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Steam's Chinese audience grows to more than 30 million users

Dota 2 credited with driving Valve's marketplace in the region as firm prepares for China-only version

Steam's userbase in China now stands at well over 30 million users.

That's according to Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad, who tweeted the statistic as well as some context on the platform's growth in the area.

He observes that Steam originally gained popularity in China thanks to the rise of Dota 2, but the addition of more China-developed and Chinese language games, plus regional pricing and local payment methods have helped attract more gamers from the nation.

Ahmad also highlights two best-selling Chinese titles that are regularly appearing in the upper echelons of the Steam chart. First is The Scroll of Taiwu, which has sold over 600,000 units and is only available in Simplified Chinese.

Second is Chinese Parents, a management game that has recently become popular and also is only available in Simplified Chinese.

The analyst expects further growth in the area now that China's State Council has issued recommendations that will "make it easier (and not as lengthy) for internet cafes and game companies to set up business in the country", adding: "It's a positive sign to see the promotion of new gaming entity creation amid a tough regulatory environment."

The last comment refers to the ongoing issues caused by the restructuring of the State Administration of Radio and Television, the government body in charge of approving new games for release in China. Because of the restructure, no games have been approved since March and reports suggest this will continue well into 2019 - although Niko Partners is more optimistic.

Valve is ramping up its efforts to capitalise on this growth in China, the world's most lucrative gaming market. It has partnered with local publisher Perfect World to create a China-only version of Steam, and is even hosting next year's Dota 2 International in Shanghai.

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