Steam Launches in China – With Just 53 Games Available!
Mike Sanders / 4 months ago
Earlier this week, Steam was finally given the green light (no pun intended) to officially launch within China. A move that certainly seemed to represent something pretty significant as, as you might be aware, the country has arguably some of the most stringent censorship laws in the world. In fact, I’m always pretty sure that whenever I mention them in an article here, someone in Beijing is probably checking it out and possibly putting my name down on a list.
So, over a billion more people now officially have access to Steam. Sounds good, right? – Well, apparently not as in a report via Kotatu, despite there being around 9,000 games available on it for you or me, in China, there’s just 53.
Steam is (Sort of) Out in China!
So, Steam is out in China, but it only has 53 games. How is this even possible? Well, it pretty boils down to the point I mentioned above. The government there is exceptionally strict about what is allowed in the online world. In specific terms for video games, however, they have to go through a specific review board that has become somewhat notorious for being ridiculously slow and generally saying ‘no’ to most things.
Gambling, blood, bodies, zombies? They all get an automatic rejection. And as you might suspect, this rules out a lot of games right out of the gate! As such, based on the currently approved titles, only 53 games are allowed.
It (Probably) Will Get Better
Admittedly, despite what the government tells them, many people in China still very actively play games that are not, in an official sense, legal or ‘available’. It has actually led to a rather amusing underground where retailers invent their own box art to attempt to bypass the rules. Despite this though, while it might take a while (and by a while, we mean maybe years), they will eventually get access to more titles to play officially play on Steam. They just probably shouldn’t expect anything too exciting or in the particularly near future.
It is, however, more than a little moderately amusing to see that if they hit ‘view all games’, the entire roster can fit onto a single page!
What do you think? – Let us know in the comments!