the PlayStation remake got released anywhere else, but like Panzer Bandit, is available on the Japanese PlayStation Store.
  • For a long time, it was extremely unlikely that any of Key's works would be licensed outside Japan. Their publisher, Visual Art's, stated in 2011 that they had no interest in the overseas market and would only reconsider if it seemed profitable. Like AliceSoft, the Visual Art's main page is blocked for foreigners. However, this was eventually reversed. In 2013, Planetarian, a kinetic novel, was officially translated into English and available on iOS devices worldwide. The English publisher polled fans in 2014 on whether they wanted to see more, and that same year, CLANNAD, which was already probably their most popular work in the Anglosphere, was announced for an English release on Steam.
  • Almost any Bemani series that isn't Dance Dance Revolution or beatmania. This got worse in The New Tens when Konami started implementing always-on DRM and various in-game events carried out over eAMUSEMENT, Konami's arcade game network service. The former means you can't play the game unless you're in an arcade that's registered with Konami, and the latter, while beneficial for players within Konami's markets, means that fans who are left with no choice but to pirate the games wil be left out of the loop with regards to new songs. A fan-run clonse of the eAMUSEMENT network was launched in 2011 to provide services not available on offline cabs, as well as to allow online-requiring cabs to run at all, but Konami dropped the hammer on it in 2015.
    • A Wii version of pop'n music was produced and even got an American release ... but it was turned into a motion controlled game using just the Wii Remote and nunchuck. Thankfully, it did share a similar art style to the actual series. But even worse, it even spawned an arcade version; the American version was only tested as a redemption game (and had a very unfitting logo), but a Japanese version was released under the name "HELLO! POP'N MUSIC"
    • jubeat and Reflec Beat made it outside of Asia, however, as jukebeat and Reflec Beat + for iOS. While playing on even an iPad isn't the same as playing on an arcade cabinet, at least all non-licensed songs eventually make it to the international version, and the development team is kind enough not to otherwise screw over non-Japanese players. Played straight with earlier versions of jubeat in some parts of Asia tho- Malaysia wasn't officially getting jubeat- the cabinets available in the country are either parallel imports (hence e-Amusement is disabled for these machines), or Shoddy Knockoff Products from Taiwan called E-magic, Magic Box or Magic Touch. It seems that jubeat saucer is the first jubeat game to have an official release in Malaysia.
  • Subverted with visual novel producer minori, who were very adamant about not releasing anything outside Japan, openly berating fan translators, filing C&D forms, blocking foreign IPs and throwing in some xenophobic remarks along the way. In September 2010 the company enlisted their former nemesis, the fansubbing group No Name Losers (known for translating many minori titles) as their official localization team. minori's current homepage
  • Monolith Soft. The three Xenosaga and two Baten Kaitos games released in North America aside (the former of which, as mentioned earlier got screwed in Europe in particular). This means Americans will probably never get to see the Xenosaga side games/DS remake, Disaster, and Soma Bringer among things.
  • Namco Bandai, thanks in large parts for their treatment of English-speakers with the massive Tales Series (more details on its page above) and plenty of their lesser intellectual properties, also has clear shades of this.
  • Nintendo withheld things from the overseas market during the NES and SNES era. The original Super Mario Bros. 2 was deemed too hard for Americans; they were instead given a retooled version of Doki Doki Panic. But it eventually became available in the SNES game collection Super Mario All-Stars, and eventually anyone who wanted to play the original 8-bit version ended up able to do so on the Wii using the Virtual Console. However this was partially a decision by Nintendo of America because the then chairman disliked it and thought it added little to the series.
  • Almost all of Nintendo's online services, such as the eShop or Wii Shop, aren't available in many second or third world countries. Yes, this means losing the ability to use Swapnote on a 3DS (since the player is unable to access the eShop he/she is unable to update to the newest version of Swapnote. Kicker here being that Swapnote comes preloaded on all 3DS) and inability to transfer game saves from a Wii to a Wii U (which requires downloading a channel from the Wii Shop on the Wii), despite said countries having a Nintendo-appointed representative.
  • The Quiz Magical Academy series will likely never see a non-Japanese release, just because it has so many questions and answers to translate that a proper localization is just absolutely infeasible.
  • The very first game in the Rhythm Heaven series for the Game Boy Advance did not make it stateside or in Europe for much the same reason as Mother 3; Nintendo thought the GBA was dead as a platform by the time the game came out in Japan and simply chose not to localize it. We also never got an arcade port of the same game that also came out in Japan. Fortunately, its followups were released outside of Japan: the sequel Rhythm Tengoku Gold as Rhythm Heaven, the third game Minna no Rhythm Tengoku as Rhythm Heaven Fever, and the fourth game Rhythm Tengoku: The Best+ as Rhythm Heaven Megamix.
  • Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan and its sequel also never came over due to the extreme difficulty of localizing foreign concepts. In an example of Tropes Are Not Bad, a Gaiden Game using the same engine using local music was used instead, and the result was the critic and fan-favorite Elite Beat Agents. It was flipped around when Elite Beat Agents became popular for importers in Japan due to that game having similar problems with importing and localizing certain concepts. The trade-off was that the Agents became unlockable in the second Ouendan game.
  • The Fire Emblem series, for 13 years and 6 installments, was released only in Japan, until Marth Debuted in Smash Bros. and proved there might be a market for the series after all. They still cancelled plans to localize the first Game Boy Advance title, Fuuin no Tsurugi (Sword of Seals, aka "The One With Roy"), which was still in development when Melee was released.
    • This causes a bit of confusion with some of the nods to Sword of Seals and Mystery of the Emblem present in Blazing Sword and Shadow Dragon respectively, to say nothing of the notorious newbie question "Are Marth and Roy in this game?".note 
    • Everyone also wondered what would happen next - Because Fuuin no Tsurugi wasn't ever localized, people thought that the next Fire Emblem game would be about Zephiel being the antagonist thanks to the ending showing Zephiel being approached by Yahn. For those who weren't aware that the first english game was a prequel to Fuuin, part of the backlash about Sacred Stones was "...WHERE'S ZEPHIEL?! WHERE'S ROY?!"
    • New Mystery of the Emblem for DS came out in Japan in 2010, and stayed there. Nintendo has yet to explain why this game in particular got skipped for localization, though being released right at the tail end of the DS's lifespan (and the beginning of the 3DS's) might have contributed to it. After the above incident, many fans were on pins and needles for some time that the 3DS installment Fire Emblem Awakening would suffer a similar fate, but it was eventually averted.
  • Three out of the four Clock Tower games have been exported. The one that wasn't was the very first game, which was released on the Super Famicom.note 
  • Almost any Nintendo exclusive 3rd-party game that is not a huge pillar will not cross the sea. Almost the same for co-produced new titles.
  • Nintendo drew more ire over its non-localizations of Xenoblade, The Last Story and Pandora's Tower in North America leading to a rally known as Operation Rainfall. Xenoblade was particularly ridiculous, as it has not only come out in Europe and Australia, but it was fully translated and dubbed for Xenoblade Chronicles; but it came to North America in April 2012 with a limited print run, and The Last Story and Pandora's Tower made their way to North American shores thanks to publishing from XSEED Games.
  • OG Planet will sometimes allow access to their games to other countries, but nine times out of ten, games like SD Gundam Capsule Fighter and Rumble Fighter Online are left out in the cold outside of North America.
  • Perfect World Inc., which hosts MMOs such as the namesake Perfect World, Champions Online and Star Trek Online, refuses to allow access to their games within the former Soviet Union.
  • When Telenet Japan's subsidiary Renovation Products was bought out by Sega in 1993, the planned North American releases of several SNES games were canceled: Neugier (as The Journey Home), Psycho Dream (as Dream Probe), and a port of Arcus Odyssey.
  • Similar to Atlus Europe there never was a THQ Japan. Unless there would be someone ready to export that would mean that all of their titles would only get a release in the US and Europe (Australia would only get post-2008 releases). While most of the titles of their WWF series of video games get international releases, thanks to the fact that they are developed by Japanese developers they have no intentions on bringing Western developed titles under their name there. So stuff such as Spongebob Battle For Bikini Bottom, Red Faction and Aidyn Chronicles: The first Mage (the last one being an RPG in the vein of Quest 64) will never see a release in those areas.
  • None of the games that were made by Zeque were ever released outside of Japan. The best part is that they are an American company.

     Square-Enix 
Square-Enix does not want your dirty, filthy, stinking, no good money.
  • Europe got screwed out of anything Square put out on the SNES, until those games received ports years later. The SNES version of Chrono Trigger wasn't released, nor the PS1 Porting Disaster, but the DS version Updated Re-release was, after 14 years. Which would've been great if it wasn't for a small detail: This version has a new, depressing ending that acts as a Sequel Hook to Chrono Cross, which has never been released on Europe.
  • Towards the end of the SNES lifespan, Squaresoft didn't believe it would be worth the time to localize their games on a dying system. If you live outside of Japan, you'd have to settle for a Fan Translation of Bahamut Lagoon, Treasure Hunter G, and Treasure of the Rudra. Western audiences got screwed out of the spiritual predecessor to Chrono Trigger, Live A Live, released in Japan over six months before Chrono Trigger.
  • The SNES enhanced remakes, Dragon Quest I & II and Dragon Quest III, were not exported, nor the DoCoMo cell phone versions, though GBC and smartphone versions were released.
  • In the era before the mergers, it was very rough to be an Enix fan. Enix of America, the localization firm in the United States, abruptly closed shop in 1995, simply because Enix of Japan had no interest in localizing their titles in the US anymore. One particularly odd case was the Enix game Terranigma, which got swallowed up in the aftermath. Enix allowed Nintendo of America to publish Terranigma's predecessor, Illusion of Gaia, stateside, but when it came time to release Terranigma, they wouldn't allow it. Clearly this took Nintendo by surprise, as they had been running previews of the game in the company-owned Nintendo Power before the closure. The game was still translated to English for a European release via Nintendo, who localized it for the rest of Europe as well...just not in the United States. Every American that's played this game did so running a ROM of the PAL English version.
  • Enix left a few more games stranded in Japan until they started up another publishing house in America, Heartbeat, to get Dragon Quest VII out the door, though they could not finish the localization of the Dragon Quest IV PlayStation port.
  • Dragon Quest had gotten a new lease on life in the United States. Dragon Quest VIII was released in the U.S. with its original Japanese title (as opposed to "Dragon Warrior", due to trademark issues with a pen-and-paper game named "Dragon Quest"). The DS remakes of Dragon Quest IV, V and VI have all been localized, with VI being announced for the U.S. before it was even announced for Japan. Indeed, Dragon Quest V and Dragon Quest VI had never before been released in English.
  • Considering Enix's previous localization track record, and being incapable of recognizing the United States as a viable market, the merger with Square is probably the best thing that ever happened to them. However, the Square-Enix merger led to the translations of Dragon Quest Monsters: Caravan Heart and the PS2 Dragon Quest V remake being lost in the shuffle. The Dragon Quest IV localization also excised the 'party talk' feature, which was available to give much needed characterization.
  • Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2 and Dragon Quest IX were translated by Nintendo, not Square Enix, however, the Updated Re-release of Joker 2, Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2 Professional, was not exported.
  • The age of exports for Dragon Quest has once again ended. Let us all pray for another export renaissance:
    • Dragon Quest 25th Anniversary Collection, a compilation of Dragon Quest, Dragon Quest II, and Dragon Quest III for the Wii with added extras (Watch and despair).
    • The MMORPG Dragon Quest X was not exported.
    • Dragon Quest Monsters: The PlayStation compilation of the first two games,Dragon Quest Monsters 1+2 Hoshi Furi no Yūsha to Bokujō no Nakamatachi, was not exported. The cell phone version, Dragon Quest Monsters i, compatible with the PlayStation i-Mode adapter, was not exported. The 3DS remake of the first game, Dragon Quest Monsters: Terry no Wonderland 3D, was not exported. The 3DS remake and compilation of both versions of Dragon Quest Monsters 2, Dragon Quest Monsters 2: Iru and Luca's Marvelous Mysterious Key, with additional monsters that could be imported from both versions of Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker, was not exported. The third game, Dragon Quest Monsters: Caravan Heart, was not exported. Mobile games Dragon Quest Monsters: Wanted! and Dragon Quest Monsters: Super Light were not exported.
    • Monster Battle Road: Dragon Quest: Monster Battle Road, Dragon Quest: Monster Battle Road II Legends, and Dragon Quest: Monster Battle Road Victory were not exported. Dragon Quest: Monster Battle Road Scanner is not likely to be exported.
    • Dragon Quest Mystery Dungeon: The first game on the Super Famicom, Torneko's Great Adventure: Mystery Dungeon, was not exported. Dragon Quest Characters: Torneko's Great Adventure 2 - Mystery Dungeon was localized as Torneko: The Last Hope. The GBA port, Dragon Quest Characters: Torneko's Great Adventure 2 Advance, was not exported. The third game, Dragon Quest Characters: Torneko's Great Adventure 3: Mystery Dungeon, was not exported. The fourth game, Dragon Quest: Young Yangus and the Mystery Dungeon, was not exported. Mobile games Dragon Quest Mystery Dungeon Mobile and Dragon Quest Mystery Dungeon Mobile 2 were not exported.
    • Slime Mori Mori: Suraimu Morimori Doragon Kuesuto 2: Daisensha to Shippo Dan, was localized as Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime. Slime MoriMori Dragon Quest: Shōgeki no Shippo Dan and Slime MoriMori Dragon Quest 3: Taikaizoku to Shippo Dan were not exported
    • Kenshin Dragon Quest: Yomigaerishi Densetsu no Ken, the motion-activated plug-and-play TV game and predecessor to Dragon Quest Swords, was not exported.
    • Theatrhythm Dragon Quest, the third Theatrhythm game, was not exported.
    • Dragon Quest Heroes II: King of Twins and Ending of Prophecy: ...Future Hazy...
    • Dragon Quest Builders: To Revive Alefgard has a Japanese release date. Is that not good enough for you?
  • Final Fantasy II was not exported until the compilation Updated Re-release on the PlayStation, Final Fantasy Origins. The Famicom compilation, Final Fantasy I・II, was not exported. WonderSwan Color and cell phone versions were not exported. Downloadable versions for the PSP on the PlayStation Store, the 3DS Virtual Console, Wii Virtual Console, and Wii U Virtual Console were not exported.
  • Final Fantasy III was not exported until the 3D remake on the Nintendo DS, and only ports of the DS version have been released for other consoles worldwide. Downloadable releases of the original version on the 3DS Virtual Console, Wii Virtual Console, and Wii U Virtual Console were not exported. The original version has still not been officially released outside of Japan.
  • Final Fantasy V was not exported until the Final Fantasy Anthology compilation on the PlayStation, following the Japan-only compilation, Final Fantasy Collection, which included all three 16-bit games.
  • For some unexplainable reason, Final Fantasy IV and Final Fantasy IV: The After Years are not released on Steam in Southeast Asia, even though it is advertised on Steam itself in the region (clicking on the ad results in an error saying that the game isn't available in the region). The game is available in the region on other platforms though. Square will not be releasing the classic Final Fantasy titles (IV through VI, along with IV After Years) on Steam in Asia. It's bad enough that the Steam releases of XIII through Lightning Returns were Japanese-only when a lot of us don't speak fluent Japanese.
  • Before Crisis Final Fantasy VII - it's been over five years, no word at all about an international release. It's particularly annoying since an ad for this game was included in the North American DVD of Advent Children, and there was promise of it being released sometime in 2006. So even a spin-off to one of the most successful games of all time is not immune to getting the No Export treatment. So as for you Turks fans, sorry about your mistake of not being born Japanese.
  • Final Fantasy VII International was released in Japan, and as part of The Best series of PlayStation rereleases, in Japan, and in the Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary Ultimate Box, in Japan, and on the PlayStation Network, in Japan.
  • The Japan-only versions of Final Fantasy X-2 and Final Fantasy XII are subtitled "International + Final Mission" and "International Zodiac Job System", respectively. The intent is to give Japanese players the features of the American and European versions (with some additional changes), hence the name. In an unusual case of Europe getting things that North America doesn't, many of the features of Final Fantasy X International, such as the Dark Aeons, appeared in the European release of the game. America and Europe got to see some of this extra content thanks to Updated Rereleases like Kingdom Hearts 1.5 HD ReMIX, which includes the Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix content, Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD ReMIX which includes the Kingdom Hearts 2 Final Mix content and Birth By Sleep Final Mix content. Plus the Final Fantasy X / X-2 HD Remaster, which remakes the International versions of both titles.
  • Up until its HD Remixes for the PS3, this was the case for Kingdom Hearts 2: Final Mix + , which adds several boss fights to the original game, as well as a new Form. It also included a full-3D remake of Chain of Memories, though that was released in America as a standalone title (but not in Europe). Much of the plot doesn't make any sense without having played each game's Final Mix version. For example, Terra's final battle with Xehanort in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep only makes sense if you've played the Final Mix version of Kingdom Hearts II and fought the Lingering Sentiment, while the extra scenes in the Final Mix version of the first game foreshadows the existence of Xemnas and the Nobodies. The Final Mix version of Birth By Sleep includes an extended final level that ends with Aqua finding the Castle of Dreams in the world of darkness. Since the next game isn't out yet, it's unclear what the significance of the new ending is, but it's a given that it'll be vital to the plot.
  • Chocobo series: Chocobo Stallion on PlayStation and Playstation Network, Dice de Chocobo on PlayStation and Playstation Network (on GBA as Chocobo Land: A Game of Dice), Working Chocobo on WonderSwan Color, Chocobo Panic on the iPad, and mobile games Choco-Mate, Chocobo Anywhere, Chocobo Anywhere 2: Escape! Ghost Ship, Chocobo Anywhere 3: Defeat! The Great Rainbow-Colored Demon, Chocobo de Mobile and Chocobo's Chocotto Farm were not exported.
  • Chocobo's Mystery Dungeon series: Chocobo's Mystery Dungeon on PlayStation, WonderSwan and PlayStation Network was not exported. Chocobo's Mystery Dungeon 2 was localized as Chocobo's Dungeon 2. Chocobo and the Magic Picture Book (released as Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo Tales on the DS), Chocobo's Mystery Dungeon: The Labyrinth of Forgotten Time and Cid and Chocobo's Mystery Dungeon: The Labyrinth of Forgotten Time DS+ (released as Final Fantasy Fables: Chocobo's Dungeon on the Wii), and Chocobo and the Magic Picture Book: The Witch, the Girl, and the Five Heroes were not exported.
  • Final Fantasy mobile games Final Fantasy VII G-Bike, Final Fantasy Artniks, Final Fantasy Artniks Dive, Final Fantasy: Brave Exvius, Final Fantasy Grandmasters, Mobius Final Fantasy, and Final Fantasy: World Wide Words were not exported.
