STEAM BREAKS NEW RECORD OF CONCURRENT USERS
Valve’s online mega-shop has done it again!
Video-game online retailer Steam, the mothership of esports favorites like Dota, PUBG and Counter-Strike, broke its own record of simultaneous players this past Sunday, by reaching an incredible figure of 26 million users, all logged in at the same time. – A pretty impressive feat to achieve by anybody’s book!
Looks like Steam’s recent success story is rooted in two main circumstances: the relative success of many game titles available on their online shop, and the addition of the Chinese market to Steam’s global market base, which alone pumped their figures to sky-high records during 2020.
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China & the Double-Service Platform Conundrum
According to the figures recently posted at PC Gamer online magazine, Valve’s own Steam super-shop beat its own concurrent user record on Sunday, when a whooping 25.4 million players logged into their servers. Steam is the popular digital distribution service of world-favorite gaming titles of the likes of Counter-Strike, Dota, the strategic masterpieces of the Total War series, and mobile sensation PUBG, and you probably already guessed by the headline, China is heavily involved in Steam’s powerful surge.
The Asian super-power has clearly become more and more involved in the gaming world in recent times. After agreeing to open their video-game market to the wider world, Valve reached out to the local authorities in order to partake in the humongous Chinese video-game market, even if restricted by over-the-top censorship rules and publishing limitations.
The bet paid off for Valve. As stated by an article published by IGN a few days ago, Steam already had 3 million total users by the end of 2018, and as of January 2020, the simplified version of written Chinese was the most-used language by players on the platform.
Nonetheless, this success has also been somewhat tainted by strange conditions pertaining to the use of the video game retailer’s platform by Chinese users. Namely, China restricts pretty much everything their people say or do, and gaming is one of those things that are heavily curtailed by the ruling CCP. Thus, Steam is restricted in the number of video game titles it can offer to the Chinese players: Every title that seeks entrance into the Chinese turf has to undergo a deep examination, in search for any contents that could be deemed as “dangerous” by the authorities, including any references to Taiwan or any such subversive things. Talk about being a tight-*ss*!
And so, even though Chinese players have been massively circumventing the local regulations by making use of VPNs to access the global Steam service, they might soon be forced into using their own localized Steam platform, featuring only games approved by the CCP.
So far, Valve has not issued any complaints about the apparent future segregation of Chinese players by fitting them into an isolated community, in fact, they’re actively supporting it… Why? Because of the JUICY chunk of money, they’re gonna get with the deal… Of course.
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