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Steam will be launching in China in a heavily curated version

Published: 15:37, 21 August 2019
AltChar
Gabe Newell in front of the Chinese flag
GabeN

It's been a while since we reported of Valve's plans to expand their digital games distribution service to China in partnership with Perfect World Entertainment, and now we have some more information straight from the horse's mouth.

In fact, it was back in June 2018 when we wrote about Steam's expansion but the business climate wasn't exactly working in GabeN's favour it seems, in spite of working with a domestic company who handled localization of Dota and CS: GO.

Now, however, there are signs of actual progress and as reported by several outlets, Perfect World's CEO Dr Robert H. Xiao gave a presentation in Shanghai, where he stated that his company and Valve are one step closer to launching Steam in China. 

In order to ensure that Steam China is in line with Chinese regulations, the platform will be almost independent of its Western counterpart, although you can expect the meat of it to remain the same. 

Steam China is expected to launch with a batch of almost 40 games, which includes Valve's popular MOBA Dota 2 and its auto-chess offshoot Dota Underlords.

As expected, the platform is tailored for Chinese users and TechNode quoted Xiao Hong as saying that it will feature "high-speed servers and high-quality operation teams", and will be named Zhengqi Pingtai, which translates to Steam Platform.

That said, it's no secret that Steam already has tens of millions of Chinese users, who don't seem to have any trouble registering and purchasing titles off of Valve's platform, although some features like discussion forums are unavailable.

Nevertheless, there seem to be no obstacles to using the regular version of Steam in China, which leaves the question of what the new version's purpose is.

We can only assume that there will be some restrictions in place once Steam China rolls out, but that's merely an assumption - not a confirmation. 

Valve Screenshot of dota underworld game board showing an ocean of arc wardens Dota Underlords - Arc Warden spam

Eurogamer enquired as to what this may mean for Steam's existing users, and whether they'll be able to port their libraries to the new, government-friendly Steam, but not even Valve had answers to that, other than insisting that the new platform will offer a "much better experience".

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