There is no shortage of critiques for Valve’s online PC video game store, Steam. That’s to be expected, honestly, offered how huge the platform is. Still, on the ground with individual players, among the most common grievances you hear will be that the large volume of video games on Steam is somewhat immobilizing for customers choosing where to invest their money. Steam tried to combat this for many years with its Steam Curators program, where players put their trust in managers to pare down game search engine result. It never actually worked, however, as the program came across the very same problem as the game: the sheer volume of curators.

And so nothing really got solved. Other than for in China, it seems, where Steam just recently released with a grand total of 53 entire video games available to buyers.

Steam is now available in China, and if you believed that would provide Chinese gamers instantaneous access to the strange, fantastic and often deeply offending depths of the service’s catalogue, well lol, no, obviously it doesn’t.

At time of publishing this custom, localised variation of Valve’s shopfront just has 53 games available, with the primary ones being Counter-Strike and DOTA 2. That’s it. If you visit the store and click on “all video games” you can see whatever in a single screenshot.

You currently know why this is taking place. In order to be available in China, video games have to go through an approval procedure with the Chinese government. Given the insanely rigorous guidelines for approval, few publishers even attempt to get approval. That, plus the associated apathy for going into the marketplace, gets you 53 games on Chinese Steam.

In addition, the online forums on Steam are obstructed too, seemingly to keep any speech Beijing would disapprove of from appearing on the site. Oddly, user reviews are offered, nevertheless.

Truthfully, it’s adequate to make you wonder why this release deserved it for Steam at all. Put another way, if acquiring approval from the Chinese government to launch a video game is so challenging and/or difficult to keep most game publishers away, why would a game store be any various?