Anyone in China hoping to play Gears 5 on Steam may have to wait a while. According to a community manager named TC Octus, an unspecified issue is forcing the team to suspend the game's release and any sales or pre-orders.
Two days ago, a thread was posted in Chinese and English to the Gears 5 board on Steam. It says that a 'specific issue' is preventing players from accessing the complete game. Because of this, they have to delay that version's launch while suspending pre-orders and any future sales for it."We are investigating and will provide an update once we have more information," they add. "We appreciate your understanding."
There's no other word on what the issue could be. However, they don't seem to be related to the server issues Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers had a few days ago when they got early access on September 6. There were some matchmaking problems and missing content, but that was because of overloaded servers. A common issue for big games when they first launch.
FYI.— TC Community (@Community_Gears) September 6, 2019
We are already seeing server stability improvements and the team are all over getting it to 100%. Thanks for your patience, huge influx of players coming in! https://t.co/xeqt110Tlg
One suggestion for the delay of Gears 5 China is censorship. China is known for requiring changes to games so as not to conflict with the country's values and sensitivities. Given those include blood and corpses, and Gears of War is known as a series for having plenty of both, as does Gears 5, that may be the issue. It's also known for censoring Winnie the Pooh, so make of that what you will. Another possibility may have to do with Steam's precarious position in the Chinese market. Steam isn't sanctioned by China, yet it's still available in the country and widely used. Valve is currently working with Chinese developer and publisher Perfect World to make a version of Steam that is government-approved and will operate "almost entirely independent of Steam." However, Valve will still keep the global version available even when Steam China launches.
Gears 5 will officially launch worldwide for PC and Xbox One September 10. We've reached out to Microsoft, and will provide more information on the delay of Gears 5 China when we have it.