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.
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:
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.