  • Final Fantasy Legends: Warriors of Light and Darkness was localized as Final Fantasy Dimensions. The sequel, Final Fantasy Legends: Crystal of Space-Time, was not.
  • Final Fantasy Type-0: The remake, Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, was released; the original was not. Final Fantasy Agito was shut down, its localization was cancelled, and it was replaced by Final Fantasy Type-0 Online.
  • Square Enix decides not to release games in Japan, their home country, such as all versions of Deus Ex.
  • A good three-eights of the Front Mission series never made it out of Japan. (Two-fifths not counting Gun Hazard, roughly half counting Online and 2089 [either the two cell phone games or the one DS compilation thereof].) What's even worse is the Continuity Lock-Out from not being familiar with all the games...
  • I Am Setsuna: The PS4 version is being released. The Vita version is Japan only.
  • The Itadaki Street video game series published by Square Enix is also in this same boat. While the latest title has the excuse of being a cell phone title, the others are on systems perfectly accessible to Square Enix fans outside Japan. Square Enix finally started breaking this with the Command Board in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, which is essentially Itadaki Street with the game's characters, and they're finally localizing a full standalone game for the Wii in the form of Fortune Street.
  • Kingdom Hearts Mobile was not exported.
  • Kingdom Hearts Coded is Japan-only, though the remake on the DS, Kingdom Hearts Re:coded, received a Western release.
  • The Lord of Vermillion series of fantasy collectible card arcade games, was not exported. The PC MOBA, Lord of Vermillion Arena, was not exported.
  • Romancing SaGa series aside from the remake was never released outside of Japan. Square-Enix has already released a remake of SaGa 2 (Final Fantasy Legend 2) but it has yet to reach US shores for some reason despite being out for a while now. And with SaGa 3 remake already released, there's still no signs of overseas release. Either Square Enix thinks the SaGa series is killing the company, or sees Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy as bigger cash cows that they wouldn't bother translating.
  • Secret of Evermore never came in Japan, probably because it was, too, uh... too "westerner"?
  • Super Mario RPG is a subversion. It got released in Europe by VC, but a bit late: Twelve years after its original release.
  • Tobal 2 was released in Japan only, since No. 1 flopped in the US. Rumor also has it that Square had problems with translation and formatting the English text.
  • World of Mana:
    • Seiken Densetsu 3. The only main World of Mana game not to be released outside of Japan; unfortunately, many fans of the series who have played it via emulation or importing believe it to be the best of the series. As Square-Enix doesn't seem to be in a hurry to remake it, it doesn't seem like it'll ever have a chance to come over any time soon.
    • Seiken Densetsu: Final Fantasy Gaiden: The Final Fantasy Adventure remake on Java cell phones was not exported.
    • World of Mana mobile games Friends of Mana, Circle of Mana, and Rise of Mana were not exported.
    • Adventures of Mana: The iOS/Android version is world wide. The Vita localization is still being considered.
  • Xenogears has never been released in Europe.

    Game Series-Specific Examples 
These examples are sorted by series name.
  • Little known game Abalaburn with gameplay similar to Tobal is Japan only.
  • Advanced V.G.: TGL never released the games themselves outside of Japan and it's likely to stay that way. So if you're living in the US, you'll either have to settle for watching gameplay clips on YouTube, or the OVA.
  • Another Century's Episode, a game series that is basically an action-based variation of Super Robot Wars, faces far too many roadblocks for licensing here, not least of which is the whole Macross thing...
  • Four of the Ape Escape games (Million Monkeys, SaruSaru Daisakusen, Pipo Saru 2001 and Pipo Saru Racer) are only available in Japan, while one minigame compilation (Pumped & Primed) made it to America but not Europe. However, Spike's cuteseyed-up appearance from Million Monkeys appears in Playstation All Stars Battle Royale, an American-made game.
  • In 1995, Family Soft released Area 88: Etranger 1995 in Japan, but not to the U.S. The game is based on the Area 88 manga and serves as a reboot of the "U.N. Squadron" video game.
  • For over half a decade, the Atelier series was completely unable to leave Japan, despite the first two games handily breaking six-figure sales volume and becoming a cult hit in Japan that inspired nearly every JPRG that followed to have some form of Item Crafting. Reportedly, despite its success in Japan Sony has never had any faith that the series will appeal to American gamers, despite titles such as Harvest Moon doing well here. Only when the series made some changes to be more like a standard JPRG with Atelier Iris did it finally manage to cross the Pacific courtesy of Nippon Ichi Software of America - in 2005, eight years after the series debut in Japan. America has gotten (almost) all Atelier releases since, but even with a PS2 re-issue of the first two games, none of the first five, Item Crafting-based Atelier games have ever crossed the Pacific.
  • Baten Kaitos Origins, the prequel to a cult classic Gamecube JRPG, was never released in Europe.
  • Battle Circuit is the one Beat 'em Up by Capcom that was never released in the U.S.
  • Big Bang Pro Wrestling was released only in Japan, despite having a full English translation.
  • A total of thirteen Bleach games were released for PlayStation, with plans for a fourteenth, and not one of them has been released in the United States. Averted with NIS America's planned release of Bleach: Soul Resurrección for the PS3.
  • Two Bonk games remain Japan-exclusive: the third Game Boy game (which also appeared on a Japan-only Compilation Re-release) and the second SNES game.
  • In yet another Capcom example of this trope, the Breath of Fire series has had this in practically every flavour listed:
    • Breath of Fire III's re-release for PSP never made it Stateside due to Sony Entertainment USA rules requiring a minimum of 20% new content. Europe got it, though, and fortunately the PlayStation Portable is NOT region-locked. For identical reasons, the game is not available via PlayStation Network in North America.
    • No less than four spin-off games based on Breath of Fire IV, including two complete side-stories, are Japan-only due to being released only on the BREW smartphone platform.
    • The Windows port of Breath of Fire IV not only was never released in the US (being Europe, Japan and China only) but was based on the severely Bowdlerized international version—yes, even in Japan, where the original PlayStation version of the game had been released uncensored.
    • Breath of Fire IV's international release was the subject of severe, 80s-to-90s Nintendo Guidelines-esque Bowdlerization (including an outright Aborted Arc due to the last part of Fou-lu's story arc being cut out due to a silhouetted decapitation; this despite a Blood from the Mouth Vomit Indiscretion Shot that was kept in completely uncensored that was itself the result of a Fantastic Nuke). In addition, in the international release of Breath of Fire IV one of Scias' abilities (a "scan" ability) was dropped from international versions under the rationale it'd take too long to translate from Japanese.
    • All Expanded Universe material for Breath of Fire fits under this trope, including not only the soundtracks but the official artbooks, no less than two Novelizations , four separate ComicBookAdaptations, and no less than four other anthology and/or 4-koma collections. The Comic Book Adaptation—a manga adaptation of Breath of Fire IV published by Mag Garden—is the sole example that has ever made it outside Japan officially (there are licensed Chinese and French translations). Still nothing in English, though, aside from a Fan Translation and no official announcements that an English-language licensee might be interested.
  • The Sega Saturn port of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night was never released outside of Japan. Enhance improvements and many new features were added in the Saturn version. Unfortunetely, the Saturn version suffered from Porting Disaster since the system couldn't be properly coded which results include long loading times along with other problems which may be why this wasn't exported. Another reason was because the Saturn was nearing its end in Western territories during this time.
  • Even though Chibi-Robo for the GameCube and the DS sequel Chibi Robo: Park Patrol have been released worldwide, the New Play Control edition for Wii and the other DS game Okaeri Chibi Robo Happy Richie Osouji have never seen the light of day outside Japan. The fourth game in the series, Jissha de Chibi-Robo! for 3DS did come out as Chibi-Robo! Photo Finder and the latest game in the series Go! Go! Chibi-Robo! on 3DS did come out in North America as Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash.
  • The Cho Aniki series has not been exported, except for the PlayStation Network US and EU release of Cho Aniki - Kyuukyoku Muteki Ginga Saikyou Otoko.
  • Three Contra titles were released in North America but not in Japan. The Stinger? Said games are Contra Force, a game which had no reason to have Contra in its title to begin with (and was even planned as an unrelated game titled Arc Hound), and the two Appaloosa-developed games, Contra: Legacy of War and C: The Contra Adventure, which were considered bad to begin with.
    • Contra 4 was not released anywhere in Europe. The reason given was that, apparently, European gamers are unaware of the Contra brand, due to the previous games being released as Probotector and Super Probotector. So, in that case, why was the game not released over here as Probotector 4 or something? Doubly ironic since the Probotector is actually a hidden playable character in Contra 4.
  • After Cosmic Fantasy 2, Working Designs was planning on translating other games in the Cosmic Fantasy series. Nothing came of these plans.
  • The first two games in the Crush Pinball series (Alien Crush and Devil's Crush) were exported to the United States from Japan to great success; they are fondly remembered by many players, and the Sega Genesis port (Dragon's Fury) even got its own sequel. But the third game in the series, Jaki Crush, never left Japan, and is often unheard of by many of those selfsame players.
  • Daigasso! Band Brothers was supposed to get a US release under the name Jam With The Band but it never made it out nor was the game officially announced cancelled. It did get an expansion pack in 2008 called Daigasso! Band Brothers DX which did make it to Europe under that aformentioned name.
  • Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 did not get a release outside of Asia because of the controversy the previous games in the series caused. Despite this Team Ninja did announced they would include an all-English option in the game for those that chose to import.
  • The Densha De Go! games have not seen release outside Japan. There are some possible cultural reasons why a simulation of driving Japanese commuter trains wouldn't translate, but try telling that to some people.
    • Not quite. The developer released the PSP games in Hong Kong and Taiwan... Untranslated, with the only Chinese-language material being a simplified manual. Also, its spiritual successor, Railfan got a release in Taiwan with the installment featuring the new Taiwan High-speed Rail. On the other hand, though the first Railfan game featured the Chicago L Brown Line, it was never released there. Or anywhere else in America, for that matter.
  • The first DJ MAX Portable game was a Korea-only release. But when people outside of Korea started importing the game, Pentavision took notice and released an "International" version with English text, though that version was met with some negative receiption due to its poor attempts to censor songs and its replacement of one song with a completely different song, and it was still a Korea-only release. DJ MAX Portable 2, too had English- and Japanese-language options, and its internet ranking site acknowledges countries outside of South Korea. Despite this, the game was still Korea-only, which suggests that Pentavision wanted to release the game overseas but just didn't have the budget for it yet. However, they have been working with PM Studios on DJ MAX Fever, an American release, and DJ MAX Technika, an arcade Gaiden Game that will also be getting an American release, in their efforts to recognize their non-Korean fans as well as to keep American arcades in business.
  • DJMAX Fever, unlike its Korea-only predecessors, was released in the US only. Somewhat negated by Fever being a carbon copy of Portable 2, with its playlist being a mix of Portable 1 and 2's.
  • The Dokodemo Issho series has never been released outside of Japan, although its main character Toro Inoue has appeared in America a few times (such as a PSN avatar, and a playable character in Playstation All Stars Battle Royale).
  • Dragon Slayer: The Legend of Heroes had a North American release on the Turbo CD, but its first sequel was only released in Japan. This messed up the sequencing of the series when the Gargarv trilogy of Legend of Heroes III, IV, and V was Remade for the Export.
    • In 2009, XSEED Games announced they would be bringing the Sora no Kiseki trilogy to North America as The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky. The first game of the trilogy was released in English for the PSP in 2011 (and was later backported to PC.) After years of radio silence and quiet delays, the second game (Trails in the Sky SC) finally released for PSP and PC in 2015 — four and a half years after the localization of Trails in the Sky and nine years after the game's original release. XSEED has also committed themselves to releasing the sixth and seventh games (Trails of Cold Steel I and ''II') in a more timely manner, but as always, fans remain skeptical about what will become of the games in between them. XSEED's current stance on Trails in the Sky The Third is "maybe, depending on what the sales of SC are like", and the fourth and fifth games may be impossible - the PSP is reaching the end of its expected life span, and Falcom had subcontracted out the Vita and PC ports of those games, so XSEED hasn't been able to find the licenses and source code for Ao no Kiseki and Zero no Kiseki, much less purchase them for US release.
  • The Eggerland series (made by HAL Laboratory, of Kirby and Super Smash Bros. fame) is mostly Japan-exclusive. The original two MSX games were released in Europe, but once the series moved to the Famicom they lost it. Eventually a game called Adventures of Lolo, a compilation of puzzles from previous games in the Eggerland series, was released in America and Europe (but not Japan), seemingly as an introduction to the series. Adventures of Lolo got two similarly international sequels (which were also released in Japan with different puzzles) and a Game Boy installment released in Europe (with a lot of extra puzzles over the Japanese version), but later PC games were once again Japan-only.
  • The action game The Firemen for SNES was not released in American markets despite an English version being released in Europe. Also it's sequel "The Firemen 2: Pete and Danny" was never translated or released outside Japan (until a PSN rerelease of the PS1 version).
  • Due to being a violently Japanese game series having risqué gags (Ebisumaru, anyone?) in its Super Famicom entries, almost none of the Ganbare Goemon games were ever brought to America except for the first SNES game, one of the Game Boy games and two of the Nintendo 64 sequels, with another of the GB games appearing in a Game Boy Color collection in Europe. Even though the N64 entries became cult classics thanks to creative changes made to the dialogue, an offbeat sense of humor and foreign charm(having Goemon Impact certainly helped), the series failed to catch on.
  • The first Genocide for the Sharp X68000 had ports on the FM Towns (along with its sequel) and the PC Engine CD, none of which got released elsewhere. Genocide 2: Master of the Dark Communion, also developed for the Sharp X68000, had a port for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System which ended up being released in Japan only despite being developed by a British studio. There was also a MS-DOS port exclusive to South Korea.
  • The 2009 Ghostbusters game was never released in Poland, save for PS2 and PS3 versions.
    • Long before that, New Ghostbusters II for the NES was only released in Europe and Japan, skipping North America entirely.
  • For a long time Gothic 2's expansion pack (Night of the Raven) looked like it would never see the light of day in the United States, the same goes for the various Spell Force expansions. Aspyre later picked up the US distribution rights and released gold versions of both games with their expansions.
    • Also, the first Gothic had a Easter Egg-ish rock concert, which was cut from export versions due to copyright problems.
  • The first Growlanser game, allegedly the best of the series, have not seen release outside Japan. The sixth game hasn't been released, either.
  • Like Gundam? Too bad. The most fluid and action-packed Gundam games never make it out of Japan. This includes the Gundam Battle series (Royale, Chronicle, Universe), and alternate-universe What If? games like Gihren’s Greed. The SD Gundam G Generation games, essentially an all-Gundam Super Robot Wars, have never been localized, even though licensing issues wouldn't be a problem. The line of unreleased Gundam games goes back to Zeta Gundam for the NES (most likely a localization of the Famicom game Hot Scramble), which Bandai America advertised but failed to release.
    • On the flipside is the Battle Assault series, which started out as a Marked Based Series for American audiences after the success of Gundam Wing on Toonami. Battle Assault 1 was actually a remade game using the characters from the show while 2 was an original product. Although they were later released in Japan, the third title was released exclusively for North America. Ironically enough, said game was centered around SEED, the most popular Gundam series in Japan at that time while divisive in the market it was originally released for.
  • None of the Hanjuku Hero series of Real-Time Strategy games have ever left Japan. The closest the USA has ever gotten to an English release (barring a few failed fan translation attempts of Aa, Sekaiyo Hanjukunare...!) was Egg Monster Hero for the DS, which ended up getting screwed over by focus groups.
  • THE iDOLM@STER, despite having something a cult following among North American gamers, is unlikely to be released outside Japan in any form (occasional cameos excluded), since the foreign fanbase for Raising Sims and J-pop Idol Singers is just not massive enough to justify the insane cost of localizing (with or without translating the songs) and publishing it. There's actually an extensive forum post on why the series is never coming to America.
  • Inazuma Eleven wasn't released in America until 2014, six years after its Japanese debut (even though the PAL regions only got the series almost 3 years later after its Japanese release). In Japan and Europe it was successful enough to warrant the release of a manga and animated serie, which were also never released in the US.
  • Similar to Super Robot Wars, it is highly unlikely that the DS game Jump Super Stars and its sequel, Jump Ultimate Stars, will ever see the light of day outside of Japan due to the sheer amount of licensing that would have to be done to cover every single series represented. Thankfully, the DS is region-free, so importing it to play isn't too big of a hurdle. (Same with Super Robot Wars W and K). The kicker in all this? It seems like Viz is using appearances in Jump Ultimate Stars to justify translating the original manga. It's one thing when hot properties like Black Cat start appearing in America. But when series like I"s and Strawberry 100% made it over? It's down to everything that isn't old (Space Adventure Cobra) or too culturally particular (KochiKame) as to what doesn't get translated. Some manga titles never seen the light of day overseas and will lead to Marth Debuted in Smash Bros..
  • The Izuna series saw a Compilation Re-release containing the first two games in a risky package of Fanservice that never left Japan.
  • The Japan World Cup series of jockey games have not been exported.
  • Julius Jr. has several tablet games out for Android and iOS. However, unless you live in the US, you can't get them as they're only ever sold in the US app stores and nowhere else.
  • Continuing with Namco's spree of fan disdain, American gamers probably wouldn't know much of anything about the Klonoa series if it weren't for the internet. While the first game Door to Phantomile received nice reviews and was considered one of the better PS1 games, and its sequel Lunatea's Veil for the PS2 was also well-received, the games remained cult hits and were largely under-appreciated. Consequently, four handheld spinoffs - Empire of Dreams, Dream Champ Tournament, Beach Volleyball, and Klonoa Heroes - were released thereafter, but of the four, only Empire of Dreams and Dream Champ Tournament saw an American release with Dream Champ being released three years after it came out in Japan, meanwhile Beach Volleyball was exported to Europe only, and Heroes never made it out of Japan at all. Before Lunatea's Veil, Moonlight Museum also suffered from this, but instead due to it being on the WonderSwan, which itself did not make it to America. Since 2005, the series became orphaned for some time until a remake of Door to Phantomile for the Wii was announced for 2009, and did indeed come stateside complete with English voice acting for the first time ever in the series.
  • Keitai Denju Telefang Speed & Power versions were developed by Smilesoft for the Gameboy Color and released in Japan in 2000. The games never made it stateside themselves but still became known in the west as the bootleg games Pokémon Diamond & Pokémon Jade, games with a translation done so poorly and so ridden with glitches that some think it ruined the original Telefang's image in the U.S. The games also got sequels on the Gameboy Advance in 2002 which did not make it out in the U.S. even in bootleg form.
