Steam’s userbase in China surpassed 30 million users, according to industry analyst Daniel Ahmad. The popularity of Steam in China led to Valve announcing a partnership with Perfect World earlier this year to create a Chinese version of Steam.
The growth of Steam occurred despite increasing game restrictions in China, demonstrating a continued demand for games from Chinese citizens despite the government’s concerns over the popularity of gaming. Much of the initial growth of the games platform can be attributed to “Dota 2,” but further growth is due to “more localised games, regional pricing, local payment methods, [plus the] wide variety of games banned/blocked in China,” according to Ahmad.
“Chinese indie developers have been able to find success on Steam,” Ahmad stated in a followup tweet. “Not just overseas but domestically as well due to [the 30 million] domestic users.”
Ahmad then highlighted “The Scroll of Taiwu,” an indie, Chinese-made game that has more than 600,000 digital copies via Steam.
The Chinese government has increased regulations in recent months surrounding the release of online games, which hurt conglomerate Tencent, knocking it out of the world’s top ten largest companies as of Tuesday. The regulations were proposed out of a desire to decrease rates of myopia, or near-sightedness, in children, with the support of the country’s Ministry of Education.
Tencent has tried various methods to decrease minors’ playtime in China, from tracking playtime by requiring players to enter their real names before playing, to even trying out facial recognition software on a trial-basis in “Honour of Kings” to cut down minors’ playtime.
The restrictions could be showing signs of relaxing slightly in the future, however, as Ahmad further noted in a tweet that “China’s State Council issued recommendations that will make it easier (and not as lengthy) for internet cafe’s and game companies to set up business in the country.”
“It’s a positive sign to see the promotion of new gaming entity creation amid a tough regulatory environment,” Ahmad stated.