Nintendo has confirmed that European Wii U owners are unable to purchase 18+ rated content from the eShop.
Why, you ask? Nintendo of Europe is based in Germany. That means the company must comply with German youth protection regulation. And thus, European gamers can’t purchase games like ZombiU or Assassin’s Creed III in the day time.
Nintendo of Europe explained:
“At Nintendo we always aim to provide a safe gaming experience for fans of all ages and ensure that we comply with applicable legal age restriction requirements across Europe. Legal age restriction requirements vary across a number of European countries. Since Nintendo of Europe is based in Germany, Nintendo eShop is complying with German youth protection regulation which therefore applies to all our European markets. Under German law, content rated 18+ must be made available only at night. Therefore the accessibility of 18+ content in Nintendo eShop is limited to [USK: 22:00 UTC until 4:00 UTC] [PEGI: 23:00 UTC until 3:00 UTC].”