  • Over half of the Kunio-kun games for the NES/SNES/Game Boy were never released outside Japan, a fact disguised to a good extent by divergent localizations. American Technos did, however, decide on a series title: Crash 'n the Boys: Street Challenge (the localization of the Kunio-kun game Bikkuri Nekketsu Shinkiroku! Harukanaru Kin Medal) threw in a teaser for Crash 'n the Boys: Ice Challenge (Ike Ike! Nekketsu Hockey Bu: Subette Koronde Dai Rantō). American Technos also planned, but failed, to release Soccer Challenge (Nekketsu Soccer League) and Diamond Challenge (Downtown Nekketsu Baseball Monogatari).
  • Kuru Kuru Kururin, a popular Nintendo franchise in Japan. The only game in the series that made it outside Japan was the first one, but it only got a European release, it was never released in America. However, Kururin's stick-like vehicle appears in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, thus leading to a lot of confusion from American gamers. This was finally broken when the first game got a North American release on the Wii U's Virtual Console on February 11, 2016.
  • Langrisser: The original Sega Genesis game was localizd by Treco as Warsong. This was the only game in the series to receive an official translation until Aksys Games announced a localization of Re:Incarnation Tensei.
  • The Legend of Zelda had a few spin-off titles for the Nintendo DS which did not make it stateside. The first was Tingle's Balloon Fight, a Club Nintendo exclusive game which was a remake of the classic game Balloon Fight starring Tingle, which did not make it out of Japan. Tingle would get to star in an action adventure game though called Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland which did not make it stateside but was released in Europe. Rosy Rupeeland got a sequel in the form of Ripened Tingle's Balloon Trip of Love which did not make it out of Japan. See anything in common with these three titles? They all star a character overseas fans are generally not fond of.
  • Medabots, several games in the series did not leave Japan, the ones which did was it because the then current anime boom in the west; Medarot 2 Core was released as Medabots for GBA, Medabots AX also for GBA and Medabots Infinity for GameCube, that's all for the games released outside Japan. Currently, in Japan, the series has more than a dozen of games and still lives with Medarot 8 on the Nintendo 3DS.
  • As big as Mega Man is in the West, Rockman's bigger in Japan. Here are some of the things we never got:
    • Super Adventure Rockman, a PS1 visual novel of sorts.
    • Rockboard, a collection of Mega Man-themed board games for NES.
    • The SNES game Mega Man & Bass was not released in America until the GBA port in 2003. The sequel, Rockman and Forte: Challenger from the Future, was not released outside Japan, due to the WonderSwan not coming stateside.
    • Rockman EXE 4.5: Real Operation, where the GBA becomes as much like a PET as possible via the BattleChip Gate accessory (we never got that either).
    • Since Boktai 3 was never localized, a lot of crossover material in Battle Network 6 was removed for the international version.
    • The Mega Man Battle Network remake/Star Force crossover Rockman.EXE: Operate Shooting Star shows absolutely no signs of leaving Japanese soil. It's a subversion however, because of the massive fan outcries of It's the Same, Now It Sucks in America, Europe, and even inside Japan. That's because the game is pretty much a port of the very first Battle Network game with so little new content that, according to fans, it doesn't justify purchase value.note 
    • Rockman Megaworld, a Mega Drive compilation of the first three Famicom games with 16-bit graphics and sound, was in fact released in Europe as Mega Man: The Wily Wars. The American version was only available via the now-defunct Sega Channel, meaning that the game was Lost Forever once the service was discontinued.
    • Europeans, however, never got Mega Man 6, and the compilations for the original and X series were only released in America. Finally averted, though, when Mega Man 6 arrived on the European 3DS Virtual Console almost 19 years later.
    • Rockman Strategy, an officially licensed PC game featuring Zodiac-themed Robot Masters was only released in China and Taiwan.
    • Luckily, UDON is bringing over the original Mega Man (Rockman Megamix, to be specific) and ZX manga, as well as the Rockman Complete Works art book (split into a book for the classic series and one for Mega Man X).
    • They've also brought over the Kubrick figures of Mega Man and Proto Man from Japan, complete with the accompanying Be@rbrick figures.
    • Japan and Europe got Battle and chase, a racing game with Mega Man characters tacked into it. There were ads in gaming magazines for it in the US! The game was ported in the Mega Man X Collection, though.
    • An American release of Rockman Xover has been put on indefinite hold; not because of something internal at Capcom, but because the fan reaction was so negative that Christian Svennson stopped the localization.
    • The Misadventures of Tron Bonne, a rare PS1 game that very often fetched for hundreds, was finally re-released on the PSN, allowing you to enjoy the title for a far cheaper price... unless you lived in Europe. Similarly, no European release date of the long awaited PSN version of Mega Man Legends has been announced so far. Fortunately, you can somewhat get around this by making a US PSN account, which allows you to buy off of the US PSN store.
  • An official (but partially translated) English version of the original Metal Gear for the MSX2 was available in parts of Europe (particularly in the Netherlands), but not in America (which only got the NES port), because the MSX2 was never released there. The original MSX2 release of Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, on the other hand, was only released in Japan. Both games were later remade and ported to the PS2 and included in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater: Subsistence, where they finally got proper English translations. In contrast, Snake's Revenge, the NES sequel to the first Metal Gear, was released in North America and Europe, but not in Japan.
  • The Nintendo 3DS's eShop is a booming service in Japan, but Mighty Switch Force! (one of the highest selling and most well received eShop games in the West) is not available in Japan and there are no plans to release it there. The reason this example's in "Game Series Specific Examples" folder is because its D Siware prequels (Mighty Flip Champs! and Mighty Milky Way) were not released in Japan either.
  • The Monster Hunter series is another good example.
    • Monster Hunter 2 never saw the light of day overseas, though they have localized most of the PSP games, which are generally just remakes of previous titles with a lot added/changed, including the second game (though, the PSP versions don't have online play, and they pulled the plug on the original game's servers, leaving 3 Ultimate and 4 Ultimate as the only online options for westerners). By far the most painful for MH fans, however, is the refusal to localize Monster Hunter Frontier, the MMO of the series.
    • Neither Monster Hunter Portable 3rd or its PS3 port have ever been released outside of Japan, making it the only PSP installment to get this treatment.
    • While Monster Hunter 4 never got released outside of Japan, its Updated Re-release Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate will.
  • PAL territories never got Monster Rancher, but Monster Rancher 2 was renamed Monster Rancher over there.
  • Motor Storm: Apocalypse, a racing game set in an earthquake-ravaged San Francisco, had the incredible misfortune of being released less than a week after the 2011 Tohoku earthquake. While it was released in Europe on time, its British release was pushed back two weeks, its American release pushed back two months, and its Japanese release canceled outright. Its release in New Zealand was also canceled, as that country too had suffered a major earthquake in Christchurch just a month prior.
  • More proof that Namco/Bandai loathes you: the Mr. Driller games. Three of them (Mr. Driller Ace, Great and Drill Land) never saw the light of day outside of Japan. On top of this, these were arguable the best games in the series.
  • Jaleco made two failed attempts at international versions of their Ninja Jajamaru-kun games: Jajamaru Ninpou Chou as Taro's Quest, and Ninja Jajamaru: Ginga Daisakusen as Squashed. Neither made it past prototype stage, and only Maru's Mission for the Game Boy was exported until the original Ninja Jajamaru-kun was released on the Wii Virtual Console.
  • Like its cousin Fire Emblem, Intelligent Systems' Wars series dates back to the original Famicom Wars for the Family Computer in 1988, followed by Game Boy Wars in 1991 and Super Famicom Wars in 1998, none which saw official English releases. Ironically enough, this was inverted starting with Advance Wars for the GBA, which marked the series' English debut. The North American version was released in 2001, but the Japanese version, Game Boy Wars Advance, was canceled due to the unfortunate timing of the 9/11 attacks and was not released in Japan until 2004, when it was included in a two-in-one bundle with its sequel Game Boy Wars Advance 2. This seems to have killed the series in its home country - the first DS game, Famicom Wars DS, bombed hard in Japan, so they didn't even bother to release Advance Wars: Days of Ruin there, even though it contains a complete Japanese translation hardcoded in.
  • Cliff Hanger and Treasure of the Sorcerer King are the only Lupin III games to get an English language release, and even those weren't released outside of North America.
  • Mother 3, and the fact that Nintendo somehow thinks that people don't like EarthBound (the fact that Earthbound was a financial disaster probably did little to help that). While many have thought this might change with the release of Super Smash Bros. Brawl (after all, Melee finally got Fire Emblem to start coming over), Nintendo has mysteriously never localized Mother 3, repeatedly denied any work or interest in it, and never even offered a reason why. That, of course, didn't stop the fans from taking care of it. To the point where Nintendo Power has joked about it. One preview jokingly refers to the cover game as being Mother 3 (ignoring the fact that the ball on the picture is coloured a lot like Sonic, the glowing sword embedded in it resembles a Dragon Needle), but immediatly says that they're just kidding.
    • To put it in perspective, Lucas is the only playable character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl (and, as of June of 2015, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U) that hasn't had his/her game released outside of Japan.
    • The long-missing first game in the series was even localized, but never released because it was near the end of the lifespan of the NES. The compilation, Mother 1+ 2, also wasn't localized, because of the unpopularity of the second game in the US and the trouble of rereleasing the third one.
    • When a Japanese Nintendo Direct regarding the Wii U Virtual Console was released, fans were delighted to find out that Mother 2 was among the games to be released for it. Come the English translation of the video, and... it was exactly the same, but with no EarthBound in sight. The outcry that immediately followed, including legions of posts spamming the Mother 2 Miiverse page, may have been the deciding factor for what followed; because on April 17, 2013, EarthBound was finally announced to be coming to the Virtual Console in North America and Europenote , instantly becoming one of the eShop's best sellers.
    • Nintendo joked about this during the Robot Chicken sketches at E3 2014 with a rowdy fan yelling at Reggie about not getting Mother 3. This fan is later silenced and quite literally shot down (with a fireball) by the NoA President himself.
    • Mother 1 got a surprise international Wii U Virtual Console rerelease as Earthbound Beginnings, finally averting the trope for a game other than the second.
    • Mother 3's reason for this was finally explained at E3 2015 when being asked about EarthBound Beginnings. Reggie stated that they are very well aware of the love for Mother 3 and the demands for it to come to America. The main thing they want to make sure about is whether or not the game will sell enough to justify translating it into English after all these years. note  While he says he has nothing to announce for now, he did say they'll see what happens on that front in the future. While the game currently is still in export limbo, at least it's better than the previous year's E3.
    • Brownie Brown has stated that if this game ever gets a rerelease, they will attempt to avert this trope. However, it isn't looking too good, with it being announced to be rereleased on Wii U Virtual Console...in Japan only, with its segment specifically being cut from non-Japanese versions of the November 2015 Nintendo Direct. It's possible a Miiverse movement will turn this around like with EarthBound's rerelease, however.
  • The One Piece Wii fighter, Unlimited Cruise episodes 1 and 2 have currently been released everywhere, except for America. Europe has both eps and even Australia has the first ep, but no such luck for America yet. America got the immediate prequel, Unlimited Adventure, for the same system, which makes this just weird.
  • If you live outside of Asia and you're a fan of the Panel de Pon verse, you're out of luck. Installments in the series are fairly rare as it is, but Nintendo's international branches have a bad habit of scrubbing all references to the original kawaisa-heavy character designs when the time comes to export. To date, the character's only official Western appearances have been in Pokémon Puzzle Challenge, and even then only via a button code so obscure it wasn't discovered until 2013.
  • If you are a fan of Phantasy Star in any of its iterations and you don't live in Japan, then Sega hates you and feeds on your delicious tears. First, the spinoffs Phantasy Star Adventure and Phantasy Star Gaiden for the Game Gear and the Phantasy Star II text adventures were never released outside Japan; players wouldn't have to make do with Fan Translations of any of these if just one Compilation Re-release had been fully localized. Then came the much improved PS2 remakes of Phantasy Star and Phantasy Star 2 which we missed out on. Then there were the various ways Sega jerked Western players of Phantasy Star Online and Phantasy Star Universe around by witholding content released for the Japanese servers (before shutting the western servers down entirely as a final screw you). Finally, Sega outright refused to translate Phantasy Star Portable 2 Infinity despite being a much improved version of the original that many were interested in.
  • Princess Maker came narrowly close to averting this trope: an English language version of the second game was developed by a small company called SoftEgg and was set to be released by Intracorp Entertainment, but with Intracorp's closure in 1996, the domination of first-person shooters in the PC market, and the obsolescence of MS-DOS, the game was never officially released in the west. A completed English-version beta was finished before the game's cancellation, however, and has since been disseminated across the internet.
  • Puyo Puyo has 7 mainline entries (the first two qualifying for Port Overdosed, and the rest receiving their fair share of releases), as well as more than a dozen spinoffs. So how much of the series has been released in North America and/or Europe? The first arcade game in a release so obscure that some believe that it's a bootleg, two Dolled Up Installments, the Neo Geo Pocket Color and untranslated Mega Drive ports of the second game, a Game Boy Advance spinoff, and the fifth mainline game. The Game Gear port of the first arcade game even has a full English translation that triggers whenever it is used in non-Japanese hardware, yet it still remains Japan-exclusive.
    • On the other hand, the N-Gage Puyo Pop didn't release in Japan for obvious reasons.
  • The first installment of the Rhythm Heaven series for the Gameboy Advance titled Rhythm Tengoku did not release outside Japan because Nintendo considered the Gameboy Advance dead by the time it released in Japan. The rest of the world also did not get an arcade port of the first game. The next two installments for the DS and Wii did release worldwide. The newest installment for 3DS was announced for US release as Rhythm Heaven: Megamix on March 3, 2016.
  • RayStorm and RayCrisis had PC ports that were only released in Japan and PAL territories. Thankfully there is no region-coding to keep these games from running on non-Japanese/European machine, making them import-friendly.
    • Have a PlayStation 3 and want to download RayStorm HD or the PlayStation versions of RayStorm and RayCrisis? Well that's gonna take few extra steps and some yen as the games were only released in Japan. D3's Simple 1500 Series compilation of RayStorm and RayCrisis years prior also stayed in Japan.
  • The "Sakura Taisen World Project," announced in 2002, was an official effort to bring the Sakura Wars dating sim/mecha strategy games to international audiences. The first part of the plan was to have the original game Remade for the Export on the PlayStation 2, but the remake was only released in Japan. The fifth installment received a very belated localization as Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love, which flopped in the U.S., making it unlikely Westerners will see more of the franchise besides one game and some of the tie-in anime (which came out earlier).
  • Seaman had a sequel for the PlayStation 2 in Japan simply called Seaman II which never made it stateside.
  • A Shadowrun game for the Sega CD was released in Japan only, probably because in 1996 the system was already fading fast.
  • If you're a fan of old-school Shin Megami Tensei, you might as well just give up and learn Japanese.
    • Very few of the older titles have made it out of Japan, most likely because of its cult status overseas and mature subject matter (part one of Persona 2 involves the resurrection of Hitler. No, really). For a long time, non-Japanese fans were distraught over never getting to see official releases of games like Persona 2: Innocent Sin, half of the Devil Summoner games, Shin Megami Tensei if......, all but one of the Devil Children games, Shin Megami Tensei I and II, and a host of mobile phone games (though thankfully the fan translations are thriving). But after the success of the 2004 North American release of Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne, every new MegaTen gamenote  released since then has come out stateside, so fans at least have that much solace, unlike many of the above examples. However, if you live in Europe, you will feel privileged for getting your games much later than everyone else... if you get them at all. Devil Survivor, which was originally released in Japan and North America for the DS in 2009 and the 3DS in 2011, didn't officially come to Europe until an incredibly buggy localization was released in 2013. At least the DS was region free...
    • Shin Megami Tensei IMAGINE: The US servers were shut down, making the game Japan-only.
    • Shin Megami Tensei IV. Released for the (region locked!) 3DS in May 2013 for Japan, July for North America, and... October 2014 in Europe, over a year after it was already supposed to be released there.
    • The original Persona 3 was released in Japan in 2006 and America in 2007. Europe got it 2008, just a little over half a year before FES got released there too, rendering the original version obsolete. At least Europe only had to wait a year for Persona 4.
      • The very region-locked Persona 4 Arena, however, had its European release date continually moved back. Fans were displeased.note 
      • The arcade version of Arena is Japan only.
    • The PSP remake of Innocent Sin finally got North American and European releases in 2011, though the new version changed Hitler, Nazis, swastikas, and 'Gay student council member' to Fuhrer, Imperial Soldiers, Iron Crosses, and 'Student council member that sounds like a girl'.
      • On the flip side, the PSP remake of Eternal Punishment remains Japan-only, ironically enough (given that the original version was released in the West).
    • On the plus side, the 3DS remake of Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers finally came out in North America in April 2013, with a European release in September.
    • Shin Megami Tensei I finally got a version that was released in the West in 2014, the catch being that said version is on iOS only, no other devices.
    • The pre-SMT games, along with the Digital Devil Story novel series they were adapted from, are extremely unlikely to see a Western release because they've been so comprehensively overshadowed by their adaptations and sequels.
  • The Silent Hill franchise has numerous spin offs that haven't been released in the US, including an arcade game that was released in Europe, but not the US. Thankfully, most of the products aren't important, with the exception of The Book of Lost Memories, a trivia book that answers many questions about the series. The arcade game has been seen in Australia however.
  • Sin and Punishment did not originally get a release outside of Japan but it did feature English voice acting. Because of the high demand for a North American release it did release in 2007 on the Virtual Console. It sold enough there that its sequel Sin and Punishment: Star Successor did see a worldwide release.
  • Infogrames' series of The Smurfs video games for the 8-bit and 16-bit game systems (such as The Smurfs (1994) and The Smurfs Travel the World) hardly saw a release outside Europe, with only a few exceptions.
  • The original Spyro the Dragon trilogy, despite having been released as a whole in the Northern American PlayStation Store within a single month (that is, one game per week), have yet to be released on the European one. The situation with the PSOne Classics in Europe is so bad, the high request actually caused Ross McGrath of the European PS Blog to write a post entirely devoted to the Classics alone and how long it takes before one of them is released on the European store, mostly blaming it on technical issues and legal reasons. He also once commented that, on that regard, "there has been some progress [with the Spyro games] but it's not that notable". We could assume that the "legal reasons" have something to do with the music composed by Stewart Copeland, but even then, the fact the (thankfully) entirely re-released Crash Bandicoot trilogy still includes the Spyro demos - with music and all - instantly josses that option entirely.
