Steam is no longer playable in China
According to SteamDB, Steam’s usage in China has dropped significantly since Friday: Steam daily average users, according to SteamDB:
China: 15553 (-60%)
US/EU/AU: 302412 (+0.38%)
Russia: 220000 (+25.47%)
Steam is the de facto largest PC video game marketplace and online community in the world – even when Steam sales aren’t on (which is normally when Steam sees its slowest periods), Steam still maintains an active user base of millions worldwide; at one point Steam had reached a peak of 18 million concurrent users (with Dota 2 and CSGO’s free weekend promotions). With such an immense userbase comes monetary benefits for Valve, but also problems in certain markets Steam operates in. Steam is affected by a number of issues that could lead to Valve seeing a decrease in Steam usage, such as how Steam’s monopoly on PC video games has led many big publishers do not want to have their games sold through Steam, and instead sell their own digital storefronts to maximize profit. It appears that China has been hit hard with this anti-Steam sentiment from the video game industry because Steam has been completely shut out by China’s Firewall – making it so Steam can’t operate at all in mainland China without any workarounds.
Players in China are reporting that the Steam storefront and other community sites have been blocked, making them inaccessible in the nation. On Christmas Day, China’s Steam Global was shut down, with a significantly smaller selection of games on sale. This site is still up and running, but the main Steam site with a wider collection of titles has been disabled in the country on Christmas Eve.
Valve’s decision to deactivate Steam accounts in China would not have a major impact on Dota 2 and CS: GO, two of the most popular games in the country. However, many other titles, particularly those from smaller developers, rely on China’s massive audiences to stay afloat. For example, Monster Hunter World is an incredibly large game that has more Chinese reviews on Steam than English language ones.In China, Game of the Year winner at The Game Awards It Takes Two has ten of the most recent reviews. Despite being a mobile game and therefore not controlled by Steam, Call of Duty Mobile has just as many players in China as it does around the globe. Developers are excited about the possibilities for expansion in a country as large as China. However, without Steam, there has been virtually no development in this market on Christmas Day.
For more such updates stay tuned with Gamestanza.