If it is still possible to buy games, some of the “social” features of the inevitable Steam store are no longer available in China.
Unable to read news about the latest games, chat with other players or download their creations: according to greatfire.org, site specializing in Chinese cybercensorship, the community section of the online video game store Steam would be stuck in China since Friday, December 15 at least. A situation confirmed on social networks by players based in China.
While the store section is still accessible, it is now impossible to use the community services offered by the industry’s leading platform from China.
It is in this section of Steam that players can share tricks, screenshots or videos, but also that developers can keep their customers informed of the news of their games. The “community” of Steam can also offer to download changes to games created by the players themselves (a new weapon, a new car, a new mission …), as well as the sale and purchase of virtual objects earned while playing. Chinese users can no longer access their profile pages, or their “successes”, honorary titles awarded to the most deserving players.
If the shop itself is still online and it is still possible to access the chat, the closure of all other social features still demonstrates the ability of the Chinese government to limit access to the Internet.
Chinese steam users can not longer use steam forums, or use mods on the workshop, or see announcements.
Ultimately exp … https://t.co/8nJ2oPeG5Q- ScottTRichmond (@Scott Richmond)
“Even if this closure was expected, as a developer, losing 30% of its user base is a serious subject,” laments a video game developer.
The Chinese market accounts for a large share of developer revenues, including Western ones. According to the steamspy website, 20% of current Steam users are registered in China.
This year has also seen the Chinese giant’s launch of Weencame’s Tencent video game, a competing platform on Steam, featuring some Western games, such as the independent Do not Starve game or, soon, a redacted version of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, the success of the year on Steam.
At its launch in the spring, WeGame already had 200 million active accounts – against 280 million for Steam internationally, still according to the website steamspy.