  • The Starfy series until 5 (The Legendary Starfy) was never released outside of Japan for apparently being "too Japanese". Even then, The Legendary Starfy was never released in Europe.
  • StarTropics, Which was never released in Japan, and the sequel Zoda's Revenge was North American-exclusive.
  • Certain Strawberry Shortcake games fall oddly into this category. The Game Boy Advance game Ice Cream Island Riding Camp and the PC Port of The Sweet Dreams Game for the PS2 received Europe-only launches. Also, The PS2 release of The Sweet Dreams Game never got a NTSC/J release dispite the show's extreme popularity in Asia- Sony assigned the NTSC/J block to the region dispite the fact that much of the population can't speak Japanese. The latest case of the franchise is a set of iPhone games by some company called Cupcake Digital. For some reason those are not sold in Asia while games by Budge Studios (which are notorious Allegedly Free Games) and the Ape Entertainment comic books are.
  • Most Summon Night games have never, and will never, be released outside of Japan despite their popularity. Notably this includes the 3rd Swordcraft Story game, as the first two were among the few to get released.
    • Neither will the anime, novels, or drama CDs.
    • Hardly a surprise. It's another Namco series, afterall.
  • Super Punch-Out!! is the only game of its series to have never received a Japanese release.
  • Super Robot Wars:
    • The majority of the series will never be seen outside of Japan, other than through Fan Translations, due to the multitude of trademark/copyright issues involved. Indeed, that's the reason the Original Generation games were made: to produce something with the flavor of the series which can actually be exported without an army of lawyers covering its rear. Yet half of those aren't coming out in the US, either, because Sony Computer Entertainment America requires all games for their consoles to have an English voice track. Namco Bandai is unwilling to put the games out with a dub of low enough quality that they'd be financially viable, and Sony Computer Entertainment America is apparently unwilling to buckle on this rule. The fans are taking care of it, slowly but surely. Aeon Genesis has released translation patches for 'SRW 1, SRW 3, and Alpha Gaiden with patches for Alpha, Judgment and Lord of the Elementals (Masaki's story) in the not too distant future.
    • Due to general lack of region encoding, games released on Handheld systems (Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, or PlayStation Portable for example, with a total of 14 games between them (4 each on GBA and DS, 6 on PSP)) can be imported and played on local versions.
  • Averted with One Piece Unlimited World Red, as it's out on Physical and Download versions for PS3, 3DS and Vita (the physical version is exclusive at GameStop.), but the Wii U still only gets it download only.
  • Romance of the Three Kingdoms-related games Sangokushi Battlefield, Sangokushi Internet, Sangokushi Sousouden, and Romance of the Three Kingdoms 12, as well as some games in the Nobunaga's Ambition series, were not released in the US.
  • The Surge Concerto games haven't and probably won't make it out of Japan, even though the games they are prequels to did get English localizations.
  • Tengai Makyou: Far East of Eden, a long-running RPG series by Hudson Soft which started in 1989, has practically never appeared outside Japan, partly on account of being a Widget Series, partly because most of the original games were released on the PC Engine CD and Sega Saturn, which were not so popular outside Japan. The only English release was the Neo Geo fighting spinoff Tengai Makyou Shinden (translated as Kabuki Klash), and even this didn't get an AES release.
  • Touhou. Although the games are playable on any Windows PC with decent specs and have no form of region-lockout DRM, ZUN has expressed no interest in bringing the games outside of Japan, physically or digitally. Should you try to import the games, expect to pay at least 30 USD for just one game. It's no wonder 99.9% of Western fans simply pirate the games. As an exception to this, Playism announced bringing Double Dealing Character West, after some teasing by ZUN.
  • The Tower of Druaga: The series was not exported, outside of the compilations Namco Museum Volume 3, Namco Museum Volume 4, Namco Museum DS, and Namco Museum Virtual Arcade.
  • Ultima: The FM Towns port of Ultima VI, with English and Japanese voice acting, the Super Famicom port of Worlds Of Ultima The Savage Empire, with 16-bit graphics based on the SNES port of Ultima VII, and the FM Towns and PlayStation ports of Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss, with improved graphics and voice acting, were not exported.
  • None of the Umihara Kawase games have been released outside Japan, though Natsume at one time had plans to release Umihara Kawase Portable in the U.S. as Yumi's Odd Odyssey. Averted with the latest one, Sayonara Umihara Kawase, which was given a western release in the 3DS eShop under the name Yumi's Odd Odyssey
  • In Japan, all four Valis games were released on the PC Engine in one form or another. But North America didn't get the original Valis IV or the superior remake of the first game on the Turbo-Grafx 16; only the inferior SNES and Genesis versions came over.
  • Are you fan of Virtual-ON? Sega hates Western fans and here's how:
    • An Updated Re-release of Virtual-On: Operation Moongate was released for the PlayStation 2 and only in Japan. What makes it sting even more as this is widely considered to be the best version of the game as it has features not found in the Sega Saturn or PC port, such as updated graphics and smoother frame-rate, crisper sound quality, and lots of extra modes including one where you can play as chibi versions of the Virtuaroids and play as the Final Boss.
    • The third entry of the series, Virtual-ON: FORCE, was released only in Japan and got an Xbox 360 port over there as well. Thankfully, Sega was nice enough to make it region-free and the menus are mostly in English.
    • When Sega announced their Model2 Collection series of HD re-releases of Model2 arcade games, they would be re-releasing Sonic the Fighters, Virtual Fighter 2, Fighting Vipers, Virtual-ON: Operation Moongate, and Virtua Striker via Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network. Only three of these games got released world-wide, but then Sega decided to Virtual-ON and Virtua Striker only in Japan.
    • The original Japanese version of Virtual-ON: MARZ was re-release on PlayStation Network (the West received an inferior version with lots of missing story content). In Japan. And no one else was getting it. However, if you have a Japanese PSN account and the yen to cover the cost, then you can import it this way.
  • Unfortunately Valkyria Chronicles III will never see the light outside Japan as a PSP game. This is mainly due to Sega's decision shoot itself in the foot by making the sequel a PSP game instead of a PS3 game like the original. The original sold better in the West than in Japan (due in part to the PS3's international popularity), but since the PSP was thriving in Japan but dying in the West, the game sold poorly outside of the Japanese market. Poor foreign sales led to Sega deciding not to export Valkyria Chronicles 3. Thankfully, the PSP's region free nature makes it easy to import the game, and an English patch is available here http://vc3translationproject.wordpress.com/about/
  • Wizardry: Of the Japanese games, enhanced remakes, and sequels, which outnumber the US releases, a couple have been exported, including Wizardry: Tale of the Forsaken Land, and Wizardry Labyrinth Of Lost Souls.
  • Fans of Wrestling Games have long lamented the lack of such games that make the transition from Japan to the U.S., which leaves WWE's licensed games as very nearly the genre's sole representatives in North America. In particular, Spike Entertainment's Fire Pro Wrestling and King of Colosseum franchises have garnered very vocal cults of Import Gamers, but the former has only seen very limited North American release of only the later games, and the latter has yet to cross the pond at all. To be fair, with those two series in particular, there are a few licensing issues; King of Colosseum is a Massive Multiplayer Crossover of several prominent Japanese wrestling federations, while Fire Pro Wrestling is... the same, with international promotions thrown in too, only with the Serial Numbers Filed Off. The problem is the vast bulk of the roster is Japanese wrestlers with only a handful of American wrestlers. Since Japanese wrestling has a very small audience in the west, most companies feel it's not worth the effort. Heck, Agetec only managed to port Fire Pro Returns by waiting two years after the game's Japanese release and releasing it in the US and Europe as a budget title. It also should be noted the GBA games sported a larger number of western wrestlers than usual, and the US version of Final Fire Pro added even more (at the expense of the Manager Mode).
  • More proof that Namco utterly hates you: Xenosaga I and II for the DS never saw release outside of Japan.
    • Xenosaga: Pied Piper, the spinoff cellphone game that explains Ziggy's past. However, the game script has since been translated and posted online.
    • Xenosaga: A Missing Year was promised to be translated and released by Namco... but wasn't. No big loss though, since it only explains why Shion didn't just quit Vector but joined a terrorist organization actively working to cripple the company, where Doctus comes from and who/what she really is, and why Shion's suddenly developed an intense disgust for her father, you know minor plot points. Much like Pied Piper, a fan-based translation is available online. Furthermore, in Europe, only Episode II was released. A low-quality 4 hour long DVD comprised of the games key cutscenes from Episode I was packaged with Episode II as a recap, while Episode III was not released at all.
  • Rumors have cropped up about talks that the third installment in the PlayStation Portable Yu Gi Oh GX Tag Force series would not be released overseas...despite the curious phenomenon of the series to come out in the west several weeks before it hits Japan. Some speculate that, if true, this decision was made to correspond to other rumors that 4Kids has refused to translate the fourth Yu-Gi-Oh! GX season, instead jumping straight to the next series Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's. And there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth from the commoners...
  • Falcom's Ys RPG series went through a long spell of this. By the time Ys IV: The Dawn of Ys was released for the PC Engine CD, NEC was no longer supporting the format outside Japan. Ys IV: Mask of the Sun and Ys V: Kefin, the Lost City of Sand also remained in Japan, even when they were both remade for the PlayStation 2. By the time Konami localized Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim for PS2 and PSP, enough opportunities had been missed that the sequel number was dropped. Fortunately, Atlus and XSEED have localized every subsequent game in the series, including: Ys: The Oath in Felghana, Ys Seven, Ys I and II Chronicles, Ys Origin, Ys: Memories of Celceta, and the original PC version of Ys VI: The Ark of Napishtim. Ys V is now the only entry in the modern canon without at least one version available in English.
  • Though all games in the Grand Theft Auto series from 3 onwards have been released in Japan, there are spin-offs such as Grand Theft Auto: The Lost and Damned that were never released there.
  • The JoySound karaoke games are this trope played straight if you live outside Japan. The developers even went as far as to region lock JoySound Dive so tightly that not only it won't run on a non-Japanese PS3, but even Japanese PS3s signed onto a Japanese PSN account will not be able to run the game if they're not on a Japanese ISP.
  • The first and third Shubibinman games, for the PC Engine, were only released in Japan. The middle installment, titled Shockman in the west, was a subpar Mega Man (Classic) clone, in contrast with the hack n' slash gameplay of the other two.

    Game-Specific Examples 
These examples are sorted by game name.
  • In 2006 Nintendo released a series of simplistic games for the Gameboy Advance called bit Generations in two waves with seven games in total. The games had very simplistic graphics with pick-up and play gameplay and came in black boxes which were smaller than normal and lacked instructions. The seven games were Dotstream, a simplistic racer, Boundish, a series of Pong clones, Dialhex and Coloris, two puzzle games, Digidrive, an arcade style game, Orbital, a different kind of space shooter with gravity based puzzles, and Soundvoyager, a game that included a pair of stereo headphones and could literally be played only by listening. Even though the games never made it outside Japan, they did get ESRB ratings under the name "Digistylish" indicating a potential US release. Notably a few of the games did get enhanced remakes, Dailhex, Orbital, and Dotsream on WiiWare as Rotohex, Orbient, and light trax, and Digidrive on DSiWare, all under the name of Art Style and also including new games. Of all these, Boundish, Coloris and Soundvoyager have never seen any release in any form outside Japan.
  • For most of us, the puzzle game Wario's Woods was the final NES game. But Japan released another NES game that never saw release outside of Japan: the fourth and final installment of the Adventure Island series.
  • The Adventure Time game Hey Ice King! Why'd You Steal Our Garbage?! was only released in North America. Too bad 3DS is region blocked, so the only way for other people to play it is using the Nintendo DS edition. Either that, or pay through the nose for both an American 3DS and the game. Averted when it was finally released in Europe as an eShop exclusive.
    • Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON'T KNOW! is available to America, Europe, and Australia this time around but not Japan, but Japanese Adventure Time fans can import the PS3 version of the game. Not surprising, as WayForward Technologies hardly ever exports its games there - Contra 4 being practically the only exception, and even then likely because it's a game in a franchise owned by a Japanese company.
  • Aerobiz: The first game's Sega Genesis/PSX remake was released exclusively in Japan.
  • All Night Nippon: Super Mario Bros was a special edition of Super Mario Bros. 1 created by Japanese TV channel Fuji TV. Needless to say it never got a release outside Japan because the characters and franchises would not be recognized and the game itself was a limited edition run.
  • All Points Bulletin will not be available in Australia. The reason for this, however, is not Moral Guardians, but cost of renting local servers from a company that has effective monopoly on it.
  • Altered Beast got an In-Name-Only remake for the PS2, which never got released in North America but did get released in Europe.
  • Aquanaut's Holiday: Hidden Memories was fully translated into English, but the translated version was only released in China and Korea.
  • Arcana Heart 2 never saw the light of day outside of Japan. This may be more due to the fact that the PS2 version of said game wasn't a very good port, however. Arcana Heart 3, on the other hand, does subvert this trope...unless you're an Xbox 360 owner in North America. To be fair, Aksys pushed for a 360 release for that region, but ultimately couldn't get approval for a physical disc release. Making it download-only in North America was also out of the question because the game weighed in at over twice the size limit for a 360 downloadable title (The game's at least 2GB. XBLA titles usually don't exceed 800MB).
  • Armadillo was a platform game for the Famicom which was planned for a North American release but was cancelled at the last minute because of the SNES releasing. Even so, North American gamers may recognize it as the bootleg game "Super Mario IV".
  • Activision planned to give Atlantis No Nazo a Dolled-Up Installment localization as Super Pitfall 2, but due to the first Super Pitfall's negative reception, it was cancelled.
  • The licensed Back to the Future game Super Back To The Future II was Super Famicom only. Indeed, a game based on an American movie doesn't come to any English-speaking country. Part of the reason why may simply be because most critics at the time probably would lambast it for being a generic platformer.
  • BattleTanx seems to be a gloriously fun romp around a post-apocalyptic wasteland blowing things up. OK, so it was ignored upon release, but it would still make sense to release it outside America to drum up sales, right? If you believe that, you're not a manager to 3DO. The sequel Global Assault got an Australian release, with reference to the first game's storyline and characters that were completely unexplained.
  • Battle Stadium DON was a Super Smash Bros. styled game crossing Dragon Ball, One Piece and Naruto released for PS2 and Game Cube in Japan. There are no plans to release it anywhere else.
  • Bio Miracle Bokutte Upa was a platformer released for the Famicom Disk System and then later the Famicom which did not make it to the US again because it was so late in the NES lifecycle. The game finally would get an official US release a decade and a half later on the Wii Virtual Console.
  • One version of Black/Matrix was considered for US release back in '99, but was passed over, for some reason.
  • Blaster Master 2 for the Genesis/Megadrive was produced by European developer Software Creations, and never released in Japan, or even Europe itself for that matter, only in North America.
  • Blood of Bahamut for NDS published by Square Enix.
  • Boktai had a third GBA game in Japan. English-speakers have to settle for the ROM and the fan translation patch.
  • Buriki One has only been at Japanese arcades.
  • Captain Rainbow (probably thanks to Birdo, who's particularly flaming in this one), thus blocking Panel de Pon characters from receiving Western exposure for a third time.
  • There is a Carmen Sandiego game for the Nintendo DS, named Mais où se cache Carmen Sandiego? Mystère au bout du monde,translation  released only in Europe and Australia. Less than favorable reviews, like this one, most likely killed any chance of an American release even with the ESRB accidentally leaking news about the game's existence.
  • Clock Tower: The First Fear was never released outside of Japan (probably because of the violence. It was a pretty scary game, especially for the SNES). However, its sequels all made it over. This made certain lines in the second game, the only direct sequel, a bit confusing. Nobody knows why Dan is a significant name because the game only shows him briefly in the opening and doesn't say his name.
  • Crash Bandicoot was an extremely popular series in Japan; being one of the few popular western game series there. However when the characters got a full-on redesign for the seventh gen games, those games did not release there. It's an odd case, since they could have made specific models for them like they did with many of the other games. Crash continues to have games in Japan (mostly on mobile devices), albeit in the style of the PlayStation games.
  • Crash Bash was rereleased on the PSN Store... But only in Japan, and for every other country it remains the only Crash Bandicoot game on the PlayStation that hasn't been rereleased. Maybe it was because it wasn't made by Naughty Dog or that it wasn't as popular or good, but that doesn't explain why it was still released in Japan.
  • Crimzon Clover's PC version was only released in Japan, but it can be run on any modern PC regardless of region so it's not really an example. What is an example, however, is the arcade port, which adds 2-player support and replaces Simple Mode with a new Boost Mode. It is available only on the Japan-only NESiCAxLive platform (see further below for details). The Updated Re Release was later made available for sale and region-free.
  • Cubivore was not released in Europe.
  • Daffy Duck in Hollywood was released for the Megadrive in Europe, but never saw a Genesis release. This, despite Looney Tunes coming from America in the first place, Hollywood being an American location, and numerous other Looney Tunes license games were released in the U.S.
  • Dead or Alive
    • Dimensions wasn't released in Sweden, Norway, or Denmark due to concerns about the game's Figure Mode raised by a blogger who "aimed for [Nintendo's] heart, and by accident... hit [Nintendo] in the stomach." They could have edited Figure Mode out of the localized version, but they panicked and decided not to release the game in those three countries at all.
    • Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 won't be coming out in the West per official statement by Tecmo-Koei, although import site Play-Asia has announced plans to carry English-language versions of the game, and the PS4's region-free nature means that Western gamers will still be able to play it.
  • Devil World was one of the few early first-party NES titles not to be released in North America. Back in the day, Nintendo of America not only banned the word "devil", but they also had a policy against showing crucifixes, note  and this game is practically based around them.
  • Poor Ryo Akiyama, who appeared in Digimon Tamers, has gotten some flack from the western fanbase because he doesn't seem to make any sense as a character without his backstory... Which comes from a series of games on the Wonderswan. The Wonderswan never went anywhere beyond Asia, and the only offical English version of the first in this series of games was only released in Hong Kong and other English-speaking asian countries. The same applies for the other Digimon games on that system and the AU mangas.
  • Disaster: Day of Crisis was localized to Europe. Not to America, though. It seems Reggie doesn't appreciate the campy nature of the game.
  • Doctor Who: The Adventure Games were not initially available outside of the UK until a commercial version was issued in July 2010. However, the company chosen to distribute the commercial version has said they will not be making the Mac version of the games available outside the UK.
  • Donkey Konga 3 never left Japan due to the first two games' negative reception overseas.
  • Donkey Kong Land 3 was originally released only in America and Europe. A few years later it finally got a release in Japan, but it was a Game Boy Color version, which other countries didn't get.
