Steam China Might Do More Harm Than Good
It is no secret that the Communist Party in China is not exactly the most welcoming to the idea of freedom of expression or liberty. The Peoples Party of China has been accused of numerous human rights violations over the years and it looks like that trend is not going to stop anytime soon. There has been a huge crackdown on outside media companies like Google, YouTube, and Facebook in China and have all been replaced with state-run alteratives. However, Steam has managed to become the exception and still operates within China to this day. But it is hard to predict what the views of the Chinese government will look like in the future, so to get around this Valve plans to create a China-only version of Steam. This new Steam has a lot of Chinese developers nervous.
Many Chinese developers are now worried that a new China-only Steam will result in a huge loss in revenue. China does have the largest potential market in the world due to its immense population, but the tough laws around video games and media could make it harder for native developers to really cash in.
The new China only Steam is going to launch with a measly 40 games. The lack of content is due to the draconian censorship laws that have been imposed by the PPC. In contrast, the Steam that the rest of the world will have access to has over 30,000 games to choose from.
It is hard to tell what is going to happen in the future. Valve seems to be committed to this new project despite the controversy around it. China and video game companies have clashed beforehand and it does not look like this will be the last time either.