The Epic Games Store is now open for business in China.
According to local news site Techweb, Chinese users can now access nearly the entire Epic Games Store catalogue. While the Chinese store doesn’t allow credit card purchase, users can access games through local payment providers WeChat and AliPay.
China is also a lower-cost region for the store, with the cost of even tentpole releases like Borderlands 3 dramatically cut from their North American or European counterparts.
Breaking into the lucrative Chinese market is a big move for the fledgeling store and it might seem surprising to see Epic maintain radio silence around the news.
But the current climate in China may mean keeping its head down is the best move for Epic right now. Digital distributors exist in a strange legal space, with Steam becoming a quietly popular alternative platform for gamers and developers during China’s game freeze.
Unlike Steam, Epic already operates in China and has a more intimate knowledge of the situation. The company has already called out “competitors” for operating in a less-than-legal manner in China.
But China must have proved too tempting. Epic has gone ahead and joined Steam in taking a legally-murky step into the country anyway. At least Epic can likely count on the insider knowledge of publisher Tencent, which owns a large minority stake in the company.