The last few years have been a time of significant upheaval at Steam as Chinese gamers have arrived en masse. Now the pendulum has officially swung and Simplified Chinese is now the largest language demographic to be found on Steam, beating out English.
Approximately 37.87% of Steam users now speak Simplified Chinese according to the latest data from the Steam Hardware Survey in December 2019. English has slipped down to second place with 30.43%, a proportional dip of 6.4% in December alone.
Valve announced back in August that it would be launching a dedicated Steam China client for Chinese PC gamers, in partnership with Perfect World. Known as ‘Zhengqi Pingtai’ in China, it doesn’t look as if the separate gaming client is actually available just yet.
As it currently stands, the largest single segment of Valve’s market is gamers in China, at least according to the latest Steam Hardware Survey. There is the possibility that Valve’s data is well off, yet with a population of 1.4 billion and a heavy slant toward PC gaming over consoles, it would come as little surprise to see China dominate the Steam statistics.
The last we heard, Steam had 90 million monthly active users, meaning there could be roughly 34 million Chinese users on the service. We’re actually beginning to see the effect of this with more Chinese-language games, usually developed in China, rising up the trending charts. Valve will trying to serve the relevant content depending on where you are, of course, and the circumstances surrounding this and tight regulation from the Chinese government is probably what led to the creation of Steam China.