  • The Nintendo 64 had a quirky simulation game called Doubutsu no Mori which was never released outside of Japan. It got a remake, Doubutsu no Mori+ for the GameCube, however, which did get released internationally, under the name Animal Crossing. The remake was then re-exported back to Japan and re-released with further additions and improvements as Doubutsu no Mori e+, which stayed in Japan.
  • Doshin The Giant originally saw a release only in Japan on the 64DD attachment. It later got an update re-release for the Gamecube, but North America is the only region that did not see it. According to Nintendo, reception of the game was good, but it did not achieve the sales they wanted in other territories.
  • Dragon Ball Heroes is a card based arcade game released in 2010 which has yet to recieve any form of release outside of Japan, despite possessing a great many of the features fans have been clamoring for for some time. It also got an Enhanced Remake port to the 3DS, and there isn't even of whisper indicating a release outside Japan either.
  • Dragonball Online was an MMORPG created with help from original author Akira Toriyama that never saw release outside of Korea, and as a result of the servers shutting down in 2013, likely never will.
  • Dr. Mario 64, a massively Updated Re-release of Dr. Mario, was initially only released in America despite its predecessor being a pretty popular game all over the world. It was later included on the collection Nintendo Puzzle Collection for the GameCube—which was only released in Japan (more info on that below).
  • The Ducktales Remastered game is not available on the Wii U in parts of Asia where the NTSC/UC version of the Wii U is being sold. This is because the Wii U eShop for NTSC/UC consoles isn't available in those areas. It's also unknown if DuckTales Remastered will be released in Japan at all or not despite the original NES game being made there, even though it is available on PSN in the rest of Asia. The iOS and Android versions of the game avert this for Japan in April 2015.
  • On April 2, 2013, Nexon announced that they are officially shutting down Dungeon Fighter Online in the west, making it a Korea-only MMO.
  • Dynasty Warriors has:
    • A game called Dynasty Warriors VS on the Nintendo 3DS that features Link and Samus as playable characters. Sound good? Too bad, it's only available in Japan.
    • While Shin Sangoku Musou: Multi Raid Special was exported as Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce, Multi Raid 2 never made it out of Japan.
  • Earth Defense Force:
    • In the series, the first two games were only released in Japan as Chikyuu Boueigun, and Europe as Monster Attack and Global Defense Force.
    • Earth Defense Forces 2 Portable, the PSP version of Chikyuu Boueigun 2 / Global Defense Force, was only released in Japan but contained more content than it's PS2 versions, 4-player co-op and even had some hidden files on the UMD hinting at a US release that never happened. Earth Defense Forces 3 Portable for the PlayStation Vita made it over under the moniker Earth Defense Force 2017 Portable however.
  • Evil Twin: Cyprien's Chronicles has only been released in Europe.
  • Despite having four major versions, being massively popular in its home country, and even making a showing as a featured tournament at the Evolution 2010 World Fighting Game Championships in Las Vegas, Melty Blood remains a Japan-only item.
  • Excite Bots was only released in North America.
  • F-Zero Climax, the last F-Zero game ever made, was never released outside Japan.
  • Fantasy Earth Zero: The US, Taiwan and Hong Kong servers were shut down, making the game Japan-only.
  • Fatal Frame:
    • Fatal Frame 4 was released in Japan with a counterintuitive control scheme (on the Wii, no less) and some game-breaking bugs. The game remains in Japan because Nintendo refuses to release the game worldwide without changes, but Tecmo refuses to make said changes without additional pay. The fact that the previous game reviewed and sold only slightly better than the plague overseas probably isn't helping matters, either.
    • Fatal Frame 2: Wii Edition, a remake of the best-selling second game in the series, has been announced for European and Australian releases... but not American.
  • The vast majority of games based on the manga series Fist of the North Star never saw release outside of Japan. The only games released outside of Japan were the second NES game which was called simply Fist of the North Star, a fighting game for the Game Boy, the Fighting Mania arcade game, two games for the Master System and Genesis that were stripped of the license and rebranded for sale on the international market, and of course, Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage. The Other Wiki has many, many others, including three Dragon Quest-style RPGs (two of them for the NES), a line of typing games, a line of fighting games, and finally a line of pachinko games.
  • Forbidden Siren - First game was released in Europe first, then released in America with the british voicework. The second game never made it to America and stopped in Europe.
  • Forbidden Siren 2 saw Japanese, Australian and European release, but never made it to North America, probably because sales for the first game were, to say the least, abysmal.
  • Freshly-Picked Tingle's Rosy Rupeeland was never released in America. Need you ask why?
  • Despite being released in Japan, the third Fullmetal Alchemist game, Fullmetal Alchemist 3: The Girl Who Succeeds God ((鋼の錬金術師3: 神を継ぐ少女, Hagane no Renkinjutsushi 3: Kami wo Tsugu Shōjo) was never released in North America. At the time, short sales of the other two games' caused this. However, there doesn't seem to be a lot of reason to keep it from coming out as of Brotherhood's release in 2010/2011, since it was considered to be the best game of the three Role Playing Games.
  • Despite footage of the Japanese version existing, Game & Watch Gallery 4 never got a Japanese release, in a rare inversion of the trope. It took fourteen years to finally avert it via Wii U's Virtual Console, as Game Boy Gallery 4 (it originally had the working title of Game Boy Gallery Advance).
  • Three Godzilla console fighting games have been made by Atari/Infogrames, and the third one especially, Godzilla Unleashed, is regarded by fans as the best Godzilla game of all time. So it's a bit of a puzzle why only the third game was not released in Japan, Godzilla's home. The Japanese fans are a bit pissed off about this, especially as it contained several of the films' Ensemble Darkhorses who have never been playable before.
    • On the other side of the pond, the second Super NES Godzilla game and Street Fighter clone (Kaiju Daikessen) never left Japan, and even worse, it was actually set to be released in North America as Godzilla Destroy All Monsters Melee, but wasn't mentioned afterwards. Which is unfortunate, since it was the first truly good Godzilla game on a mainstream console.
  • Grand Knights History. XSEED Games was all set to localize it, but they ended up dropping it.
  • The Great Giana Sisters is a Cult Classic game well-known for both being a blatant ripoff of Super Mario Bros. Commodore 64, and for its Crowning Music of Awesome. It was eventually remade for the Nintendo DS, but only released in Australia. It also had a North America release, but so far only limited copies were made.
  • Guilty Gear is well known for having a few revisions of one of its games. At least two of them did not make it over seas though: Guilty Gear X Plus (Yes, GGX got an Updated Re-release as well) and Guilty Gear XX Slash, which introduced A.B.A and Order-Sol. Since their overseas debut was Accent Core, a slight Marth Debuted in Smash Bros. effect ensured.
    • Also of note is Guilty Gear XX #Reload which was only released in the U.S. on the Xbox=.
  • Another game in limbo is Mobile Ops (or Gundam: Operation Troy). Namco/Bandai still have it as TBA for American release but have not said a word about it. Truly a bizare case since the game was desgined with Western audiences in mind.
    • After the poor sales in Japan and general dislike by even Gundam Fans in general, they decide it would only ruin sales.
  • A few Hamtaro games fell into this category as well: The first Hamtaro game (which is little more than a virtual pet game with a love meter and mate compatibility meter built in) is only available in Japanese. Likewise, the first Hamtaro DS game got a Japan-only release as well. To a lesser extent of things, fourth Hamtaro game, Rainbow Rescue, got an European and Japanese release, but no North American release.
  • Harvest Moon Back to Nature For Girl will never be released outside of Japan in its original formnote . More Friends of Mineral Town is essentially an enhanced 2D port of this game, and the PSP release Boy and Girl combined both versions of Back To Nature.
    • Surprisingly there are several games made for the overseas audience that were never released in Japan, including the two DS puzzle games and the 3DS version of A Tale of Two Towns.
  • House of the Dead EX, a Lighter and Softer Spin-Off of the series that focuses around a zombie couple. This game never officially made it outside Japannote , and needless to say, people outside of Japan were really confused when Zobiko and Zobio appeared in Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing, rather than well-known characters such as G, Curien, or Varla Guns, to name a few.
  • Ikenie No Yoru, developed and published by Marvelous Entertainment, is one of the other gems, that seem to be kept behind Japanese borders.
  • Ikki Tousen Shining Dragon, a 3D beat-em-up based on the anime series, was originally released in Japan in 2007 by Marvelous Entertainment. A North American publisher, Valcon Games, was slated to release it in the U.S. that same year, but the release date was pushed back to 2008, then was quietly cancelled. PSP games Ikki Tousen: Eloquent Fist and Ikki Tousen: Xross Impact were not exported.
  • Initial D: Perfect Shift Online was not exported, with online service shut down. The unreleased sequel, Initial D Perfect Shift Online 2nd Stage will probably not be exported.
  • Jeanne d'Arc on PSP, despite being about a famous historical figure of both France and England, was never released in Europe.
  • Kantai Collection: The web browser game is not available outside Japan. The arcade game KanColle Arcade was not exported. The Vita game KanColle Kai was not exported.
  • The sound novel version of Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl, called Kashimashi: Girl Meets Girl The First Summer Story may be released outside of Japan despite the fact that too many people don't like sound novels (a problem Higurashi: When They Cry also has with their "much better then the anime" sound novels) and due to the fact that the anime wasn't even dubbed. It was just translated with English subtitles onto DVDs.
  • The titular first game of the Katamari Damacy series was never released in PAL regions. To make up for this, the PAL release of the second game featured the first game's intro movie, Hoshino family cutscenes and "Katamari on the Rocks" theme song as unlockable extras.
  • The 2 sequels of Kid Niki were only released in Japan.
  • King of Fighters '94 Rebout, an enhanced remake of the first KOF game, was scheduled for an American release, but was cancelled for unknown reasons. It was only released in Japan.
  • Kirby sucks up his enemies, and it sucks that neither Europe or Australia got Kirby's Dream Collection for Wii.
  • Kirby Star Stacker had a remake for the Super Famicom called "Kirby no Kirakira Kizzu" or translated as "Kirby Super Star Stacker". It was slated for release in North America and Europe but Nintendo then ended the life of the SNES in both territories.
  • Spartan X 2, the sequel to Kung Fu for the NES, was to have been released in the West as Kung Fu II, as in this full-page advertisement.
  • The NES version of Legendary Wings was planned to be released in Japan, but only came out in America.
  • Namco's Legend of Valkyrie, originally released in Japanese arcades in 1989 and on the PC Engine in 1990, finally got a US localization in 1997 on Namco Museum Vol. 5. The franchise also had several other installments that were never exported at all.
  • In Japan and Korea, The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures came with a bonus game, called Navi Trackers, (Early versions were called Tetra's Trackers) set in the Timeline of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. The game was about Tetra, using ancient Hylian magic to split Link into four and play a game with him. The game was multiplayer, using the Game Boy Advance as the controller and screen for the individual players, and the TV screen as a status-check. In order to not have the players permanently look at the TV screen and lose time, Tetra, the King of Red Lions and Sue-Belle were fully voiced (this was before Midna) and would tell the players what was going on right now. Presumably because of said Japanese voice-acting, the game was never released outside Japan and Korea, much to the dismay of Tetra fans who wanted to hear her talk.
  • Love Plus, a popular Dating Sim developed by Konami for the DS.
  • Mario Bros. had a sequel called Kaettekita Mario Bros. for the Famicom Disk System which added minigames, a new mode, and in-game advertisements. Since the ads were for Japanese food company Nagatanien, it's the likely reason the game did not make it outside Japan.
  • Mario's Picross had an SNES version and a sequel to the Game Boy version both of which didn't got released outside of Japan. Oddly, though, Mario's Super Picross was released on the Wii and Wii U Virtual Console in Europe and Australia, but never in America. However, most of the puzzles are available for Wireless Download through Picross DS.
  • Mario Super Sluggers for the Wii was never released in Europe or Australia.
  • Another Mario game, Mario & Wario for the SNES, never made it outside Japan. Ironically, the game's in English anyway.
  • Nexon, creator of MapleStory, Dungeon Fighter Online and Mabinogi, never released any of those games in Europe.
  • Martian Successor Nadesico has an interesting spin on this trope. The series came out in America and Europe, as did The Movie. However, the video game detailing the passage of time between the series and the movie (as well as three other Martian Successor Nadesico games) was never released outside Japan, meaning that for many people, it was a little jarring to find that the series' war had ended offscreen, and Ruri was suddenly the main character.
  • Metal Combat: Falcon's Revenge was never released in Japan because the Super Scope was even less successful there than in America.
  • Oddly enough, Metal Wolf Chaos was never released in the U.S. — despite being fully voiced in English, with the game's main character being, you know, The President of the United States. In a Humongous Mecha, no less.
  • In an odd case of No Export for You, the Japanese Xbox 360 version of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance was canceled from seeing a release over there but got released just about everywhere else. Also, the PC port of the game is not available on Steam in Malaysia and probably the rest of Asia for no other reason than the game being a PS3 exclusive in Asia. The PS3 version is sold at all Sony Centers and game shops in the country, and there are separate Japanese and English versions.
  • Million Arthur: The mobile game was discontinued in Japan, while the mobile game and its sequel were exported. The handheld versions of Kaku-San-Sei Million Arthur on the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita were not exported.
  • Monster Party, a characteristically weird Japanese "parody" game, was advertised in Japanese magazines but somehow never released in its home country.
  • Moon Crystal was advertised for a forthcoming U.S. release that never happened.
  • Mortal Kombat 9 wasn't initially released in Australia due to the Moral Guardians not giving it a rating and not allowing it to be sold, or even imported. However, when they introduced an R-18+ rating for games, the "Komplete Edition" was allowed to be released, meaning this was ultimately averted.
    • Also, the game has not been released in Japan, and there are no plans to do so.
  • The Movies expansion Stunts and Effects was only available in certain markets, notably Australia and Asia. Because Microsoft bought Lionhead Studios up before they could launch the Expansion Pack in other regions. Incidentally, Activision is the distributor of Lionhead Studios games in the two regions, so the possibility here is that Activision launched the expansion pack as soon as news of Lionhead's purchase by Microsoft reached them as a final cash-grab attempt.
  • Musou Orochi Z is explicitly never being released outside of Japan, despite the two games it's derived from making it to the US and Europe. As something of a compensation, they added some of the features of it to the overseas PSP version of Warriors Orochi 2. Which is great for everyone who has a PSP, and doesn't mind playing a game that was designed for next-gen systems on it.
  • Namco refuses to export Namco × Capcom for no apparent reason because they're pricks (again) but unless you're a sucker for repetitive gameplay, you may agree. The main reason seems to be that they believe most Western players won't recognise half the cast, because their games weren't released here (somewhat ironic considering Tatsunoko vs. Capcom)... Oh well, at least there's a (somewhat too accurate) translation patch.
  • Naughty Bear was released only in Europe and North America. If you live in Asia and have a Xbox 360, you are out of luck. To add insult to injury, both the North American and European releases of the game are actually cross-compatible with the other region's consoles... just not with Asian region consoles.
  • The DS version of Ni no Kuni never made it to America. The fact that it came with a large spellbook that would be difficult to translate was usually cited as the reason for this, which many RPG fans accepted with some degree of disappointment. Then the PS3 version was localized, containing not only a digital version of the book (fully translated), but the special edition even came with a printed dead-tree version! DS-owning fans were not happy. While Level-5 has suggested that they might bring the DS edition to the 3DS, it so far seems unlikely.
  • Noahs Ark, a 2D sidescroller for the NES (and published by Konami!), was only released in Europe. What did the U.S. get? A crappy Wolfenstein 3D mod called "Super Noah's Ark 3D". In fairness, "Noah's Ark" can be played in the U.S. on the toploader, but it's also extremely rare.
  • Even though Pac-Man is a Japanese franchise, the Pac-Man World trilogy was developed in the United States and United Kingdom. Pac-Man World 1 and 2 were released in Japan but Pac-Man World 3 wasn't, despite that 3 included an interview video with Tōru Iwatani in Japanese (it had subtitles though).
    • Namco Bandai also has no plans to bring the newly announced Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures game to Japan either. The 3DS version of Ghostly Adventures actually will be released in Japan as "Pac-World" but they won't be getting the home versions.
    • Pac-Man Museum will be getting released worldwide on the same day on Xbox 360, PS3, Wii U, 3DS, and PC. But Japan's not getting the Nintendo or PC versions, they're only getting it on PS3 and 360. Japan not getting the PC version is understandable, but it's odd that they're not getting it on Nintendo platforms even though they are getting it on an American console that only a very few people in Japan even play.
  • Nanashi no Game for NDS published by Square Enix and its sequel.
  • There are vehement arguments all over the web over whether or not Bandai/Namco is going to pull this with Ultimate Ninja 5 or not; the amount of people saying we (the USA) will get it and those who say we won't are equal in number, with no official clarification in sight.
  • The PlayStation 2 remake of NiGHTS into Dreams... was only released in Japan. Considering the reception and sales of its sequel, Journey of Dreams, a release in other territories does not look likely. However, it did get an HD version in America and Europe, with some of the bonuses that the PS2 version had.
  • Nintendo Puzzle Collection for the Nintendo GameCube was intended to be given an international release if one circa-2003 Nintendo "upcoming releases" pamphlet is to be trusted. The ESRB also rated the game too. While it wasn't a huge loss in the case of Dr. Mario, which was released in America (but only in America) on the Nintendo 64, a fairly big deal was made of the fact that this would be the first time Western audiences would get to experience Panel de Pon in its unedited form (the Nintendo 64 version had been Dolled Up as Pokémon Puzzle League and stripped of its 4-player mode), and its version of Yoshi's Cookie isn't available anywhere else.
  • No importing RapeLay for you! Despite being a rather under-the-radar sandbox-style 3D-ero (a.k.a. "Hentai") game from 2006, It was imported intentionally by several American feminist organizations specifically to be offended by it — groups that are now working with far right protesters in Japan to pressure the Japanese government to ban "Abuse Games". Amazon and other importer-friendly stores have banned the sale of the game, retail markets in Japan are working at pulling it from shelves, and even the maker has purged their website of all mention of it.
    • The bigger catch? Much like the proposed anti-Lolicon rules that would plant an automatic R-18 rating (read: no one under 18 admitted) on certain works (thankfully, Doraemon won't be among them), the preliminary proposed regulations about "abuse games" are vague enough that they would ban about 30-40% of the ero market. A complete accident, of course.
    • Illusion doesn't release any of their games outside of Japan — they even have an statement on their website stating that they won't sell any game to anybody outside Japan. Many of their more mainstream Dating Sim games are actually kinda fun to play and have huge modding communities outside of Japan. Even games like RapeLay or Biko (a "stalker game") are bizarre examples of that piece of Japanese culture. They have even released a couple of RPG and Brawler style H-Games. Regardless of title, if you want to play them, outside of travelling to Japan to buy them, you have to rely on either ambiguously legal imports or torrents to get them. In fact, you can be charged with a felony for possessing it (though only in some countries).
