Gaming industry insider and analyst Daniel Ahmad posted a Tweet saying that the public beta of the Chinese version of Steam will be launched on Feb 9, 2021. The launch will be in partnership with Valve’s age-old Chinese partners, Perfect World.
Daniel mentioned that the platform would be approved by the Chinese government alongside all the content it is supposed to feature. For starters, the exclusive-to-China version of Steam will feature Valve’s top two free-to-play titles, Dota 2 and CS:GO. As the new platform gets a better foothold, all player data, including game progress and Steam libraries, will be transferred over once players sign up for the platform.
This marks a big move for Valve in better-capturing one of its biggest markets in the world. Especially so because game publishers have to go through harrowing processes of partnering with domestic publishers for distribution in China. Games which launch in China are required to have Simplified Chinese. All that is besides adhering to strict policies and rules and a long-drawn application process which often deters publishers from entering the Chinese market altogether.
Chinese fans have been able to access Steam over the years with built-in game-time restrictions and age restrictions. For the Chinese fans, the low-violence versions of Dota 2 and CS:GO are available courtesy of Perfect World. The low-violence versions mask, edit, or obscure all depictions of blood, gore, bones, skulls, and skeletons in accordance with Chinese censorship.
Some low-violence icons of Dota 2 are super cool, while others have been the stuff of nightmares and memes alike.
You decide which is a meme and which is a nightmare.