- Valve has reportedly released the alpha version of the Steam Client for China with multiple modifications.
- Some additional features have been added in accordance with the Chinese government's rules to regulate gaming.
- This is not the final product and Valve is still actively working on the game client.
Since officially being announced for China in November 2018 during an esports event being held at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai, Valve has reportedly released the alpha version of Steam China. According to the recent Steam Client update, Valve is not only working on the Chinese version of the Steam Client but has also moved the project onto the alpha stage, according to a report by win.gg.
While we might not have the whole picture in front of us, we do know that Steam China will be heavily monitored by the Chinese Government, and will be following a lot of national policies which have been enforced by the government to regulate gaming.
[Also Read: China Allegedly Region Locking All Online Games]
The three big features of Steam China which differentiate it from the original version are as follows,
- As part of the game client and in line with the Chinese administrative division DPRC (District of the People’s Republic of China), a five-second ‘Healthy Gaming Advisory’ message will be played for every user when they launch a game.
- The second feature seems to be the biggest of the three, as all profile information including ‘Profile Picture’ and ‘Profile Name’ will be replaced by the default steam question mark and the user’s Steam ID number respectively, unless and until the information is not verified and approved by the Chinese authorities.
Default Steam Question Mark
- The final feature seems to be yet another change that Valve has implemented to keep in line with the rules and regulation being employed by the Chinese government, as Steam China has an in-built setting to restrict users from playing games between certain hours of the day. Something which was implemented by SAPP (State Administration of Press and Publication) last year in November, with the guidelines (for minors only) stating the following:
“Limiting the number of gaming hours to 1.5 per day and restricting it between 8 am and 10 pm. For holidays, 3 hours of game time was decided and on top of all this, 400 yuan or 57 USD was set as the limit for the maximum amount of money that could be spent in a game per month.”
Edit: An addition has been made to clarify that the quote above only stands true for Chinese minors.
This might be just the start, as Valve is certainly working fast to release it’s Steam Client in China, in accordance with various Chinese authorities, welcoming changes as they come along to suit their needs and demands. Valve has shown that they are ready to customise and adapt their universal game client, so as to tap into China’s massive gaming market.