Wednesday, February 3, 2021

One of the most popular games on Steam is Chinese-language-only, early access

PC Gamer:

Over the past few years, Steam has become a vital platform for Chinese PC gamers looking to sidestep China's rigorous and pervasive censorship of media and the internet. Though Steam theoretically shouldn't be available in China, it's remained unblocked (except for community features like the forums) and has become an extremely popular way to play uncensored games like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds. Steam now has over 30 million Chinese players, and Simplified Chinese is the second most common language setting for the Steam client according Steam's own hardware survey.

That Chinese PC gamers are flocking to Steam and buying complex sandbox games and singleplayer RPGs challenges the basic assumptions of the Chinese gaming industry. The belief that Chinese gamers only want to play free-to-play MMOs or ultra-competitive multiplayer games like League of Legends has prevailed for decades.