Valve And Perfect World Are Bringing Steam To China

Steam Bluish Gray

Steam Bluish Gray

Valve has announced a new partnership with Chinese video game developer, Perfect World, to release a new version of Steam in China, called Steam China.

The chat platform lets you compile a friends list (with features like favorites and group chats) and shows what game everyone is playing. New features include a modernized chat experience, a more flexible friend list, group chats built for gaming, and more.

Finally, Valve said it also made some "improvements" to Steam's voice chat. You can also save your group chats with a name and avatar, making it easier to come back to them later to pick up the conversation or to play games with those same friends.

"Every chat on Steam is now multimedia friendly", Steam's page states, meaning you'll be able to share GIFs, videos from YouTube, audio from SoundCloud and more within the chat itself.

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China is now the world's biggest video games market, valued at more than $25 billion in 2016, according to a report from IHS Markit. That isn't a bad thing-Discord has become popular with many gamers because it's one of the best communications platforms out there-but it's hard not to think Valve took a little too much inspiration here.

Also, groups can now have their own text and voice channels, à la discord, even letting users generate invite links that other users can just click to join. As a result, voice chat uses high quality Opus encoding, voice traffic is encrypted, and all traffic is sent through Steam servers rather than directly to peers.

Steam Chat is now available to test out during its public beta.

The new Steam Chat is available now via the Steam client and web browsers.

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