Chinese Developers Anxious about Uncertain Future of Steam in China


Rounak "FL45H666" Roy


Feb, 10.2020

Chinese Developers Anxious about Uncertain Future of Steam in China

  A region-locked platform may not be the best idea for Steam developers in China. Here's why:
A China-only version of Steam might sound like a good thing on paper but releasing a region-locked version of the platform may be bad news for the developers in the country. The problem with China is, the government regulations make it impossible for the small development houses to survive in China's massive gaming industry. And so, Steam is an important platform to them which they use to reach out to a larger scale of customers globally.
Since it became popular in 2015, Steam has created a massive loophole in the Chinese Government's extensive internet firewall. Even though China's government censors top websites like Google, Facebook, and Twitch, Steam is freely accessible to over 30 million Chinese Gamers. This means unrestricted access to games like Grand Theft Auto V and Player Unknown's Battleground. It is also important to note that PUBG is actually banned in China, the reason PUBG Corp. had to modify the game PUBG Mobile to Game for Peace in order to get the game unbanned.
With Local Servers and Localized Games, Steam China promises a "better experience" to Chinese gamers. Steam China is supposed to launch in the near future. However, it will sell games maintaining China's rigorous licensing and censorship process. 
How big can the impact be? Steam now has over 30,000 games but Steam China will launch with 40 or fewer games. For now, we can just wait, and pray that God blesses the Chinese gamers with more games than that.