China’s Steam Only Has 53 Games

China’s Steam Only Has 53 Games
Image: Steam

Steam is now available in China, and if you thought that would give Chinese gamers instant access to the weird, wonderful and sometimes deeply offensive depths of the service’s catalogue, well lol, no of course it doesn’t.

At time of posting this custom, localised version of Valve’s shopfront only has 53 games available, with the main ones being Counter-Strike and DOTA 2. That’s it. If you visit the store and click on “all games” you can see everything in a single screenshot.

Image: SteamImage: Steam

Why the discrepancy? As PC Gamer report, it’s because in order to get a release on an official Chinese storefront games need to have been certified by the government, and since most international games would fail that process (due to content and cultural reasons as much as anything else), that explains the drop-off (for reference, there are over 20,000 items available on Steam for us).

Oh, and there also aren’t any forums or other community features either, meaning there’s nowhere central to go and complain about bugs and errors, though for some reason Steam user reviews are excluded from this:

Image: SteamImage: Steam

If you’d like to head there and check it out, marvelling at the sparsity of it all or just wanting to see what our own Steam looked like in 2008, it’s accessible to international users here.


  • Its hard to get any approval in China without a Chinese joint venture business partner who owns 51% share of the JV, all decision and distrubtion rights and 100% of the IP within China. International companies sign all their rights away for profit and cheap manufacturing.

    • Every country has rules for foreign businesses and you can find the positives and negatives for all of them.
      The method China uses is heavy handed for sure but it also puts a stop to a lot of issues that often come with foreign companies.

      • Yeah, but most foreign countries aren’t despotic shitholes run by mass murderers currently conducting an internal genocide.

      • “a lot of issues that often come with foreign companies”

        can you elaborate on that? By and large, I think the games industry doesn’t have many issues with foreign companies, particularly major companies.

        Sure 1 in about 100 or 1000 may come up with a controversial game, but a standard content classification system with an application process like in most countries seems to do fine without the heavy-handedness.

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