Steam’s nascent Chinese version has amassed over 30 million users since its launch.
As pointed out by Daniel Ahmad, Asian digital games market analyst at Niko Partners, the initial boom in popularity for Steam came on the back of DOTA 2’s mega-success. But the momentum has been kept up thanks to one simple (complex) touch: Steam in China is very much aimed at the Chinese market.
One huge factor in Steam’s – and so Valve’s – success has been the partnership with Perfect World, which has allowed for this more curated approach to the country.
This means Chinese indie devs have been able to see levels of success on Steam they might not otherwise manage to achieve, with one of Ahmad’s examples being the Scroll of Taiwu – a title selling over 600,000 copies on Steam in China, and only being available in Simplified Chinese.
With China still seeing delays and other issues with regards to new games getting licensed in the country, it’s a positive to see there are still success stories to be drawn from the situation. Initial worries in the region were centred on Steam just strong-arming its way into the region and bringing with it all the Western-focused games it has with it. Seems that was never going to be the plan, and instead it turns out – shock of all shocks – actually tailoring a service to a region reaps benefits.
Will this lead to a UK-focused Steam where all the games are based on either talking about the weather or avoiding small-talk altogether? Time will tell.