  • Japanese Inversions:
    • Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine (mostly because it's a sprite-swapped Puyo Puyo), the Vectorman games (the second even being North American-exclusive), and the Genesis version of Sonic 3D Blast (Japan only got the Saturn version) weren't originally released in Japan; they have all since appeared in the Compilation Rereleases Sonic Mega Collection and Sonic Gems Collection (in the Japanese versions of both compilations as well).
    • Sonic Gems Collection itself is a GameCube-exclusive in the States. Both Japan and Europe got a PS2 version.
    • Japan also never got the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Steam versions of the Sonic the Hedgehog CD remake.
  • Otocky is a musical shoot-em-up that released for the Famicom Disk System but never made it out of Japan likely because the NES lacked the special sound chips the game needed.
  • Psycho Fox, a Japanese-made game openly based on Japanese mythology, was never released in Japan, owing to the Sega Master System's early discontinuation there.
  • While Sonic Generations is available world-wide, SEGA has announced that there is a Collector's Edition set that contains DLC, a "History of Sonic" Documentary, an art book with never before seen artwork, a ring replica, a 20th Anniversary Soundtrack compilation, and a statue featuring both Modern and Classic Sonic. The kicker? It's exclusive to Europe and Australia. What makes this more infuriating is that the Sonic franchise was primarily inspired by and influenced by American and Japanese Pop Culture.
  • Parodius da! (tr. It's Parodius!), a parody of the wildly popular Gradius, was released in Japan and Europe, but for some reason, not America. The Europeans changed some of the bosses to be more kid friendly, so there was no reason they couldn't do the same in America. It might have been the fact that one of the bosses was a giant bald eagle wearing a red, white, and blue hat, but there was no reason they couldn't have changed it like the Europeans did. The sequel Gokujou Parodius (tr. First-Rate Parodius) also received a Europe-only localization as Fantastic Journey.
  • The fifth game in the Ace Attorney series, Dual Destinies, will be available exclusively on the Nintendo 3DS eShop and won't see a cartridge release in NTSC/UC countries. Bad enough that the 3DS has Region Coding, but how about countries that don't have access to the eShop and are getting NTSC/UC 3DS consoles? note . And those who want the game 100% legally had to wait 10 months and buy an iDevice to play it (as well as forego being able to play the game in stereoscopic 3D). But it's still this trope for the 3DS version of the game.
  • The rare (used copies can cost up to 50 dollars) Cult Classic Planescape: Torment is getting a re-release, but in the United Kingdom only.
  • Policenauts, Hideo Kojima's Spiritual Successor to Snatcher, was announced for the Sega Saturn in America in 1996, but was ultimately canceled. In one interview, Kojima reveals that his team were working on the American localization, but they were unable to lip-synch the English dialogue with the FMV cut-scenes and gave up on the project (you can read the interview here in Japanese). Since then, Kojima has teased western players by including footage of the game in Metal Gear Solid, as well as expies of the game's cast in the form of Meryl Silverburgh in the first Metal Gear Solid, as well as Jonathan and Ed in Guns of the Patriots. A Fan Translation of Policenauts was completed in 2009.
  • Psychonauts is considered one of the best games of 2005. It is a 2D platformer in which you have to go inside someone's mind and repair his problems. It got huge scores on metacritic. Yet the game was never released in Japan and Australia. Low sales are why.
  • Princess Crown is one ugly case. Created by an early Atlus team who would evolve to become Vanillaware (of Odin Sphere and Muramasa: The Demon Blade fame), the game saw two releases (a Sega Saturn one and a PlayStation Portable one), none ever released outside of its home country. The game is also somewhat the spiritual antecedent of the fairly succesful Odin Sphere (having a similar gameplay structure and themes), making the fact that no one localized the PSP version particularly annoying.
  • Tecmo Koei developed a Vita port to accompany the PS3 version of One Piece Pirate Warriors 2 that never made it outside Japan, thanks to Namco Bandai.
  • Otomedius seemed like it would go the road of Parodius. But Otomedius Excellent has broken the trend by announcing a US release some time in 2010 (although it's been delayed to 2011).
  • Pepsiman was not released outside of Japan likely because the game was based on a series of Japanese commercials. It became one of the most popular import games in Mexico.
  • Pulseman did not get a cartridge release in North America, instead coming out through Sega's Sega Channel service. But it would eventually release via the Wii Virtual Console in 2007 in North America, and Europe in 2009.
  • Radiant Historia was advertised in plenty of European video game magazines and touted as a return to form for traditional RPG's, but never released there. The fact that it was only available to people who pre-ordered in the US may have lead to it being too obscure for anyone to bring it over.
  • Radia Senki Reimeihen was going to receive a Western release, under the title "Tower of Radia". For unknown reasons (possibly because it was late in the NES's lifespan), the export was trashed, leading to this status.
  • Raiden DX was only released in Japan.
  • Rage of Bahamut: The US servers were shut down, making the game Japan-only.
  • Ratchet: Deadlocked managed to get a HD remaster released on the PSN in 2013... only to North America.
  • The only home console version of Rayman Origins to reach Japan was the PS3 version. While there's no proper reasoning for the Wii version not to be released there (considering its popularity in Japan), the 360 version is justified - the console was a complete and utter flop there.
  • Ever heard of Rendering Ranger? It's a SNES action game developed by Manfred Trenz (of Turrican fame) and Rainbow Arts, and a really great one for the matter, with stages alternating between on-foot action and shmup, so well programmed that there's no slowdown even in the most crowded situations. A definitely "western" game that found a publisher only in the Japanese division of Virgin Games - and to add insult to injury, they produced it only in limited quantities.
  • Resident Evil: Code: Veronica rerelease, Code Veronica X never made it to the Dreamcast outside of Japan. Only the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo Gamecube versions made it overseas.
  • Retro Game Challenge has a sequel that was released only in Japan, but thankfully a translation patch is available. There's also a third game that was released in early 2014, but due to a shift in focus as well as a different creator, most people don't seem to like it as much as the first 2.
  • Ridge Racers 2 was released in every major region except North America. This is a slap in the face considering that Ridge Racers was released in all three markets, though with content exclusive to the North American version.
  • Rolling Thunder 3 is an inversion. It was released only in North America, despite being an IP by Namco and being developed by Nowpro, both of which are Japanese companies. Rolling Thunder 3 wasn't released in Europe or Australia either.
  • Australia, for what seems to be no reason at all, hasn't, and seemingly will never get Rock Band 2. Of course, it's importable, but remember you need instruments.
  • RPG Maker 2000 was never translated to English, resulting in English-speaking users being forced to download pirated copies, mostly Don Miguel's fan-slation. This infuriated the developers so much that they refused to translate RPG Maker 2003. They at first refused to translate RPG Maker XP as well, but eventually reversed their position after a fan petition begged them to reconsider.
  • Queen's Blade: PSP games Queen's Blade: Spiral Chaos and Queen's Gate: Spiral Chaos were not exported. The phone game Queen's Blade i and browser game Queen's Blade: The Conquest were not exported, and were both discontinued. The dress-up software Queen's Blade Fan Disc was not exported.
  • Thanks to Ascaron going bankrupt, the expansion to Sacred 2 may never be localized in the U.S. But the International version is easily bought online and it does allow the expansion, or the International "Gold" edition with everything is now out as well. All perfectly legal.
  • Scribblenauts Unmasked was released on Wii U, 3DS, and PC in North America and Australia but Europe only got the PC version. Though Europe and Australia share the same region on Nintendo consoles so European 3DS and Wii U owners can import the Australian versions of Scribblenauts Unmasked on Nintendo systems.
  • Sengoku Basara 4 was another game that Capcom refused to bring over, citing it as "Too Japanese" when asked why.
  • Sengoku Cannon: Sengoku Ace Episode III, for the PSP, was not exported.
  • Shaolin, a 3D fighting game for PS1, was released in Japan (as Lord of Fist), and also got a European release. A U.S. release was in the works; there was even a trailer for the game on the 23rd Official U.S. Playstation Magazine demo disc. But sometime before release, it was cancelled for unknown reasons.
  • Shienryu Explosion, aka Steel Dragon EX in Europe, never saw and probably never will see the light of day in the US, although its predecessor was exported as Geki-oh: Shooting King on the PSX.
  • The Shining Series is pretty infamous for this, with around half of it's 30 games never making an appearance outside of Japan. Shining Force III is a particularly cruel example. The game is composed of three separate discs or Scenarios, following a different protagonist in each one, culminating in all three teaming up to defeat the game's Big Bad in the third Scenario. But only the first Scenario ever received a localisation; the players from Europe and America basically only ever got to see one third of the story. The localization at least changed the Cliffhanger ending of the first disc to prevent players being explicitly left hanging forever in the middle of a fight.
  • Shounen Kininden Tsumuji A Ninja Adventure DS game developed by Electronic Arts that is known for its similarities to The Legend Of Zelda wasn't released outside of Japan.
  • Sigma Harmonics (Nintendo DS) published by Square Enix. Never saw the light of day outside of Japan. Hackers who tried to translate the game blame the game's complex encrypting that involves the oriental reading way, that is, from right to left.
  • The (technically superior) Sega Saturn Silhouette Mirage never left Japan. Instead, the PlayStation version was released to North America by Working Designs. Working Designs, however, decided to make the game harder than the Japanese version.
  • While Skullgirls is available in Japan on PS3 and PC, it's not going to be released on the Xbox 360 in Japan due to the 360 version's patch delays and Microsoft's policies. On the flip side, they will be getting the arcade version, which, bizzarely, will be Japan-only.
  • Soma Bringer, created by Monolith Soft (of Xenosaga fame) was very hyped when announced, but never saw a release anywhere outside of Japan. A good fan translation is around the internet, though.
  • The one English-language version of Sorcerian was an IBM PC port that seems to have been largely ignored when Sierra released it way back in 1990. Since then the game has been repeatedly remade for a host of platforms in Japan. The remake for iOS was erroneously listed on iTunes as having English text.
  • Space Channel 5 Part Two's PS2 port got hit with this rather late in production to the point where a playable demo had been sent to the 'Official Playstation 2 Magazine' for use in their demo disc. No real reason was given for the decision and there was even enough time between sending the demo and the printing of the magazine for it to be acknowledged as an exclusive in the editorial.
  • Spyro: Year of the Dragon, the final game in the original Spyro the Dragon trilogy (and often considered the best of the trilogy), was not released in Japan. Neither were any of the new trilogy (A New Beginning, The Eternal Night, and Dawn Of The Dragon), for that matter. In fact, the only Spyro games released in Japan were the first two on PlayStation, two of the GBA games (Spyro: Season of Ice and Spyro Orange: The Cortex Conspiracy), and Skylanders. Spyro never caught on in Japan like Crash did.
  • The American NES version of Star Force (which was a different port than the Japanese Famicom version) advertised both in the manual and on the game's ending screen that Super Star Force was "Coming Soon!" In spite of this, Super Star Force was never released outside Japan.
  • Startropics was never released in Japan.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic No export for, well.. anyone outside of North America and select European countries.
  • The NES version of Strider was planned to be released in Japan, but only came out in America. It was actually developed before the arcade version and even had a tie-in manga in Japan that more or less followed the same story (as opposed to that of its arcade counterpart).
  • Suikoden II has an interesting variation. The game made it to the US, but one of the characters, to recruit her, requires you to listen to her sing a song. Which is a Japanese vocal song that didn't make it into the US version. Instead of altering the recruitment scene... you just get to listen to around 3 minutes of pure silence while her sprite moves around.
  • In typical Smilesoft fashion, no game in the Telefang series has ever been officially released outside of Japan, much to the dismay of non-Japanese fans of the games.
  • Senran Kagura:
    • Defied: In the US and Australia, Senran Kagura Burst recieved an eShop-only release, which includes an Updated Re-release of the first game, Senran Kagura: Skirting Shadows, by none other than XSEED. Only the physical copies were not exported, though limited physical copies were available in Europe.
    • Senran Kagura 2: Deep Crimson on the 3DS received a digital release and a limited physical release on web stores.
    • Senran Kagura Bon Appétit! on the Vita, outside of Japan, was only released digitally on the PlayStation Store.
    • Senran Kagura Shinovi Versus was successfully released. Senran Kagura: Estival Versus has a normal release, but the Ikki Tousen DLC remains Japan-only.
    • Mobile Phone Game Senran Kagura: New Wave, and the Updated Re-release, Senran Kagura: New Wave G Burst, were not exported.
  • Sword Girls: US and Japan servers were shut down. It is available in Korea only.
  • Tetris: The Grand Master. What makes the series even harder to acquire outside of Japan is that it's arcade-exclusive (unless you count the tragedy that is Tetris: The Grand Master ACE for 360). Furthermore, the demand for it is very low (because all Tetris games are the same, so why bother with this specific subset of games?), so a TGM cabinet in an arcade is very rare—the third TGM game, for instance, is only publically available in two arcades in the entire non-Japan world. As of October 2009, one of these arcades is getting rid of its TGM3 machine.
  • Capcom was having trouble bringing Tatsunoko vs. Capcom in the US primarily because of licensing issues with the Tatsunoko Production characters. That's just the US - imagine if Capcom tried to bring it to Europe, where even more of the characters are licensed differently. They finally managed to do it the next year, making this a successfully Defied Trope. Sure, one character is missing, as are the character theme songs, but we get five new ones and online play too. They were to include Phoenix Wright and Franziska von Karma, but localizing issues with some of their special moves prevented them from appearing in any version. It had to do with the "Objection!" move being impossible to localize. Specifically, in Japanese that "Objection!" is only a few characters long, but in English, at ten characters long, the move became nearly impossible to dodge (since collision with with word itself does the damage). Took Phoenix Wright from being a run of the mill character to being incredibly overpowered. They ultimately found a solution to Phoenix Wright's "Objection!" problem after the game's release, earning him a spot in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
  • Tenchi Muyo!! Ryo-Ohki has in-continuity novels and doujinshi that are not available outside Japan. Consequently, many non-Japanese fans disliked the third OVA series for introducing lots of "new" characters (who actually had appeared earlier in those novels/doujinshi), leaving less screentime for the characters from the first two parts of the OVA.
  • The Tenchu: Wrath of Heaven PSP port, featuring many extras, seems to never get out of Japan as well. Which is odd, considering how Wrath of Heaven is one of the most popular Tenchu titles.
  • In what has probably to be the most puzzling thing ever, The Fast And The Furious console game (the one loosely based off Tokyo Drift film) was released in every major market except Japan, despite the majority of the cars in the game being Japanese, not out of place in Japan-only racing games and the developer being the very infamous West-hating Namco Bandai. The film franchise being renamed Wild Speed there doesn't help.
  • The Silver Case is the only game in the Kill The Past trilogy to never get a release outside of Japan and also the first of its trilogy. The game eventually was scheduled for a release, but was cancelled in favor of a remake in its home country. This is kind of infuriating, as the second game in the trilogy (Flower, Sun and Rain) expects that you know everything about the previous game in the series which makes it essential if you want to know what the game is about.
  • Tingle's Balloon Fight never got released outside of Japan. Need you ask why?
  • EA and Respawn Entertainment have decided not to release Titanfall in South Africa at all (less than a month before its release with thousands of pre-orders already placed) because of the low ping-rate the game gets. Needless to say gamers were not pleased, though EA have said they would not boot anyone from the servers who import the game on their own costs.
  • Tokyo Jungle has this averted and defied like hell. According with Crispy's (the game developer) CEO, Sony's American branch originally refused to release the game in the U.S. and even he received some borderline racist/xenophobic feedback from the U.S. branch. Luckily, thanks to the success of the game in Japan and Sony Japan's support, it did manage to be released in the U.S.
  • Tomato Adventure never made it outside of Japan likely because of its extreme Japanese flair. But the game was popular enough that its developers created Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga which did release worldwide.
  • The original DS version of Tomodachi Life never saw release outside of Japan. The official reason is due to the difficulty in creating text-to-speech synthesis for non-Japanese languages, an obstacle that was overcome for the 3DS iteration of the series.
  • ValkyrieDrive: The Vita game Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkhuni and the Mobile Phone Game Valkyrie Drive: Siren were not exported.
  • Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 4, though released in English, has not been officially released outside of Eastern and Southeastern Asia. The game uses a networked multi-game card system, the Bana Passport, and as such isn't compatible with cards from previous games; to use your cars from Maximum Tune 3DX+, you have to use the Maximum Tune 4 terminal to transfer your data. But the card transfer service ended in October 2013, thus anyone who wasn't lucky to live near an arcade with Maximum Tune 4 machines or traveled to such places by then will have to start their cars all over again if they ever get a chance to play Maximum Tune 4.
    • As if to rub salt on the wound of Americans and Europeans, Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 5 has been released in Asia and the Pacific. Looks like The Americas and Europe will not get to see Maximum Tune 4 at all, and the release of 5 is completely up in the air for those regions. What's that old saying about Namco hating the west again?
  • WarioWare: Twisted!, due to some unknown health and safety controversy got a release literally every other major region in the world except Europe. Then, since the Mona Pizza video toy in WarioWare: Touched! requires the usage of said game to unlock, it also meant that unlockable (which was apparently music from WarioWare: Twisted!) also couldn't be gotten in Europe.
  • White Day: A Labyrinth Named School, a Korean survival horror was released only there. An English was planned by the UK-based 4AM Entertainment, even featuring screenshots and a tentative boxart of the translated version, but it was unfortunately canceled before it was finished. It almost faded into obscurity had it not been pirated through torrent and file-sharing sites to keep a copy available and had fan translations for English and French-speaking players.
  • For a while, Wolfenstein 3D could not be legally obtained or even owned in Germany. Later Wolfenstein games manage to avert this by removing Nazi references during localisation.
  • World of Tanks: The Girls und Panzer add-on content is Japan-only. The Vita game, Girls und Panzer: Senshadō, Kiwamemasu!, was not exported.
  • Want to play the most-subscribed MMORPG in the world or the official sport of South Korea? If you live in Japan, too bad. Because Blizzard virtually never exports its games to Japan. However, Blizzard has as of late removed all region locks from it's servers and even allow anyone from anywhere in the world to buy any version of the game they preferred- meaning it's fine with Blizzard if you're in Asia and you buy the US version of the game instead. The only minor annoyance comes from the fact that the Japanese has no servers of their own and have to "borrow" a different region's server, and suffer a lag penalty (which varies by region- connecting to an Asian or American server isn't too bad for the Japanese note , but connecting to an European server results in bad lags) as a result. That, and those who can't speak English will also need to have a guide book by their side since the game won't be available in Japanese.
