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The Epic Games Store has quietly and suddenly opened up to Chinese users. According to a Techweb story spotted and translated by PCGamesN, the platform started allowing players in China to purchase and play games this week.
The move marks a significant expansion for Epic’s PC game store, even if it was a step not heavily publicized by the company. China saw $15.21 billion in revenue for just domestic online PC games in 2018, making it a massive market for those that can get approved to launch games in the country.
Even Steam, a platform that has yet to see an official government-sanctioned release in China, currently has nearly a quarter of its users using Simplified Chinese as their language.
As it is now, the Chinese version of the Epic Games Store bars users from using Chinese credit cards, but does accept WeChat and AliPay as payment methods for most games. When reached for comment by PCGamesN, Epic didn’t elaborate on the decision to quietly bring its platform to China, saying simply that “we look at Epic Games Store as a global service and want to make it available to players in every region we can.”
China is notably strict about the games and platforms it allows to launch in the country, and the rules dictating what content games cannot include have only gotten stricter since approvals reopened this year. Even Tencent has had issues with the process. The company shut down its game PUBG Mobile in China this month and instead opted to launch a similar title called Game for Peace that removes some of the violent themes found in PUBG Mobile.