In 2015 there was a guy who came out and bemoaned the perils of a globalized nation. Loss of culture, lack of borders, and an eventual reality wherein every country appears to be the same. (He ran on this message and is now the most powerful person on Earth.) Now whether or not any of that is true and whether or not you care, one can not look at the video game industry's evolution over the last 25 years and deny that the standardization of video games does not exist.

Years back I remember reading an article about differences in box art from North American releases to their Japanese counterparts. The Japanese versions were vastly different. A few that I can recall were Ratchet and Clank and Ico. Im sure a quick Google search will pulll up the article.

We all know that in the 80s and 90s, sex and violence was tamed down for American gamers. An example that comes to mind is the cover of one of the Double Dragon games where the girl's dress is longer in the American version. I believe in the original Ocarina of Time, Gannondorf pukes up blood and it's not present in the North American version. The opening of Resident Evil is more violent in the Japanese release from what Ive heard. Crosses were removed from Castlevania in the North American release.

But the most obvious and well known regional difference is Super Mario Bros. 2. Vastly different from the Japanese release which IMO os the "actual" Super Mario Bros. 2 not the re-skinned Doki Doki Panic. Video Game Historian did an *excellent* video on the history of SMB2 and how it came to exist. The video also highlights the differences in media from the NES carts to the Famicom carts (and disks.)

In Link's Awakening, there is a part where you talk to a mermaid. Depending on which region release you are playing, she will say something quite different when you dive next to her after she tells you she lost her scale.

Where does all this lead to? Well for me, I just find it sad that we are (have been) shifting away from nationalized products into a one sized fits all product era where games work on any system anywhere on Earth, covers and content all look the same. I visited a game store in Paris years back and I remember the owner taking interest in the fact that I only wanted American games (well, NTSC-U/C). I dont know how the PAL differences worked for cartridge games. PAL-A, PAL-B, etc. right? So the games were tailored to specific regions of Europe. Its hard to imagine that now there would be a Super Mario Odyssey specifically tailored for French consumers. Maybe it exists? I dont know. I havent kept up with modern gaming. I just remember looking up box art differences and they all looked the same.

Its hard to put the genie back in the bottle when it comes to the globalized marketplace. Its cheaper for a company to manufacture 1 billion of the same items for the entire world as opposed to 500 mil for N America, 200 mil for Japan, etc. Home video formats have really seen a similar push toward globalization. DVDs were split by 6 regions. BD are split by 3. Now 4K are all region free to my understanding.