A lot of people have been leery about the Epic Games Store because they believe that the Chinese State party has its tentacles in it via proxy of Tencent having a large stake in Epic Games. Well, those fears probably won’t be subsiding anytime soon now that the news has surfaced that the Epic Games Store is now available in mainland China.
PCGamesN is reporting that the digital storefront’s availability in the People’s Republic was a silent affair. No trumpets, horns, or parades through the social media streets.
PCGamesN originally picked the news up from the Chinese website Techweb. It was also reported that payment methods are currently limited at the moment, but you can still purchase nearly all the games from the Epic Games Store library using WeChat or AliPay…
“Customers aren’t able to use Chinese credit cards on the store, but two local payment methods, WeChat and AliPay are both being accepted on nearly all games available on the platform. China appears to be a low-cost region, and the prices of games like Borderlands 3 and Metro Exodus are both substantially lower than in North America.”
PCGamesN notes that the silence over the launch of the Epic Games Store in China was surprising to them, but in reality it’s not.
Epic has been inundated with a deluge of criticisms about their ties to the Chinese State party through its affiliation with Tencent. The connection between Tencent and the Chinese government has been an ongoing issue for a lot of gamers, especially since Tencent uses the social credit system-styl AI face recognition technology to set curfews for gamers under a certain age.
Originally gamers levied accusations at Epic for gathering data for the purpose of sending it to Tencent. Epic Games founder Tim Sweeney denied that they send data to China.
Gamers have continually stayed on Epic’s case about their ties to China, and rightfully so given that China is one of the prime leaders in censoring entertainment media. Many gamers fear that games being scooped up as exclusives may also end up censoring their content to be compliant with Chinese regulatory standards.
With Epic aggressively scooping up games for exclusivity purposes it definitely shines a different light on the matter knowing that some games may have to start reorienting the way they depict content to be compliant with China’s regulations.
(Thanks for the news tip Daniel Ahmed)