Valve is launching dedicated Steam China client for Chinese PC gamers

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Slap47

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Valve has officially announced Steam China, in partnership with Perfect World. Known as ‘Zhengqi Pingtai’ in China, Steam China will be an entirely separate gaming client specifically tailored toward Chinese users. They’ll benefit from all games being localised as well as high-speed servers and high-quality operations teams.

A total of around 40 games will be ready for Steam China’s launch, including Valve’s own Dota 2 and Dota Underlords, FTL, Subnautica, Euro Truck Simulator 2, and a handful of others. Non-Chinese games will have to go through a fairly extensive approval process it seems but development of Steam China is progressing “smoothly” according to Perfect World CEO Dr. Robert H. Xiao.

The Chinese government operates a strict regulation process when it comes to video games, with the majority of console video games completely banned in China from 2000 through to July 2015. PC games weren’t though, although they were heavily restricted. With the rise of Tencent, Perfect World, and NetEase, Chinese gaming has absolutely boomed of late though, and Valve is poised to take advantage of it with its Perfect World partnership.

The standard version of Steam is actually already available for Chinese players, as you’ve probably noticed among Steam discussions and reviews. No VPN is required although Valve started locking out certain community features some time ago. As you can imagine, the Chinese government views this as a major loophole and so has found a method to regulate the service. There’ll be no mention of Winnie the Pooh on this service, that’s for sure. Maybe this means Devotion can finally come back to Steam?

What we end up with here is quite an interesting proposition though. While the floodgates are well and truly open for the standard version of Steam, with dozens upon dozens of games launching every day, Steam China will be a truly curated experience. In a way it’ll be a handy method for Valve to experiment with what works and what doesn’t in terms of curation.

There's no word on a release date for Steam China yet, although it doesn't sound as if we're too far off now.

Valve get's their money and we don't have to deal with Chinamen. I call this a win win.

 

Clop

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It doubt it will effect anything outside of China, but there is no doubt that Chinese censorship will be applied quite rigorously to the games released in China.
Yeah but if China will have its own system, who's to say they won't completely isolate releases inside the country as well? It's stupid, but that's exactly why I could see it happening.
 

Easterling

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Yeah but if China will have its own system, who's to say they won't completely isolate releases inside the country as well? It's stupid, but that's exactly why I could see it happening.
If the game was made to be specifically friendly to the Chinese market then yeah the censorship is gonna be applied directly from the creative level.
 

Clop

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If the game was made to be specifically friendly to the Chinese market then yeah the censorship is gonna be applied directly from the creative level.
No, I mean forbidding exporting the damn thing. Steam's an international market, and now it's going to have a less-than-international store in China. So would that mean that Chinese games no longer get on Steam international?
 

Gar For Archer

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No, I mean forbidding exporting the damn thing. Steam's an international market, and now it's going to have a less-than-international store in China. So would that mean that Chinese games no longer get on Steam international?
There’s certainly no good reason for devs to do it, though it’s a very real possibility that some games (mostly MMO’s) May require a Hukou (city passports) or other identifying information to play.
 

Clop

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There’s certainly no good reason for devs to do it, though it’s a very real possibility that some games (mostly MMO’s) May require a Hukou (city passports) or other identifying information to play.
Not the devs, I mean the government. How is this concept so hard to grasp? Do I just suck at English? If China can just make Steam create an exclusive client so to corral Chinese playerbase into, then what's to stop them from telling devs "hey don't worry about making it an international release, we have all we need right here?"

Like for sure, devs have no reason not to make an international release but who the fuck thinks Chinese government wouldn't find a reason to arbitrarily decide that no, you're not selling this on the international version of Steam? How would they sell an international version if they're no longer allowed to even use that, instead crippled onto the Chinese firewall version? How does a French customer ask the devs anything if the devs are stuck on a completely different client altogether?
 

Sperglord Dante

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Not the devs, I mean the government. How is this concept so hard to grasp? Do I just suck at English? If China can just make Steam create an exclusive client so to corral Chinese playerbase into, then what's to stop them from telling devs "hey don't worry about making it an international release, we have all we need right here?"

Like for sure, devs have no reason not to make an international release but who the fuck thinks Chinese government wouldn't find a reason to arbitrarily decide that no, you're not selling this on the international version of Steam? How would they sell an international version if they're no longer allowed to even use that, instead crippled onto the Chinese firewall version? How does a French customer ask the devs anything if the devs are stuck on a completely different client altogether?
They *could* do that, in the same way the Chinese could do pretty much anything from forcing the cancellation of a game to closing down a studio because yay totalitarian government.

...but why would they do it, when it's against their own best interest? the Communist Party benefits from the extra shekels an international release brings and, more worringly, software they control can always have backdoors they can exploit.
 

Clop

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They *could* do that, in the same way the Chinese could do pretty much anything from forcing the cancellation of a game to closing down a studio because yay totalitarian government.

...but why would they do it, when it's against their own best interest? the Communist Party benefits from the extra shekels an international release brings and, more worringly, software they control can always have backdoors they can exploit.
Because if they need an independent client that isolates Chinese players from the rest of the world, then how's a dev supposed to interact with international customers? That's the whole point, right? That Chinese citizens aren't ever going to be able to touch Steam int. again. That includes developers.
 

Sperglord Dante

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It's not unheard of for Chinese companies to have twitter and facebook accounts (e. g. Huaweii) despite those being banned in China. I'm pretty sure most devs would still have access to the international Steam client as long as they ask nicely and they're not on Winnie Pooh's shitlist.
 
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Clop

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It's not unheard of for Chinese companies to have twitter and facebook accounts (e. g. Huaweii) despite those being banned in China. I'm pretty sure most devs would still have access to the international Steam client as long as they ask nicely and they're not on Winnie Pooh's shitlist.
Alright, that's nice to hear. I'm still a bit skeptical how small indie developers would qualify. Technically anyone can proclaim to be their own business.
 

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Heh, Gaben beat Google to the market.
giphy.gif
 

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I wonder if this news made Tim Sweeney cry.

What's even worse? Tim Sweeny can't afford regional pricing.

But guess who can? Valve. lol. Get fucked Epic. But also fuck China. Its probably why Valve isn't doing anything against Epic besides some measures so it can't be a parasite. Your opponent is bleeding to death. All you have to do is piss all over them.

Also if you notice, a lot of their launch games are low PC impact that you don't need a monster rig to run.