Steam’s community features have been blocked in China. Chinese players should still be able to play their Steam games, and buy new ones from the store, but any part of Steam that relies on community services will not work. This includes every game’s social hub, user profile pages and inventories, achievements, and more.
Here’s a handy list of battle royale alternatives, should PUBG get banned in your area.
The news comes via GreatFire, who track the sites censored and banned by the Chinese government.According to them, Steam Community has been “95% blocked” since December 15.
Steam has otherwise been largely free of censorship for years, and the rest of the site is still working. The fact that the community is the only part of the site to get blocked has led GreatFire to theorise a user might have posted something of which the Chinese authorities didn’t approve:
Chinese authorities have blocked access to @steam_games community website. Games can still be played. Likely somebody posted something the authorities found disagreeable. https://t.co/SP4BlVhChJ https://t.co/GBOxYA0Xm6
— GreatFire.org (@GreatFireChina) December 18, 2017
Last month, it emerged that almost three in five Steam users is Chinese-a demographic quirk generally attributed to the success of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. Until it was announced that PUBG is getting a (censored) Chinese release through local gaming behemoth Tencent, fans had feared that it would be banned outright due to its non-socalist values.