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Thursday, December 7, 2023

A week-long showcase of Chinese games is headed to Steam this month

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A week-long showcase of PC games created by Chinese developers is headed to Steam later this month. Called Enter the Dragon, the online event will feature more than 90 games from studios in China and Taiwan, including both indie releases and “the latest blockbusters.”

Enter the Dragon was created primarily as a response to restrictions on international travel caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has made it more difficult for Chinese developers to introduce their games to global audiences.

“A number of studios in Mainland China and Taiwan rely on getting their games in front of the global gaming community at events to build their fanbase, gain exposure and gather feedback early on,” said Jeff Huang, head of publishing at Enter the Dragon organizer Pixmain. “Even after two years, there are still restrictions on travel and very few event opportunities. We’re hoping Enter the Dragon will fill a need by offering developers and publishers a chance to take their products to the virtual stage and gain visibility globally.”

Some of the games that will feature in Enter the Dragon, like the languid 2019 sandbox sim My Time At Portia, have been around for awhile, while other projects are upcoming—for instance, the sequel to that game, My Time At Sandrock. Other games appearing in the event that caught my eye include the lush city-builder Ballads of Hongye, the physics-based tactics game Extremely Realistic Siege Warfare Simulator, the “musician simulation” Concerto on White, and Detained: Too Good for School, a game about “a school girl who doesn’t obey the rules” that I think deserves attention based solely on this slice of the description:

Explore the open world, pick a fight with street mobs, work part-time in a club and then spend all your money in a jiffy, and enjoy a hot date. Your choices will eventually shape the future of the city.

It’s the last bit that really sells it for me—what the hell kind of city is this?

Enter the Dragon will include an opening night show, publisher spotlights with “virtual stage spots,” and appearances from Twitch streamers from around the world. Developers and publishers such as bilibili, Lightning Games, Yooreka Studio, Thermite Games, indienova, and “many more indie newcomers” will take part, and naturally there will be sales and bundles on all of the games featured in the event that have already been released. It’s set to begin at 10 am Pacific on April 22 and runs until April 29, and will be livestreamed on Twitch and a dedicated Steam event page. 

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