Valve partners with Perfect World to develop 'Steam China,' an 'independent' storefront for Chinese gamers
It'll comply with China's strict regulationsBy Cohen Coberly 10 comments
In brief: Google might be backing off from a China-exclusive search engine, but Valve has no such reservations. The company will be moving forward with plans to launch "Steam China," a completely localized version of its popular digital distribution platform intended to appeal to the rapidly-expanding PC gaming market in the country.
In an attempt to get ahead of any potential censorship from Chinese officials, Steam China will be developed in collaboration with Perfect World. Perfect World is the company responsible for publishing many popular titles, including the newly-released Remnant: From the Ashes, the upcoming Torchlight: Frontiers, Star Trek Online, and Neverwinter.
So, what value will Steam China offer to Chinese consumers? As stated before, the platform will be designed from the ground up for the country. This means that available content will be localized (going beyond mere translation), download servers will be in the country, and the experience as a whole will comply with all Chinese laws.
That means tighter scrutiny over what games are and aren't allowed on the service (likely meaning less "shovelware" and "asset flips") and community features that don't break China's strict rules on internet communications.
Steam China, also known as Zhengqi Pingtai, will launch with a relatively small roster of games, but they include the likes of Two Point Hospital, Dead Cells, Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIV, FTL, and others -- the full list comes out at about 40 games, according to PC Gamer.
It's worth noting that, despite Valve's desire to cater to this new market, "nothing [will] change" about Steam's other global presences. The platform will continue to operate as it has for many years now: Steam China is an independent product.