China's Steam Only Has 53 Games

Illustration for article titled China's Steam Only Has 53 Games
Image: Steam

Steam is now available in China, and if you thought that would give Chinese gamers instant access to the weird, wonderful and sometimes deeply offensive depths of the service’s catalogue, well lol, no, of course it doesn’t.

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At time of posting this custom, localised version of Valve’s shopfront only has 53 games available, with the main ones being Counter-Strike and DOTA 2. That’s it. If you visit the store and click on “all games” you can see everything in a single screenshot.

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Image: Steam

Why the discrepancy? As PC Gamer reports, it’s because in order to get a release on an official Chinese storefront, games need to have been certified by the government, and since most international games would fail that process (due to content and cultural reasons as much as anything else), that explains the drop-off. (For reference, there are over 20,000 items available on Steam for us).

Oh, and there also aren’t any forums or other community features either, meaning there’s nowhere central to go to complain about bugs and errors, though for some reason Steam user reviews are excluded from this:

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Image: Steam

If you’d like to head there and check it out, marvelling at the sparsity of it all or just wanting to see what our own Steam looked like in 2008, it’s accessible to international users here.

Luke Plunkett is a Senior Editor based in Canberra, Australia. He has written a book on cosplay, designed a game about airplanes, and also runs cosplay.kotaku.com.

DISCUSSION

I think I have more games than that in my library that I’ve never even installed.