Thursday October 25, 2018

Chinese Game Ban is Fueling Steam Growth

According to a report by, Steam gained about 23 million active monthly users in just over a year, bringing their active user count to 90 million. The research firm Niko Partners claims that at least some of that growth can be attributed to the Chinese market, which grew from 15 million to 30 million users in a year. Citing health reasons related to "children's eyes", China stopped giving out most game licenses earlier this year, and just recently closed the last official venue to make money of new games in China. Ironically, this seems to be driving Chinese gamers away from local publishers and into the arms of Steam, and China's ban on the Steam Community isn't slowing things down much.

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The platform gained popularity due to DOTA 2, Niko Partners' analyst Daniel Ahmad said on Twitter, but has grown to thanks to localised games, regional pricing, local payment methods and a "wide variety of games banned/blocked in China" which are available on Steam. Valve is currently working with publisher Perfect World to create a China-only version of Steam, which would cater to the government's strict censorship laws. Tencent -- which operates the government-endorsed PC games storefront WeGame -- continues to see its value plummet, hampered by the lockdown which even resulted in the removal of Monster Hunter: World from the sale on the platform.