Two of the most popular games on Steam now are from China
Two of the most-played games on Steam right now are from China -- but they’re popular for two very different reasons.
This isn’t just down to the enormous number of Chinese gamers out there, though. Steam may be the world’s most popular PC gaming platform, but it’s not officially available in China. But the platform became hugely popular after the arrival of PUBG, leading to a huge spike in the number of Chinese gamers on Steam.
That population of Chinese gamers on Steam explains the success of The Scroll of Taiwu, given that it’s only available in Chinese. But Tencent’s Ring of Elysium seems to be gaining traction with Western gamers instead.
The winter battle royale puts tourists on a mountain during an apocalyptic blizzard. There’s only one rescue helicopter left, so you you can snowboard or hang-glide your way down the mountain… oh, and you also have to kill all the other tourists to ensure you get a seat on the chopper.
Chinese gamers love battle royale, but this was clearly targeted at the West -- judging by the fact that Tencent released the game on Steam, instead of its own rival platform, WeGame
And it appears to be working, judging by the clips flooding Twitch from gamers in the US playing Ring of Elysium. Other Chinese games have become popular among Western gamers before, like Arena of Valor, but this still stands out as a rare success story.
As for The Scroll of Taiwu, while “Chinese game does well with Chinese gamers” may not sound all that surprising, the scale of the indie game’s success is still notable.
The Scroll of Taiwu straddles the roguelike, RPG and strategy genres, and is themed on wuxia -- a genre of Chinese martial arts stories.
It was so popular that, at one point, it reached second on Steam’s global best-sellers list -- surpassing huge AAA titles such as Shadow of the Tomb Raider and Grand Theft Auto V. Its astounding chart performance even prompted some Western gamers to petition for an English localization of the game.