Region Locked

By Matt Barnes, Dazz Brown and Greg S-C

A fascinating exploration of the weird and wonderful video games not available to Western audiences

Friday, 23 April 2021

We've got previews!

Hey everyone, Dazz here again for another update!

We've been eagerly awaiting preview copies of the book to arrive, and they're finally here! I've taken a few photos to get you guys excited to get them into your own hands:

It's unbelievable seeing a physical version of our work come into existence - we've been waiting for this day to come for a long time, and we know that some of you guys are just as eager as we've been. We have no updates yet on when these are going to be shipping out with your backer rewards, but as soon as we know, I'll be updating again to keep you posted.

Now to do a full run, and get signing... We've all be practicing our signatures!

Don't forget! If you've backed the project a while ago and moved, you MUST update your postal address! Or we might send it to some rando at your old place - and that ain't cool. We want to make sure things go as smoothly as possible <3

I'll be in touch once we've got more news for you. Peace!


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James Panto
 James Panto says:

Wow! The book looks beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing these pics, Dazz!

posted 23rd April 2021

Eric Gwaltney
 Eric Gwaltney says:

Glad to see the book is coming along so nicely, though honestly the new cover looks SUPER busy.

Should we assume that all first edition hard cover books we backed will utilize the new design, rather than the original minimalist black cover?

Either way, I'm still super excited about this getting closer.

posted 23rd April 2021

Region Locked
 Region Locked says:

We originally wanted the minimalist black design, but were told by the publisher that we can't use it - it would cause a lot of problems when being sold in stores. We had enquired whether first editions could keep the plain black design, but it wasn't feasible.

Appreciate your feedback, we really debated how we could make it work with the minimalist style, but it just wouldn't work out :(

posted 23rd April 2021

Sean Morrissey
 Sean Morrissey says:

thanks for the update.
I have to agree with Eric that the design just isn't very appealing. I get you couldn't use minimalist black for 'reasons' but was the solution to go that busy? Maybe a busy dust cover would've been the solution? Or at least given options (i.e polling) the community who backed it?
It looked morel like a coffee table before personally I wouldn't leave that book out when guests come over. it's a shame, but I'm looking forward to seeing how the rest turned out all the same.

posted 23rd April 2021

William Hernândez
 William Hernândez says:

Can't wait! It looks real good.

posted 23rd April 2021

Alec Carter
 Alec Carter says:

The book looks pretty good. The cover is certainly different from the original design but that isn't a bad thing. It certainly is attention grabbing and gives a small slice of what type of content is in the book.

posted 23rd April 2021

Christopher Scott-Blore
 Christopher Scott-Blore says:

Yeah have to say it does look a bit naff/budget with the cover. Nevermind, I'm sure the content will be great. Looking forward to finally getting to read through it.

posted 23rd April 2021

William Hernândez
 William Hernândez says:

Although I love the look of the cover and the cover truly represents the content, I agree with Sean and Eric's sentiment that I wish I could "show it off" more in a more modern/less geeky environment. I won't be able to convince my wife that this book belongs in the living room.

posted 23rd April 2021

Alicia Whittington
 Alicia Whittington says:

My ADD ass actually loves the cover. I get what people are saying, but those little Gameboys and all the fun things I don't recognize but look forward to reading about-mwa, can't wait. Thank you for the update, and for working so hard to make this a reality. Love your content, love Region Locked, and I know this book will be worth every penny. Thanks! -Licia

posted 23rd April 2021

Rayce Clemmer
 Rayce Clemmer says:

Looks gorgeous, can't wait to read through it myself! I know this has been a long time coming for you guys. Congrats again on the progress!

posted 23rd April 2021

Alec Erreygers
 Alec Erreygers says:

I agree with other comments regarding the cover. It's a shame that you got funded 120+% but still couldn't keep your original vision. I hope these previews can convince you / the publisher to turn it around because it looks like something that can be found in the kids section of a bookstore outlet. I was sold on the idea that this is a unique instalment not necessarily bound to Did You Know Gaming, but now nearly half the cover screams the parent channel... and the amount of subscribers is just a no go.

posted 24th April 2021

Eric Gwaltney
 Eric Gwaltney says:

@Region Locked
Real talk: They (Unbound) bullied you.

"We originally wanted the minimalist black design, but were told by the publisher that we can't use it - it would cause a lot of problems when being sold in stores."

I own several books of different subject matter that use a similar aesthetic to the original design you were going for here. They look phenomenal. It's a very classy look that many people would be proud to display in their homes and on their tables. There is absolutely no reason that it "couldn't" be sold in stores. It's incredibly obvious that the publisher (Unbound) didn't have enough faith in the subject matter or the branding of "Region Locked" to carry itself with retail outlets, so they forced/pressured you to completely change the look of it.

In doing so, they've turned your book into a ghastly thing that I would honestly AVOID picking up on a store shelf. The design is fine for YouTube thumbnails or quick animated backgrounds, but it is SO busy and SO oversaturated with random characters/images, that it looks... well, rather unprofessional on a hardcover book. This looks less like something I would leave out to browse or show to guests, and more like something I need to clean up and out away before people see it.

The fact that the parent channel's logo is nearly the same size as Region Locked, and you had to put the number of YouTube subscribers the parent channel has... Let's be really honest here: the only reason a publisher does something like that is because they don't believe that a product can stand on its own two feet.

