Valve and Perfect World are close to establishing a partnership with the Shanghai Government for the release of Steam China. Valve’s Steam client is available in China for several years, however, it has not been a smooth process. For the most part, Steam’s store is in a grey area when it comes to the local Chinese regulations. There are also multiple features in the application which are blocked out.
There are an estimated 30 million players using Steam in China. They mostly play Dota 2, but there is a huge Chinese community for other game titles as well. Valve has been working on Steam China for quite sometime. They announced their partnership with Perfect World in mid-2018. With a huge Chinese user base, Valve needed to ensure the survival of their platform and its compliance with the Chinese laws. An estimated 22 per cent of Valve’s user base comes from China.
Valve, in collaboration with Perfect World, officially signed today an agreement with Shanghai’s government to launch Steam China pic.twitter.com/KvwtMyaEDd
— Nors3 (@Nors3) November 28, 2018
Perfect World will exert its influence over Steam China. It will control the release of games and their publication on the steam China store. Being a local organisation, they have to adhere to the Chinese rules and regulations. This is Valve’s way of ensuring their continued presence in China.
Valve and China – A ready mix for 2019
Over the past few weeks, we have seen multiple instances where Valve has decided to bow to the Chinese point of view. The International 2019 is scheduled to be held in Shanghai. It will be the first time that The International moves out of either Europe or North America. Its presence in Shanghai would essentially mean a huge boost to the Dota 2 Playerbase. Maybe Valve saw some numbers for Dota 2 and felt it was necessary to revive it in the Chinese mainland.
With the launch of Steam China, we can expect a significant boost to Valve’s userbase from the region. It will also allow Perfect World [ and in turn the Chinese government ] greater legislation on the quality and quantity of games. Valve is yet to release any statement on the reported ban for Kuku and Skem from the Chongqing Major.