Gears 5 Launch In China Has Been ‘Suspended’ On Steam
Gears 5 will soon launch…almost worldwide, but an unspecified issue has caused a delay in its Chinese release.
“There is a specific issue with the Gears 5 release in China preventing people from accessing the complete game. This is according to ‘TC Octus’, Senior Community Manager at The Coalition, who posted a message on the Steam forums titled “Important notice for Chinese players”. The developer says that there is “a specific issue” that is preventing Gears 5 players in China from “accessing the complete game”.
Steam isn’t technically “officially” available in China, as it’s currently blocked by the Chinese government. However, the storefront has found a market in the country from users bypassing government filters via VPNs. An official version of Steam is currently in development through a partnership with Valve and Perfect World, and Valve has said it intends to keep the global version available in China even after the government-approved version launches.
There’s no indication as to what the issue might be, but it appears to be unrelated to server issues that some players were experiencing yesterday, when the game went live for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers. TC Octus told Twitter followers numerous times that issues with matchmaking and missing content are the result of overloaded servers, which developers are getting straightened out.
We are already seeing server stability improvements and the team are all over getting it to 100%. Thanks for your patience, huge influx of players coming in! https://t.co/xeqt110Tlg
— TC Octus (@OctusTC) September 6, 2019
But the Steam version isn’t live yet, and recent comments on the delay pretty strongly suggest that nothing more has been said about it since the initial announcement.
Releasing games in China can be a dicey proposition. Censorship is an issue, but so is uncertainty: Steam is unsanctioned by Chinese authorities but remains available and widely used, even though nobody seem to know exactly why. Potentially throwing things into even further disarray, Valve is working with Perfect World to launch Steam China, which will be officially approved and operate “almost entirely independent of Steam” elsewhere in the world.
As can be expected, there are a lot of very unhappy players flooding the Steam forums and social media at this point – with a lot of extreme speculation going on as to what the “specific issue” that got Gears 5 pulled from sale actually is. While it’s possible that Microsoft has ran afoul of the Chinese government’s censorship bureau, right now there’s no confirmation of anything so Chinese Gears of War fans will simply have to wait.