Steam to ‘Officially’ Launch in China Despite the Stiff Regulatory Climate
Steam, the digital distribution platform developed by Valve Corporation for purchasing and playing video games, is set to officially launch in China through a partnership with Perfect World, a developer and publisher of MMORPGs.
Valve, in collaboration with Perfect World, officially signed today an agreement with Shanghai’s government to launch Steam China pic.twitter.com/KvwtMyaEDd
— NorS2021 (@Nors3) November 28, 2018
While Steam has long been available in China, the tightening regulatory environment has blocked a number of platform elements, including the Steam Community. However, demand for the platform is significant, as simplified Chinese constitutes 22% of language selections of Steam’s user base.
Now, through the new partnership, it looks like the full Steam platform will be reinstated, but with China’s content censorship enforced by Perfect World, which will control the selection and distribution of games.
While the launch of Steam China is welcomed news both for Valve and Chinese gamers, it will likely affect the current dominance of Tencent’s WeGame store, which currently has north of 220 titles, most of which encompass selections from popular international companies, such as Monster Hunter World and FIFA Online, as well as additional Chinese titles.
This news comes just weeks after Tencent (TCEHY) revealed that it is planning to expand its policy that requires players to use their real names when logging into the company’s games, as part of China’s larger crackdown on video games.