Epic Games Store Quietly Launches in Chinese Gray Area

Published: May 15, 2019 9:14 PM /


Epic Games Store Operating in Chinese Gray Area Like Steam

On Monday Daniel Ahmad, who covers the digital games market in Asia and frequently tweets news about major gaming companies from their investor conference calls, reported on the access to the Epic Games Store from China. The store is now available for Chinese customers with support for WeChat Pay (owned by Tencent) and AliPay (referred to as "Chinese PayPal" and owned by the Alibaba Group multinational conglomerate). Ahmad says the store also includes regional pricing. He also adds that the store is operating in the same way the international version of Steam does in China, which he refers to as "a bit of a grey area."


He reports other details in a couple of follow-up tweets. There's no more IP restriction in China, and Chinese users can create or login to an account. The download speeds are good, and the store and game pages are fully localized, even if the games don't support Simplified Chinese. He also clarifies on what he meant by "gray area," saying that the games on the store are not licensed by China's gaming regulator for sale in the country. Steam is in the same situation, but Valve announced in January that they are working with company Perfect World Games: "We've partnered with Perfect World to bring Steam onshore into China. We'll reveal more details about this in the coming months."


In January we also reported that the Epic Games Store has regional pricing for 230+ countries. The storefront has been growing a lot very fast, in a way that only the creators of Fortnite are able to do. On May 1 we reported on how the storefront's sales were strong, yet they had to delay features, which shows that their growth isn't proportional to the current state of the storefront in terms of features and user experience. The expansion to a market as enormous as the Chinese market is likely to bring bigger challenges on that front as well.

Do you think Epic Games will rise to the challenge of the Chinese market? Is the company's growth rate sustainable? Let us know in the comments below!

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Richard Costa
| Staff Writer

Hack for hire, indentured egghead, maverick thoughtcriminal. Mainly interested in Western RPGs, first-person immersion, turn-based tactics, point-and-… More about Richard