Valve’s free-to-play juggernauts CS:GO and Dota 2 will be the first two games on offer in Steam China, the country-specific platform jointly released with longtime partner Perfect World.
Steam China will debut on Feb. 9 in a public beta, according to video games analyst Daniel Ahmad. This China-exclusive platform will function as a separate application from its international version, though progress and game libraries will be transferred over.
For gamers in China, a domestic platform heralds more oversight and scrutiny. Steam's international version has been available in China for years, considering that the platform's most popular language is Simplified Chinese, allowing users to have unfettered access to Steam's wide library of games and skirt rules, such as anti-addiction time limits and age restrictions.
Developers looking to enter into the Chinese market have to obtain a license from its government, go through a lengthy application process, and obey stringent sets of rules. A game has to consist entirely of Simplified Chinese text, for example, and foreign games have to partner with a domestic publisher.