  • X, a Game Boy game featuring wireframe 3D graphics (and the first known appearance of the "Totaka's Song" Easter Egg), was only released in Japan because Nintendo of America thought it was too unlike other games for the system. Its Spiritual Successor, Star Fox 1, would have more luck.
  • Yo-Jin-Bo had an English release of its PC version, but no release of its PS2 version with extra obtainable characters and even more endings.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! Monster Capsule GB was never released outside of Japan, possibly due to one of the characters having a cigarette in his mugshot and the final RPG world being a representation of Hell.
  • Yo-Kai Watch: The first game on the 3DS was exported, but not the sequels, Yo-Kai Watch 2: Ganso, Yo-Kai Watch 2: Honke, and Yo-Kai Watch 2: Shinuchi, with no foreign release date for Yo-Kai Watch 3. The spinoff games Yo-Kai Watch Busters: Red Cat Troupe, Yo-Kai Watch Busters: White Dog Team, Yo-Kai Watch Busters: Moon Rabbit Team, Yo-Kai Watch Busters: Iron Oni Army, Yo-Kai Watch Dance: Just Dance Special Version, and Yo-Kai Watch: Three Kingdoms were not exported. Smortphone games Yo-kai Exercise No. 1: Puzzle Meow, Yo-kai Medallium, Yo-Kai Watch: Gerapo Rhythm and Yo-Kai Watch: Punipuni were not exported.
  • With Nintendo's announcement that they'll co-publish Samurai Warriors' Wii-exclusive third installment with Koei, the highly anticipated, Norse Mythology and High-Pressure Blood-fueled sword fighter Zangeki No Reginleiv (from the masterminds behind Earth Defense Force 2017) will most likely never come out in America. There's still hope for Europe, though...
  • Wrecking Crew got a sequel called Wrecking Crew '98 which was a puzzle game. It did not see release outside of Japan likely because the SNES was so late in its lifespan.
  • Zelda's Adventure was said to have only been released in Europe - one of the reasons it would be so sought out after; other than the fact that it can't be emulated.
  • Disney Magical World for the 3DS has never received a release in Europe.
  • Crayon Shin Chan 3 was only released in South Korea and it's region locked. It's actually the only game that works on Nuon consoles from South Korea.
  • Yoshi's Cookie had a limited edition released by Panasonic under their "National" brand named Yoshi's Cookie Kuruppon Oven de Cookie which included a story mode celebrating the release of the Kuruppon Oven in Japan. Only 500 copies were made and all of those came out nowhere but Japan.

    Genre-Specific Examples 
These examples are sorted by genre name.
  • Arcade game CC Gs such as Lord of Vermillion and Sega's Sangokushi Taisen have remained Japan-only.
  • Cute Em Ups in general. Though the occasional one makes it to North America, most of them don't get released outside of Japan, and the ones that do usually only make it to PAL regions. This was especially true in the 1990s, when such games as Super Fantasy Zone, Parodius, Pop'n Twinbee and Keio Flying Squadron 2 were released in Japan and Europe but not the U.S. (This is probably for the same reason that American versions of video games don't get the cute packaging the Japanese versions have.) Hopefully Parodius will be released on the US Virtual Console...
    • While Parodius hasn't made it yet, two other entrants in the genre, Fantasy Zone and Twinbee do have entries available on the Virtual Console. So there's hope yet that the series will leave this page.
    • Game being refused entry into the U.S. due to being Cute 'em Up, was subverted with Kirby games. Its whole purpose is to be cute. In some cases, the game box is "decutified", but otherwise the game characters remain ridiculously overly cute.
  • Any Dating Sim or dating-based Visual Novel. So many successful anime have been based off of these games that Americans will never see (e.g. ''Fate/Stay Night, Tsukihime, etc.) However, J List has already translated a few of the series that saw a dub. But a series with english voice acting is without a doubt out of the question
    • J-List and Peach Princess sell the games, JAST and G-Collections translate/port the games. They have to be picky about their selections since neither company could conceivably handle even a fraction of the total number of games out there, having to limit themselves to only a small selection of the most popular titles. Those of us who do like these games can only cross our fingers that either of those companies has the resources for our favorites and be thankful for the handful we get, sometimes years after their Japan releases. So far, only a couple of Type-Moon or Key/Visual Arts game have seen partial fanlated versions, with no official translations in sight, causing many a tear to be shed.
      • J-List only carries porn it seems. Try this: the next time you see them at a convention, ask them for a title. If they ask you to be more specific, tell them "it's not porn". The answer you will most likely get is "nope, don't have it".
    • Dating Sim fans can rejoice with the rise of MangaGamer, a company dedicated to doing right by them by releasing not only cheap H-games but also some of the better and more well known titles, including SHUFFLE!, Da Capo and even Higurashi no Naku Koro ni! Still no sign of Tsukihime, Fate or any Key games yet, but Type-Moon and Key both demand a LOT of money for those licenses and MangaGamer aren't yet big enough to afford properties of that level.
    • THE founder of the non-H Dating Sim genre, Tokimeki Memorial, is a notorious case of this, Konami having always refused to release the series outside of Japan (except for the Chinese market) on the (not that unreasonable, especially in The '90s; less so nowadays) grounds that it's too Japanese culture-based and a Widget Series : case in point, their attempt in 2007 at an American-based adaptation of sorts, Brooktown High (which in a bizarre inversion of the rule, was only released in the US), bombed royally.
  • Many great Famicom/NES Shoot Em Ups, including Recca, Crisis Force, and Over Horizon failed to make it out of Japan. Recca wasn't even commercially released, as it was made exclusively for Naxat's Summer Carnival '92 shmup competition, although pirate cartridges of it have been circulated.
    • Over Horizon was also released in Europe through,only not in North America.
    • And then there's Eliminate Down an awesome Shoot 'em Up game for the Sega Genesis. Never released outside Japan, of course.
  • Idol sim games in general never leave Japan. At best, a Rhythm Game Spin-Off will, though. There are but two exceptions, Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection and the PS1 import (and thus untranslated) Heroine Dream 2.
  • Many Korea-only massively-multiplayer online games require you to enter a South Korean residential registration number to register and play. Want to brute-force a number or get a friend living in South Korea to register for you? Don't. Using someone else's number is a felony; you can end up paying the equivalent of 8,000 USD or serve 3 years in prison, so you're sore out of luck.
    • Using SOMEONE ELSE'S number, yes. If you make your own that doesn't correspond to anyone else's (The Other Wiki tells you (almost) all you need to know to do that) nothing will probably happen if you're not actually in Korea. And even if you do use someone else's, enforcement is ridiculously lax; their president's registration number is said to have been used at least once on just about every site that requires this number (even ones that a president... isn't expected to frequent).
    • Ditto for some European ones as well, this one is due to region license. You cannot play any European-based MMORPG in Asia and Oceania. No worries though, since for many of them there is usually a US or local based publisher with their equivalent servers (I am not counting private servers mind you).
    • The Korean version of each game usually gets the cool new content first (being the core version). Whether each area, class or item set then percolates to other other regions eventually is up to the developer, which is extremely frustrating when said content includes balance changes that players of foreign versions have been howling for since launch day. On the flipside, regional providers (particularly in Japan, China and Taiwan) may develop a ton of original content that never returns to Korea. 'course, it never gets anywhere else either.
  • The Portopia Serial Murder Case started a Follow the Leader explosion of murder mystery games in Japan, few of which were ever released abroad; large companies like Square Enix and Nintendo have not even considered international distribution, despite rereleasing their games domestically. One exception was the Tantei Jingūji Saburō series, whose 20th anniversary Compilation Re-release was Remade for the Export as Jake Hunter: Detective Chronicles.
  • Good luck trying to find any side-scrolling shooter in the US
    • Bullet Hell shooters are even rarer in the US, some of the few to make it were of course Ikaruga(Gamecube and XBLA), Chaos Field(Gamecube), Giga Wing and Mars Matrix(both Dreamcast), and the Castle of Shikigami series(the first game was renamed Mobile Light Force 2; Mobile Light Force 1 was the name of the US PSX version of Gunbird).
    • Side scrolling shooters being unavailable in the U.S. was subverted with R-Type, Gradius, several of the Cotton games, and Magical Chase. Also vertical scrolling shooter (aka Bullet Hell) games not being released in the U.S. was subverted by the American made game Tyrian (you have an upgradeable spaceship, and as you progress through the game to harder levels, you can find your screen filled with significant amounts of firepower from both your ship and enemy ships).
    • And the countless doujin shmups, which are nearly impossible to get outside Japan unless you pirate. Rockin' Android and Nyu Media are trying their best in bringing as many doujin shmups over as possible. On digital services, no less.
  • Lightgun games may be perhaps the only genre of games that Japanese never got during the 3rd console generation. Appearently that is due to the poor sales of Duck Hunt and Hogan's Alley. Especially Sega loved doing this trend. Most of their master system lightgun games never saw a Japanese release.

     Platform Specific Examples 
  • This practice was much more common on systems released prior to the fifth generation and the introduction of CDs because the high cost of cartridges prevented publishers from taking risks with unproven genres or series. In places where such games weren't as popular, publishers hesitated to release them or produced them in extremely limited quantities at high prices (The two SNES Final Fantasies that made it stateside cost $80). When CDs came along, the cost of manufacturing games and therefore the risk in releasing them dropped dramatically. As a result, publishers became much more experimental and could push new genres like the Eastern RPG onto foreign consumers. Even if the games weren't huge successes, cheaper production costs made catering to smaller, niche audiences much more feasible.
  • A lot of Sega Saturn games were only released in Japan due to the poor reception of the console at the time. This is often blamed to Bernie Stolar screwing things up with his Five Star Policy (aka Sports Fanatic Policy). Some Saturn games just came out too late to be worth exporting, unless they were ported to the PlayStation like Grandia, Silhouette Mirage and the remakes of Lunar: The Silver Star and Lunar: Eternal Blue.
  • Take a look at this list. Compare the number of entries for Japan compared to NA or Europe. Hell, some of the stuff on there came out in those regions the first time! Some are understandable (Samurai Shodown got a Compilation Re-release), but Xenogears has already been localized! The Virtual Console isn't quite as bad, but it's still got some missed opportunities on there (such as Fire Emblem).
    • Europeans like actually do receive PSOne Classics on a regular basis... Disney licensed games. Probably because at the time they were big in Europe (Castle of Illusion was one of the launch titles announced for the European Mega Drive). Stranger is the fact that Infogrames somehow decided to rerelease Atari 2600 games in Europe, that somehow never get released in the US, despite the fact that the Atari 2600 was more successful in the US than in Europe.
    • Until late 2012, Europeans never got to see Castlevania: Symphony of the Night on the PS1 Classics store.
  • iTunes not only does not sell music, movies and TV shows to people in most countries outside the US, Europe and Japan, but certain apps also do not see release in those same markets. Epic Citadel is not available to most Asian iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch owners, and neither is a handful of other apps. The developers and Apple all cite piracy as an excuse.
  • In addition to the Windows Marketplace example mentioned above, Xbox Live and Zune are not available outside of the 1/3 of the world they've launched in. Thankfully, Microsoft turns a blind eye to import gamers on Xbox Live by not bothering stores that sell point cards online and not requiring users to set a billing address if paying for content by point cards. However, sadly the same can't be said about Zune, thanks to Executive Meddling by the RIAA and MPAA and their European and Japanese counterparts.
  • Owning a TurboGrafx-CD or Turbo Duo was a great incentive to import games from Japan, since PC Engine CD-ROM2 and Super CD-ROM2 games (unlike HuCards) were compatible across regions and many of the titles that were supposed to be released in North America never were. Perhaps the most notorious is Castlevania: Rondo of Blood, which finally saw international release in 2007 as Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles for the PSP, and was also later released in the US and Europe on the Wii Virtual Console (using the dub from the PSP version). The PC Engine Super CD version of Gradius II also found belated international distribution on the Virtual Console; Gradius Collection for the PSP was the first North American release of any version of that game. Other Turbo CD games whose NA releases were not to be, besides those mentioned above, included Far East of Eden 2, Image Fight II, Military Madness 2 (i.e. Neo Nectaris), Rayxanber III, and the Compile shooter Spriggan. There were even plans to bring the Arcade Card to the U.S.
  • Many earlier third-party titles for the Famicom were only officially released in Japan, though their relative simplicity and lack of a language barrier made them common on bootleg NES multicarts. Those that to this day lack a proper international release on any platform include Battle City and Nuts & Milk.
  • The best Commodore Amiga games and demos were only done in PAL, as the system was more popular in Europe than in North America. Fortunately, emulators can use both NTSC and PAL software.
  • If an arcade game was developed by a Japanese developer in the late 2000's or The New Tens, don't expect it to get an international arcade release, even if it's a well-known title like Street Fighter IV, Persona 4 Arena, or Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 4/5. Even if an arcade game does get released worldwide, arcades outside of Asia are very scarce and probably won't be able to afford these new titles. Even if that is the case, chances are the international version will be a stripped-down version with no network connectivity, as is the case with Mario Kart Arcade GP DX.
  • Europe has it weird with the 3DS. While some games come to Europe ahead of NA region (like most Level-5 releases), most of the time, even if a game is released in English for the Americas, that does not guarantee it will ever be released for Europe. This is despite Nintendo's assurances that imposing the regionlock on the 3DS, a first for Nintendo handhelds, will not hamper game availability between the two non-Asian regions.
  • The Turbografx 16 was never released in the PAL regions. This is mainly due to the poor sales the console was having in the US as well as the fact that Sega was a leading branch in those areas. NEC feared that it would only lead to more losses as the Sega Genesis had some notoriously great advertising and lots of western third-party support.
  • The Commodore 64 GS and the Amstrad GX 4000 are examples of 2 consoles that were only released in Europe. The poor sales in Europe prevented them from trying a foreign release.
  • Even though every other version of the game came out in all major regions, the PS1 port of Mickey Mania only saw release in Europe and Australia. Similarly, its PSN re-release is also region restricted to the PAL PSN store.

    Other 
Music / Soundtracks
  • The majority of game soundtracks are not officially exported, or are only released as some limited edition bonus. This applies even if the game you want the soundtrack for was exported. The Final Fantasy VI soundtrack was available in the US for a limited time through Nintendo Power, while in Japan, one could buy any soundtrack in a store, including arrangements, remixes, symphonic versions and live recordings.
Music / Soundtrack Changes for Foreign Releases
  • BIOMETAL, in its original Japanese release, featured music by Yoshio Nagashima. But when it came to America and Europe, that soundtrack was replaced by a series of techno pieces by 2 Unlimited. Yes, the group behind "Get Ready For This".
  • Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse originally utilized the VRC6 chip, which allowed more advanced music instrumentation than was normally heard on the Famicom. Unfortunately, the NES doesn't support external sound chips, so the western releases had simplified music.
  • Cool Boarders 2 had two different soundtracks: The Japanese version had mostly techno and electronic pieces, while the U.S. version favored hard rock/heavy metal.
  • Gran Turismo also featured different soundtracks between regions. Notably, "Moon Over the Castle", the signature theme song for the Gran Turismo series in Japan, is virtually nonexistent in the American/European releases, which instead use remixes of various songs for the intro sequences.
  • The Izuna: Legend of the Unemployed Ninja series had its original soundtracks only released in Japan.
  • Rapid Racer had two entirely different soundtracks between regions; the European release (which came first, in October 1997) featured music by Apollo 440, while the American port, now titled Turbo Prop Racing, featured different music by Loudmouth.
  • Sonic CD, when it was being released in the United States, gained a "Special Edition" soundtrack composed by Spencer Nilsen that excised the vast majority of the original one by Naofumi Hataya (Europe, meanwhile, got Hataya's soundtrack). Sounds fine, right? Except this is the only soundtrack America has gotten ever since then. The PC version used Nilsen's soundtrack in all three regions, and the version in Sonic Gems Collection only uses Hataya's soundtrack in Japan (Unless you're using the PS2 version and you're still able to change your PS2's language to Japanese). Crossovers are odder in the issue: Although hacking has hinted that both soundtracks would have their theme songs usable on Super Smash Bros. Brawl's Green Hill Zone, only Nilsen's soundtrack is represented in the the final release (though there is an explanation for that one; see the point below); meanwhile, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games and Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing (which itself seems to be No Export For The Japanese so far in spite of its roster) only have Hataya's soundtrack represented (For the latter, there is the justification that Sumo Digital is a British developer.). The 2011 rerelease finally breaks this down with the option of choosing either soundtrack in all three regions (although the JPN soundtrack is the default one).
    • That being said, the Japanese soundtrack in the 2011 release had its lyrics removed, supposedly due to copyright issues according to the rerelease's lead developer Christian Whitehead (the opening movie is set to "You Can Do Anything", but without words, for instance). The US soundtrack still has its lyrics intact. This is also most likely why "You Can Do Anything" was Dummied Out on the Super Smash Bros. Brawl disc.
  • Sword Maniac, a Super Famicom hack-n-slash sidescroller, was ported to the U.S., but its soundtrack by Hitoshi Sakimoto and Hayato Matsuo was thrown out and replaced with a techno soundtrack by Minneapolis-based band Psykosonik.

Gaming-Related Bonus Items
  • This trope can also apply to franchise that generates cool trinkets later on (posters, cards, etc.) Generally, Japan usually gets all the good stuff (examples like a SNES shaped classic controller for the Wii, the official soundtrack to Super Mario Galaxy, etc.) while no one else gets it unless they manage to import it.
  • Club Nintendo, a club from Nintendo, allows its Nintendo fans to register their games on Nintendo's website to earn points. Saving up for enough points earns them free gifts and if the people save up a certain amount of points, they can reach gold or platinum status, which earns them a free gift at the end of the club's year. Even though Club Nintendo finally came to North America at the end of 2008, Japan generally still has the cooler stuff, such as a golden Wii Wheel. The US shop has even become infamous among members for having almost only bad rewards! Luckily, the North American Club Nintendo has slightly improved their rewards in the past few years and they also started to include Virtual Console games as well. And for Europe, theirs is the only Stars Catalogue so far to allow you to convert your Stars to Wii Points. Lastly, if you live in Asia outside Japan, Australia, New Zealand or South Korea, or in Europe outside UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal or Russia, No Club Nintendo For You!
  • Operation Darkness had a Mini OST sold via Amazon Japan only if you reserve the game through the website. Atlus didn't include the OST in its North American release.

Game Hardware
  • Japan, instead of adopting Western computers like the IBM PC(-compatibles), Apple Macintosh, Commodore Amiga, Atari ST, etc. in the 1980s and early 1990s, instead opted to develop their own computers like the NEC PC98, Sharp X68000 and Fujitsu FM Towns that never saw international releases.
