Steam is a disastrous bed of global drama that only grows more powerful over time. The latest chapter in the story is about China, an international market steadily growing in power and influence in the realm of entertainment media. While Hollywood has been working to make big, blockbuster movies more appealing to Chinese audiences for a while now, the video game industry is quickly discovering how much that corner of the globe is matters. This is coming in the form of localization demands.
Games are released in China all the time, often in “Asian” releases that don’t necessarily have a full suite of localization languages that would be necessary for any person in Asia to pick up and play the game no problem. Pricing can also be an issue, as demonstrated by the current example of Steam User Review Drama.
NieR: Automata , Square Enix’s surprise success action-RPG, was recently released on Steam for the Asian marketplace. For some reason, the game was not localized with Chinese language, and it was also doubled in price for Chinese customers. It’s unclear why this happened, but the consumers responded in the most direct manner possible – review bombing.
As reported by PC Gamer in a larger piece about Steam reviews, NieR: Automata ’s Steam page was hit with over a thousand negative reviews over the course of a single day. This was enough to change NieR: Automata ’s listing on Steam from “positive” to “mixed,” a metric that changes based on average User Review scores.
This isn’t the first time Chinese Steam users have dogpiled on a game to force a company to localize, and these efforts have been successful in the past. Sega’s Football Manager 2017 rushed out a Chinese localization after a launch without Chinese being included in over 16 languages at launch, with additional support for community translations through Steam Workshop being seen as more of an insult than a helpful motion. An official translation from Sega was released in April.
Source: PC Gamer