UPDATE: Following reports earlier today that the global version of Steam had blocked in China by the Firewall, it appears there has been an update. Instead of a block by Chinese authorities it appears that the Steam Store has been the target of a DNS attack. The update comes from Neon Doctrine’s Vlad:
STEAM CHINA UPDATE
Our team in China did some digging & research, it looks like this was yet another DNS attack to flag it(there was a similar one in the past), so it’s not banned. Yet.
HOWEVER, as I’ve been saying this is not a matter of “if” but “when”. https://t.co/tmlzNSTWW5
— Vlad【尉遲衛德】 (@Stutsies) December 25, 2021
Original Story Below:
Steam Store looks like it has been banned by China with the site now being blacklisted by the Chinese firewall, meaning Chinese gamers have lost access to the global Steam store. This does not seem to impact the China specific version of Steam, which is a more limited version of the global version with many more restrictions on which games can be sold on that version of the store. If you do a check on the Chinese firewall you can see that store.steampowered.com is banned across China.
This is not welcome news for developers, especially those who have a lot of sales based in China. Vladislav Tsypljak, co-founder of Neon Doctrine, has been Tweeting about the situation. Neon Doctrine focuses on games developed in East Asia, so the move would have a significant impact on the developers that Neon Doctrine work with as well as the publisher itself. In the thread, Vlad has so far written:
“It finally happened. Steam was added to the Chinese firewall blacklist. So completely banned. We’re so f***ed lol. Not many developers realise how big of a deal this is. The majority of games normally make 20-30% of their revenue from China alone. This is essentially cutting down the income of studios by a third and will hurt smaller indies first. Still waiting on some details. There is still a change that it will be accessible via VPN. However they might block it completely like it was done with Steam community part. Then even VPNs won’t help.”
Vlad then goes on to mention why it is not simple to release games on to Steam China, and has done talks on this. He has posted a video explaining the reasons why, but does mention some of the information is a little date. You can hear what he has to say about releasing on Steam China below.
China has been banning various types of games recently and cracking down on the amount of time people can play games for in the country. The country has banned games that feature same sex relationships and effeminate men as well as international online gaming as well.