A few days ago, we learned that the Steam release of Gears 5 was suspended indefinitely for China for unknown reasons. The issue has just been fixed, but that didn't stop a Gears 5 review bomb from hitting that has brought the game's rating to Mixed on Steam.
Gears 5 Available in China... NowAbout an hour ago, TC Octus, the community support manager for the Gears 5 discussion board on Steam, made a new announcement about the game's Chinese delay. The game is now available for purchase in mainland China, and all pre-purchases being honored. There's still no word from Microsoft or The Coalition about the "specific issue" that prevented the game's release.
However, in the time it took to resolve the issue, Chinese Steam users voiced their displeasure. At the time of writing, Gears 5 carries a Mixed rating with 55% of 1,345 reviews being positive. If you look through the English reviews only, there's plenty of praise for the game. However, choosing to view every language reveals a bevy of negative reviews from Chinese accounts. Google Translate isn't the best, but it helps reveal that many players seem to be upset over the inability to enter the game. Some of the reviews mention their plan to get refunds, while one accuses Microsoft of not taking Chinese players seriously. Another user on the game's discussion suggests Microsoft "did not prepare enough" for Gears 5's Chinese launch. Overall this probably serves as another reason for Valve to be looking forward to the official Chinese version of Steam, when it can hand off a lot of the local issues to Perfect World, as well as dealing with the delicate, but valuable Chinese market.
There's still no word on the nature of the issue that prompted the delay. However, there's still a good bit of debate. Some suggest that the issue may have to do with the inclusion of various LGBT+ Pride flags players can use as decals. Others have suggested it might be issues with skulls and blood in the game and iconography. While public opinion towards LGBT+ people is becoming more tolerant, there's still been resistance from the authorities.
Gears 5 is available to buy for all players on PC and Xbox One and Gears 5 is now available in China on PC via Steam.