Unbound was concerned that your book didn't have the selling power they hoped for at retail. They didn't trust you to know your own audience, and you let them force you to change your artistic vision. On the one hand, I strongly want to say that this was YOUR mistake, that you shouldn't have backed down -that original design is what GOT you funding in the first place after all. On the other hand, I realize it's possible that some sleazy/bossy publishing rep or whatnot may have very seriously been threatening not to go through with proper publishing or future sales, etc. So maybe your hands really were tied. Honestly, I think that in the most extreme case, you could have shut them up with a simple backer poll on the matter.

You have an audience. We love your content. Please, don't let publishers or marketing people ever try to tell you that your ideas aren't good enough.

I hope you're reading this.
The only reason I know who YOU are, is because the creators of this fine content decided to work with you. I don't know if they were out of other options, but that choice seems like it may have been an error in judgement on their part. In the years since I backed this book, I've been consistently irritated with how you operate, how you bombarded my inbox with crap that I wasn't given the initial chance to opt-out of at sign up, and how you seem to do business with a number of your creators; book publishing should never take anywhere NEAR as long as you make it take. It's also pretty clear that your approach to this process hasn't been doing as well as you likely hoped. Since you started as your own crowdfunding platform, separate from things like Kickstarter, but have more recently begun putting your projects up on their platform (the recent "42" Kickstarter project comes to mind). Clearly your concept of what 'works' has been a touch off.

I can't speak for others, but I CAN speak for myself in saying that after seeing how you handled this project, and how you handle other creators (as well as your customers), I will never again be backing or purchasing anything with the Unbound name or branding anywhere on it. My sole disappointment with this project is that the amazing people behind Region Locked had to work with you on it.

posted 24th April 2021

Alec Erreygers
 Alec Erreygers says:

@Eric Gwaltney
Could not agree more, very well put.

posted 25th April 2021

Blair Bodnar
 Blair Bodnar says:

I also prefer the original minimalist cover, and agree with the other commenters who mentioned it as well.
Definitely gives off a more “kids” section or gimmicky “as seen on TV!” vibe which is kinda lame in my opinion.
Suprises me that this had to happen.

@Eric Gwaltney and @Alec Erreygers - I agree, well said.

posted 26th April 2021

Matt Adcock
 Matt Adcock says:

Pretty disappointed by the new cover, looks like something you would see in the kid's section at Barnes & Noble. But I realize it's not your guy's fault. Still looking forward to the book though :)

posted 26th April 2021

Unbound Support
 Unbound Support says:

Thank you all for your feedback on the cover.

We use a wide range of cover designers and work hard to ensure that we get the cover that works best for the widest number of readers.

To do that we consult with the authors, but also with our experienced sales team whose job it is to sell and promote the book. We have published a series of very successful gaming books in recent years.

Not every cover will please everyone, but all Unbound covers have the full involvement and final approval of our authors.

posted 29th April 2021

Eric Gwaltney
 Eric Gwaltney says:


"To do that we consult with the authors, but also with our experienced sales team whose job it is to sell and promote the book."

I believe this was pretty well covered. You didn't believe that the book would sell on its own merits, without tapping the name and look of the parent content channel, so you pressed them to change the design completely into some garish mess and slapped a youtube number on there to justify it's presence to retailers. That's what this marketing speak boils down to.

"We have published a series of very successful gaming books in recent years."

So what you're telling us is that you see a thing that many consumers made clear is what they wanted -because they agreed to BUY that thing. And you somehow get it in your head that we as consumers are, in fact, mistaken. No, what we ACTUALLY want isn't the thing we all liked so much that we paid for it, clearly it's some other terrible idea you have in your heads.

No wonder you had to resort to piggybacking on external crowdfunding sites for new projects. Successful indeed.

posted 30th April 2021

Sean Kelly
 Sean Kelly says:

I agree, I purchased this book because it originally had enough simplicity that it could sit with my quality print books and not to hide in a drawer with game guides.

I find it very frustrating how gaudy and cluttered the cover is. I’m beginning to understand why this project took so long, you are more concerned with what Barnes and Noble think than those who have already paid for the product.

I didn’t pay to have my name in the back of a book I will have to hide from house guests.

posted 2nd May 2021

Marcus Kennedy
 Marcus Kennedy says:

Just to be clear, I have know doubt that the content of the book will be an amazing read full of spectacular illustrations and detailed descriptions of the region locked games you shown on your YouTube channel. Be that as it may, that cover is quite hideous. Everything that Mr. Eric Gwaltney has said rings very true for me. The aesthetics of the cover was not to my liking at all. I honestly thought that I would be getting a book similar to the aesthetic of The Art of Point and Click from Bitmap Books, not some gaudy cover that looked like it was collaged by a third grader. If something as simple as a optional sleeve is possible, I would be gladly take it but good grief, I feel slightly jaded after waiting years for this book to come out just see "that".

posted 4th May 2021

Eric Gwaltney
 Eric Gwaltney says:

Well, with address confirmations, and the books imminently arriving, I'm glad to see that at least the wait is nearing it's end. I'm confident that I will enjoy the content that's jammed inside of that new cover, even if I don't love the new cover design itself.

My hopes are that the crew who wrote that content make out well with some extra cash at the retail stage... And that Unbound pulls their heads straight out if their rectums with their attitude of "we don't care what the consumers obviously PAID for, we know what consumers want better than they do, and we'll bully creatives into doing things our way." -or maybe Unbound just goes away forever, that'd be nice too. Just as long as the DYKG crew gets their fair due for the hard work and effort they put into all this. ^_^

posted 16th June 2021

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