Malaysia blocks Steam for a day
Malaysia blocked Steam on September 8th for 24 hours over a controversial game that was published to the store. Fight of Gods, published by PQube games, features religious figures such as Jesus and Buddha fighting each other. Malaysian officials said the game would disrupt religious harmony in the country and demanded the game be taken down. The Steam store was restored shortly after the game was taken down. Malaysia is an Islamic country that has taken issue with certain video games such as GTAV in the past. Niko Partners believes that all developers and publishers must take time to research cultural norms and customs in each country their games are distributed.
Esports’ glass ceiling
By the end of this year there will be more than 200 million esports fans in China, as published in Niko Partners’ recent report on China’s esports market. The overwhelming majority of professional esports players are male but this is beginning to change. New female esports teams are popping up across China and they are now looking to participate in tournaments and earn the same as men. While women in esports (after much initial resistance) are becoming more accepted in China, there will be a struggle for equality for awhile to be sure.
New regulations issued for chat apps in China
The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) has issued new regulations regarding instant messaging apps such as WeChat, QQ and even Momo. The new regulations state that chat application owners must verify the identity of users using the application and store logs of group chats for six months. In addition, group chat owners must take full responsibility for the actions of all group members in the chat. These new regulations aim to tighten controls over private messaging apps in a similar way to public internet platforms. Incidentally, these are the same policies as already are in place for the chat functions within digital games – so the rules aren’t “new” per se.
Perfect World to host official Dota 2 Minor with PGL
Perfect World, the publisher of DOTA 2 in China, has announced that it will host an official DOTA 2 minor this year alongside fellow organizer PGL. Ten teams will compete in the Perfect World Masters for a total of $300,000 in prize money and official qualification points for the DOTA 2 International next year. Qualifiers for the tournament begin at the end of this month. China is home to millions of DOTA 2 fans.
Digital Domain plans to open VR theaters In China
Digital Domain, the company behind VR experiences such as The Monkey king VR and Micro Giants VR has announced that it plans to open a VR theater subsidiary in China. The company plans to provide VR experiences to cinema goers that can’t be attained at home. The VR theaters will be installed outside and inside cinemas to provide a VR experience for guests as they wait for the main feature to begin. The company has not yet announced when it will begin rolling this out.