Players in China are in uproar and shock as today they woke to find that the Chinese Government has reportedly banned the global version of Steam Storefront from its country.
The reports first surfaced when several Chinese players made posts on the Chinese social media site complaining about not being able to log on to their steam accounts or open the official steam website. Players are reporting that almost all the features of the steam including community pages are also not opening at all.
Back in February 2021, Steam officially launched its China-only client with a much smaller collection of games on sale. Steam China only features select games that are approved to be released in China by the Chinese agencies. The China-only version of the site and client is still available in the country but nobody knows if it remain online or blocked soon.
This doesn’t come as a surprise as the Chinese government is actively taking action against games and gaming companies for the past 12 months. From limiting game time for those under 18 to limiting the money players can spend per week on buying microtransactions in-game.
In order for new games to be allowed in the country, developers had to remove several elements thought to be anti-Chinese, including the presence of “effeminate men”. It is also reported that in 2021 for two months no new games were approved or given license to operate.
While the global version of steam is not available, Steam’s two most popular games – Dota 2 and CSGO are unaffected by this blockade as they both are also available on Steam China. While other games like Monster Hunter World, GTA Online, Destiny 2, etc are heavily affected by this blockade as they are not officially available in China and were only accessible through the global client.
Although there are multiple reports emerging which suggest this is a DNS attack and not a blanker ban, we will wait to hear from Valve on this soon.