Apparently taking cues from 'Cinemax' or 'Showtime After Dark,' Eurogamer has discovered that the European Wii U eShop prohibits all consumers from accessing mature-rated games and content during the daytime hours.
The restriction apparently applies to game content that carry's PEGI's 18 ratings label in Europe (similar to the ESRB's "M" for "Mature" ratings in the U.S.). The publication learned this fact while trying to look at information about two mature games ZombiU and Assassin's Creed 3. When trying to look at information about the game during the daytime, Eurogamer was greeted with the following message:
"You cannot view this content. The times during which this content can be viewed have been restricted."
No such restrictions exist on the North American Wii U eShop. According to a thread on NeoGAF one user from Italy was told by a Nintendo rep. that the daytime restrictions apply to all - even though he informed them that he was over the age of 18. The rep. told him that 18-rated content is accessible only between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m.
"Nintendo has always aimed to offer gameplay experiences suited to all age groups, observing carefully all the relevant regulations regarding content access that are present in the various European countries," the rep. replied to the user in an email. "We have thus decided to restrict the access to content which is unsuitable to minors (PEGI) to the [11 p.m. to 3 a.m.] time window."
A subsequent email to the user added: "It is an additional precaution to make sure that minors cannot access content which is inappropriate for their age."