Online game distribution platform Steam has reportedly restricted all accounts in China from accessing “adult-only content,” according to a post published on Solidot (in Chinese), a CNET owned tech blog.
Earlier this month, Valve, the developer of Steam, added a new filter in “Store Preferences” that allows users to show or hide games with adult-only explicit content. Prior to adding the new filter, Steam allowed its users to filter out games featuring mature content, frequent violence or gory content, and nudity or sexual content. However, Chinese users have found that the new filter that allows users to show games that contains explicit or graphic content is not available to them. In other words, Chinese Steam users are restricted from accessing R-rated games.
This is not the only recent change that Chinese users have been excluded from. Steam recently started allowing adult-only games on its site and the first uncensored game “Negligee: Love Stories” was approved and released earlier this month. However, the distributor decided not to list the game in China along with a number of other countries to avoid risks of facing legal and economic repercussions.
“If we release a game in a country where the content is illegal or could be considered illegal then potentially we could suffer fines and penalties and even legal action by those countries,” Dharker Studios, developer of Negligee: Love Stories, said in a Steam Community post.
Chinese authorities have been tightening regulation of its gaming industry. The country’s latest crackdown on games is part of a broader campaign to clean up inappropriate and vulgar content online.
Since the end of March, Chinese authorities stopped granting new game licenses. Game distributors and developers have been hit hard by the government-led crackdown. In August, Tencent’s stock tumbled after regulators blocked the sale of one of its blockbuster titles, which wiped out around $15 billion in its market value.