CHINA ISN'T KNOWN for its hospitality towards US tech firms, but gaming giant Valve is planning to bring Steam to the so-called communist nation.
Valve will do this with a little help from fellow Chinese video game developer Perfect World, which has links to the US with a North American subsidiary.
Together the two will create a version of the Steam platform and store specifically tailored for China, in which we mean it'll work within the nation's strict internet and media regulations.
While Valve may have thrown up its hands when it comes to policing Steam the rest of the world, allowing all manners of games to be published providing they aren't illegal or efforts to troll, we suspect Steam China won't be nearly as open.
That being said, China spends a heck of a lot of money on games, and in terms of money raked in, the PC is the largest platform in the nation. That means Valve and Perfect World have the scope to make big bucks if they can get Steam a foothold in the Chinese market - not that Valve is short of cash in the first place.
What Steam China will look like and when and how it will be brought to China wasn't detailed by Valve, other than it plans to make the move.
"Perfect World and Valve will collaborate closely on Steam China, actively promoting its launch, marketing, and game lineup," said Valve. "No changes are planned for Steam's existing worldwide operations and services as a result of this announcement."
Reading between the lines, as is our way, we reckon that would suggest Valve will have a form of separate Steam-based game and software ecosystem for China, while the Steam PC gamers are familiar with ticks along as normal across the rest of the world.
Perhaps in China Valve can make the Stream Machine more of a success than it's been so far. µ
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