It appears that the global version of Steam has been banned in China, according to developer reports on Monday. The service is reportedly blocked in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou.
Steam has not updated its official site with any information on this ban happening in China.
We are still waiting for more details on this subject to come out. Rest assured that we will update you all when we have more information or when Valve makes an official statement about their discontinuation of service in China.
Here some points are discussed-
1. Steam is a big bandwidth hog
Due to the size of the games being downloaded, many ISPs in China have been finding it challenging to handle the amount of data being transferred. As a result, they have been taking the drastic step of blocking access to the game.
2. The region lock actually works
Recently, Valve was forced into releasing their content worldwide due to community backlash against region locking games. However, this plan backfired when Steam was censured by China’s authorities. It seems that regions have a great impact on businesses, even when it comes to Valve’s game platform.
3.The console ban is still holding strong
This is not the first time that China has banned global video game platforms. In fact, China banned foreign consoles for many years before allowing public release of the Xbox One. With that information in mind, it is unlikely that Steam will be returning to China any time soon, even if they begin region locking again.
4. Game distribution methods are changing with the times
Thanks to services like Steam and GOG, gamers have less of a need to own physical copies of their video games anymore. Even without physical copies, players can still enjoy full access to their favorite titles through digital purchases through services like PSN and the Nintendo eShop.
5. Video game development is a big business in China
Valve may not see the value in China, but many Chinese developers still do. Not only does this market have lucrative development opportunities, it also has many players who are eager to purchase and download games. As a result, Chinese gamers will likely be treated to their own Steam-like service in the near future.
6. Many gamers already have access to a localized version of Steam
Many players worldwide prefer playing on local servers, even if they are playing against opponents who are based elsewhere in the world. Since China was region locked into their own servers, they were able to avoid all of these latency issues.
7. The Chinese government does not care about Steam
Businesses in China need to follow strict rules and regulations. Despite the country’s attempts at censoring the video game market, it is evident that Valve is not their biggest concern.
The government instead has a larger focus on other aspects of technology that they deem problematic or lacking. It’s possible that Steam was just one part of those restrictions, which may have been extended to include the international version of Steam as well.
8. Steam has become a major player in China’s technology market
Steam has become a major force in China’s tech market over the years, with many companies using it as a base for developing their own video game services and games. China has a booming video game market, so it’s possible that Valve is wishing to avoid the kind of trouble that they have found themselves in with their restrictive policies.
9. China has a great love for PC gaming
China is largely still dominated by PC gaming, despite the burgeoning mobile gaming market based around iOS and Android devices. Many gamers rely on their computers for high-end gaming experiences that are not available through mobile options.
This is why it makes sense for Valve to continue developing games for players in China. Perhaps they will find a way to return to the region soon, based on the positive feedback they have received from publishers in other countries.
Until more information comes out, we encourage you all to wait this matter out with interest. The page that lists the reasons and effect of Steam’s Chinese ban is here
It is currently unclear why Steam has been banned by Chinese authorities but according to reports it appears to be a regional restriction and not a complete ban on service. We will provide updates regarding this matter as they come in and will keep our readers posted. We apologize for any inconveniences that this may have caused.