  • The MSX, while actually having seen release outside of Japan, never caught on in North America. Many MSX games weren't released even in Europe.
  • The WonderSwan and WonderSwan Color were Japan-only handheld consoles. There were rumors of an American release before the new millennium, but those rumors proved to be false. WonderSwan Color versions of Final Fantasy I, Final Fantasy II, Final Fantasy IV, and the cancelled Final Fantasy III might have been an appropriate time to reintroduce the older games, before the DS versions existed. Special edition versions of the WonderSwan Color came with one of the games included.
  • The e-Reader and cards for Game Boy Advance. The e-Reader itself was released in only Japan and North America, was quickly discontinued in the latter due to bad sales, and therefore many of the cards for it only came out in Japan, including:
    • Additional levels for Super Mario Advance 4, out of which 12 out of 38 got a US release, and even the Japanese version has lots of unused level features which hint at more unreleased levels. There are also special cards which would affect the difficulty, or restore some features from previous games (the vegetables from 'Mario 2 USA', and the extra item slot from 'World') and even items (a 100-Up mushroom (!), a Blue Boomerang which wouldn't make its way outside Japan until the 3DS titles, and a usable-anywhere Goomba Shoe !). Averted with the Wii U Virtual Console release on January 21, 2016.
    • Rockman Zero 3: There is a plethora of special cards enabling changes to Zero's attacks (7 Combo Saber, anyone?) and to other aspects of gameplay. It is translated but Dummied Out on the US GBA copies. It took the Updated Re-release for the Nintendo DS to finally have them properly accessible, from the main menu. As for Rockman.EXE e-reader content, though...
    • The Pokémon Battle-e Cards, when scanned into Pokémon Ruby or Sapphire Japanese or US copies, allowed the player to load up special trainers to battle or to get special berries. There are other sets for for Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, Pokémon Emerald, and Pokémon Colosseum, but only for the Japanese versions.
    • Mario vs. Donkey Kong for the GBA has a limited run of 1000 cards available worldwide for the game, of which the E-reader support is unknown. Fortunately, they are of the kind of the On-disc DLC, and ARE accessible through some Game Shark tricks.
    • Mario Party-e: A whopping 64 cards were released for this, as well.
    • Pikmin 2, believe it or not, in its Japanese version, had cards that included (crappy) minigames for the GBA.
    • Many other Japanese-only games, as well as a complete set for self contained NES games.
  • Nintendo seems to have a very bad habit of making add ons or other features that never see the light of day outside Japan. Just look on the bottom of any console and you'll likely find some kind of expansion port on it. The GameCube had a DVD add on that would let people play DVD movies for example.
    • Even in Japan, Panasonic released the Panasonic Q, a combination Gamecube & DVD player. It never saw the light of day anywhere else.
  • Japan had an addon for the Super Famicom, the Satellaview. It allowed downloadable content over a decade before this became common. Nothing for it ever got to the States. Notable games that were released for it include :
    • Radical Dreamers, the first sequel to the incredibly popular Chrono Trigger
    • A port of the original The Legend of Zelda game, known as "BS Zelda", albeit with different dungeon layouts
    • A Mission-Pack Sequel for The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, running on the same engine, and involving finding the eight stone tablets to re-seal Ganon, with some twists on the gameplay.
    • Two sequels for the Action-adventure Super Famicom game MARVELOUS, better known for being the game that promoted Eiji Aounuma to direct The Legend of Zelda series, since its N64 outings.
    • The third and final game for the Famicom Detective Club series, involving the female protagonist from the previous games investigating to clear her mother's name from a murder accusation.
    • Additional maps for F-Zero, Excitebike, Dragon Quest, and Fire Emblem III (Which got incorporated within the DS Remake, Fire Emblem 12).
    • The Super Mario Collection for the SNES was also re-released partially, notably the Mario 2 USA title, and some world maps from Mario 3, including one exclusive map with Mario 1 maps on it using the 3's engine.
    • Some Lost Forever games, such as Magical Doremi sequels.
    • Mario's Excitebike which was a remake of the NES game Excitebike with a Mario-themed makeover.
    • Undake 30 Same Game which was a version of the puzzle game Same Game with Super Mario-themed sprites as the game icons.
  • Because of the Virtual Boy's failure and shame in Japan and North America, the console was never released in Europe.
  • Many different console looks are Japanese only, such as the orange Nintendo GameCube (oddly, the matching controllers were released in the US).
  • The Super Game Boy 2 peripheral was an updated version of the original which featured link cable connections and different built-in borders. It did come out in North America but only as a rare offer through a Nintendo Power contest.
  • The Gameboy Light was a modified Gameboy Pocket which included a screen back light made by Sharp, based off of their Indiglo technology. Only about 12,000 of them were made and it never saw release anywhere outside of Japan.
  • The original size version of the New Nintendo 3DS originally only came out in Europe as a "Nintendo Ambassador Special Edition" and did not come out in North America in any form because Nintendo of America claimed they did not see an audience for it and the system's most hyped feature of interchangable face plates was not enough of a reason. Ultimately, it was finally subverted six months later when Nintendo of America finally released the New Nintendo 3DS stateside with two Animal Crossing Plates and the game "Happy Home Designer", with another Pokemon version in the pipeline, and it seems that these will be the only ways US-Region gamers can get their hands on a original size New Nintendo 3DS.
  • The Panasonic Q was both a GameCube and a DVD player, released only in Japan.
  • Several limited editions of game consoles are not released elsewhere. The PlayStation 2 in Charcoal Black, Ceramic White, Satin Silver, Sakura Pink, Ocean Blue, Midnight Blue, Toys R Us Blue edition, and Final Fantasy XII edition. The PlayStation 3 Lightning Edition with Final Fantasy XIII. The PlayStation 4 Dragon Quest Heroes edition. The PlayStation Vita Dragon Quest Metal Slime Edition. Several Game Boy editions such as Game Boy Advance in Spice Orange, Game Boy Micro Famicom, Mother 3, Final Fantasy IV and Pokémon editions, and several Pokémon themed Nintendo handhelds.
  • The Pocket Station was a hand-held console produced by Sony which never seen the light of day outside of Japan and was planned to be released overseas. Upon playing it, you can transfer data from the memory card slot to a designated game and receive useful items, features, and 100% completion. One notable game with the PocketStation function is Final Fantasy VIII which has Chocobo World. It was referenced in the localized versions, but was effectively considered Dummied Out, as even though it is accessible you will need to import a PocketStation from Japan. Fortunately, the PC version included the program. Another example was the Pocket-Ray game hidden in RayCrisis.
  • The Amiga CD32. All of it. And all because of an injunction that blocked all imports to the United States of Commodore products over failure to pay a patent royalty. This injunction turned out to be the Creator Killer for Commodore, as the United States would've been a key market in selling the Amiga CD32 to put the company back in the black.
  • The Nintendo 64DD, delayed for years and finally got a release in Japan in which the games and consoles were shipped with a subscription mail order. While it was a major failure, it did mean players received things like "Mario Artist" (a new version of Mario Paint) and an F-Zero X Expansion Pack.
  • When Rock Band 3 was released, Canadian airwaves were bombarded with ads and reviews praising the pro mode that lets you learn guitar for real. Unless you were one of the few people lucky enough to snap one of the ultra rare pro mode controllers sent to a western Canada store, you are still flat out of luck getting anything BUT the game disc as eastern game stores were denied all but a small handful of Wii version keyboards. To this day, guitars and drum kits are still unseen on shelves and cannot be obtained outside of making an international postal order.
  • The many games released in Japan for i-mode cell phones can't be obtained in other countries, unless and until they get Remade for the Export (like Kingdom Hearts coded).
  • The Wii does not get Gamecube backwards compatibility in Korea. Nintendo decides to reimburse Korean Wii owners with reduced prices at the Wii shop.

    This is happening with newer release consoles also have the compatibility removed, the best way to identify them is the fact they are designed to be run sitting horizontally rather than vertically, with the printing of the logo matching this. Even that goes with the trope itself because the newer horizontal version of the Wii without GC compatibility was not released in Japan despite Nintendo being based in Japan. All Japanese Wiis are compatible with Gamecube games.
  • The Japanese Sega Master System got an FM synth card that was never available with Western models, even though most of the same cartridges were released internationally with the FM soundtracks intact. However, some Master System games that supported FM sound weren't even released in Japan, since Sega discontinued the console so soon and abruptly in its native country. Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap was one of these games; while Japanese players did receive a Game Gear port and the altered PC Engine version, they could get the FM synth music only by importing cartridges until the Compilation Re-release came out much later.
    • Most later Master System games came out in Europe and Brazil only; the ports of Fire and Ice and Battlemaniacs were developed in Europe but released only in Brazil.
    • The Master System's paddle controller only came out in Japan, as did the few games requiring it (with the exception of Woody Pop, which saw international release on the Game Gear).
  • The Famicom Data Recorder was only released in Japan, which is why Excitebike, Lode Runner, Mach Rider and Wrecking Crew for the Nintendo Entertainment System have nonfunctional "Save" and "Load" features. Manuals hinted that "potential product developments" might enable these features, but they never happened. They were ultimately added into the Virtual Console releases of those games though.
  • A number of Sega Genesis games supposedly never released in the U.S. were brought there only on the Sega Channel, an early attempt at streaming games on demand. Most of these have since received international Virtual Console releases, thus no longer fitting this category.
  • SCEE got console colors for the PS3 (Red, Blue and White like JP and Asia) and PSP. The US? Didn't even have a Blue or Red PS3 color model! People who wanted color choices were not amused, and there's a high chance it'll repeat again with the PlayStation Vita... save for the white one that came as a bundle for Assassin's Creed III: Liberation. The US will be finally having White and Red models (The Red one as part of the God of War legacy bundle)... a few years after the Japanese release way back in the 1st slim model. (In short: The White and Red models will be available in the US for the Super Slim model, not the 1st Slim one the Asians and Europeans had)
  • Though every major first party game for the Wii and the 3DS, as well as the consoles themselves, have been released or are scheduled for release in Korea, there is no word yet about a Korean release of the Wii U and its software. Beginning in the week of E3 2013, Nintendo of Korea teased Korean fans with a link to the Nintendo of America E3 site, giving Koreans a look at games that Americans, Europeans, and Japanese would enjoy in the near future, but not Koreans.
  • Until the South Korean government lifted the last of its bans on Japanese cultural imports in 2004—which in turn allowed Nintendo of Korea to officially start operating in 2005—no Nintendo system or game was officially released by Nintendo in Korea. One technical way around the ban—apart from importing them illegally or producing bootleg "Famiclones"—would be for a Korean company to license something from its American counterpart (as it's now an American import, not Japanese); for instance, Hyundai would license Nintendo's consoles from Nintendo of America and market them locally under the Comboy brand. But because of the ban, an entire generation of Koreans generally lack the nostalgia that Japanese and American players have for Nintendo.
  • Most second generation consoles, like the Atari 5200 and the ColecoVision, were never released in Japan. It's true to say that Japanese had their own second generation consoles, but all of the second generation consoles there (Epoch Cassette Vision and Gakken TV boy for instance) weren't as attractive as their US and EU counterparts.
  • NESiCAxLive is a digital content delivery platform for arcades, allowing arcades to purchase new games digitally, without the pain of having the physical hardware shipped and then installing it. (Think Steam, except for arcades.) However, and unsurprisingly due to the Deader Than Disco status of arcades outside of Asia, it is Japan-only, so don't expect to see NESiCAxLive titles like The Rumble Fish and Crimzon Clover to pop up in a Western arcade in the foreseeable future. The only exception is Groove Coaster (Rhythmvaders outside of Japan), which does get releases in Asia.
  • The successor to Sega's failed Pico edutainment console, Advanced Pico Beena, is only available in Japan. Why would anyone care given that it's a Kiddie Console and it's predecessor failed to sell well in the US and Europe, you ask? Well, the Beena received licensed titles from tonnes of anime and manga franchises, which is obviously of interest to fans of the anime/manga franchise that has titles that appeared on the platform, if just for the sake of collecting. And the Pico also got a host of Anime tie-ins that was released after it's demise outside Japan and thus was never exported.
  • The Neo Geo Pocket system. The original system was monochromatic and came out in Japan in 1998. The system was unsuccessful and died in less than a year so it never saw release outside of Japan. Its successor the Neo Geo Pocket Color was more successful and did get a release worldwide.
  • The Wii Mini is actually a case of "No Export for You" for Japanese gamers as it is the only territory it did not release in.
  • The Xbox One isn't being released in Malaysia yet despite already being launched in Singapore. The most likely reason is that Microsoft has not launched Xbox Live Gold in Malaysia, which is compulsory if you're even planning to do anything with the Xbox One. And the reason Xbox Live Gold isn't available? Microsoft gives all sorts of excuses, ranging from poor internet connectivity in the country to piracy, to even pointing the fingers at Singapore and blaming that they're vetoing the HQ in the US from launching the service in Malaysia out of fear that Singaporeans would cut their Singaporean subscriptions to try to get a cheaper subscription from Malaysia, never mind that they could've priced everything at equal value to Singapore, which many Malaysians are still willing to pay.

Wii Channels
  • The Wii in Japan also has gotten a channel or two that has never been released anywhere else, such as the TV Listings channel, possibly due to technical or logistical differences between Japan and western nations. There's even a channel where you can order food.
  • The BBC iPlayer Channel, which is available in the UK and nowhere else (as is the case with every platform it is on —- this is because of British TV license laws).
  • The Netflix channel is only available in North America. Its Wii U version is however available in Belgium as well.
  • The Wii Shop is still unavailable in a handful of countries. Thankfully, Nintendo turns a blind eye to import gamers by not bothering stores that sell point cards online.

PlayStation applications (PS3/PSP)
  • As mentioned above, the iPlayer option will only show up on UK PAL PS3s.
  • South East Asian PSPs have the app menu disabled on the console, meaning that they cannot run the comic book viewer app.

Guide Books/Tie-in Materials
  • While guide books are released for most popular games, Japanese guidebooks can give phonebooks a run for their money in terms of page count. Best example would be the Ultimanias released by Square for their games, new and old, from Final Fantasy to Tactics Orge - Bradygames' guide book for Final Fantasy X is a lightweight compared to the THREE Ultimanias released for the same game in Japan (NOT including the International version). And there are art books that which concept art, production team notes, interviews...
  • Tie-in materials also tend to frequently get left behind, namely Light Novels, CD dramas, and manga. Canoncity issues aside (e.g. Retcons, Executive Meddling), most tend to either help further flesh out the worlds and character backgrounds or be the artists/writers' takes of the games are set in. Occasionally, some of them do make it out, but not all - Devil May Cry had a total of four light novels, two CD dramas for the anime, and two manga volumes, but neither the two-volume novelization for DMC4 that had details that aren't in the final release nor the CD dramas were ever released outside Japan.
    • A particularly egregious example comes with Square Enix and its love of light novels, novellas and other supplementary reading material created for the Final Fantasy series. Majority of those are not released outside of Japan, so any reading material that may expand on the game's universe or even explain plot details made too vague in the games themselves is lost to majority of western players and they will either have to import the books themselves or hope other people have and given them (potentially missing some details) fan translations.
  • The Japanese version of No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle came with a variety of bonuses including a mini-soundtrack, a book of official artwork, a short comic book, and a ten minute animated movie. These bonuses have yet to be released anywhere else. What makes this a particularly infuriating example is that the game in question is far more popular in the west than in Japan.
    • On the other hand, the US version was uncensored and had much more gore than the Japanese version, mostly due to how violence trends in Japan has changed in the past 3 decades.
  • In an inversion of the way things usually go, action-RPG Terranigma actually had an English translation which was released internationally... but only in Europe. For some reason it never reached the United States. (Although some people think it's because the game never made it there). Club Nintendo also made a 32-page comic book about it which was only released in Germany. Making it probably one of the few tie-in materials from Nintendo not made for Japanese consumers. The game is far more and better remembered in Germany as well.
  • Triggerheart Exelica had a guide book released only in Japan, although there are some shots of the book floating around, one of which suggests that Crueltear was originally supposed to be a mecha instead of a Triggerheart.

  • Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker had a lot of DLC in the Japanese version that was never released in other regions due to being incomprehensibly Japanese - such as joke voices for the AI weapons (a Peace Walker that talks in Nagoya dialect and a 'summer festival' Cocoon being just a couple).
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies has one add-on DLC, Turnabout Quiz, that is Japan-exclusive. Capcom's excuse for this one is that it relies too much on one's knowledge of Japanese cultural references and thus won't fly outside of Japan.

Others
  • While most Europeans and North Americans lament the non-export of various Japanese titles, think of the South-East Asians stuck with Japanese/Asian consoles (up to the PS2 era) who lament that they can't play the games they want because game stores are so flooded with so many different games that it becomes way too difficult to understand which games you should and shouldn't buy, because even there shovelware exists. That, and that some companies (such as THQ) refuse to release their titles in the Asian region as well, thinking it won't fly due to being "too niche a market".
  • Initially, the Tenkaichi otoge sai Zenkoku issei nintei taikai event where one song from Maimai ORANGE, Jubeat Saucer Fulfill, Groove Coaster EX & Taiko no Tatsujin Kimidori ver. is available for all the games mentioned and then having one composer working on these games composing a music track for play for them, is limited to AOU arcades in Japan. However, it is then averted when all these music tracks are added to machines outside of Japan on 15th February 2015.
  • Nintendo support in general. Part of the reason why Japanese games always were considered to be superior to Western ones was simply due to unfair design. While Nintendo would often give detailed information about the Game Boy and say which engines work well with it sometimes years in advance to Japanese companies such as Konami and Hudson Soft, Western companies such as Acclaim and Rare had sometimes to wait years after the release of the console or handheld in order to have the same detailed information and were lucky if those particular engines got a release in the west. This all forced those companies quite often to rush products in order to make some sort of profit at the expense of general quality, making them look like shovelware developers in the process.
    • Nintendo fans in Asia outside of Japan and South Korea tend to get the short stick, with virtually no support for hardware (support for the hardware is handled by the distributors themselves, meaning that if they don't feel like tending to your hinge-broken 3DS just because you bought it while on vacation elsewhere or even from a shop that grey-market imported it, you're screwed). Additionally, there is the software issue mentioned earlier- no eShop and no Nintendo Network.
  • The original Korean release of Kritika offers a total of 11 character classes to choose from. The English localization only has 5 of these characters available, and the chances of the other 6 being imported are very slim.
  • Just look at this list of The Rarest and Most Valuable PAL SNES games. It seems that being released in PAL is not a guarantee that a game will be released everywhere in Europe.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/NoExportForYou/VideoGames