Tale of Immortal has been out for barely a week as an Early Access title, and already the open-world sandbox based on Chinese mythology and cultivation has become one of the most popular games on Steam. Concurrent players peaked at 172,000 users this week, resulting in Tale of Immortal being more popular than Grand Theft Auto V or Rust.
With its tile-based 2D world aesthetic and a single language option of Simplified Chinese, Tale of Immortal might seem like an incredibly unlikely game to have debuted as the fifth most popular game on Steam. User reviews are overwhelmingly positive though, as the combination of Chinese mythology, vibrant monster-slaying action, and a low price has resulted in a smash-hit debut.
This can also be chalked up to Steam’s current presence in China, which now has over 30 million players on the platform who regularly flock towards similar games such as Amazing Cultivation Simulator and other Chinese-produced indie games that celebrate the culture of the country. Steam still has plans for a more official launch in China this year, as the platform currently exists as more of a grey market for users on that side of the world.
The launch of an official Chinese platform will allow Steam to sell games that fall in line with Chinese government regulations, though Chinese gamers aren’t happy about the change as the international Steam client has a much broader selection than what would be possible on an officially sanctioned digital distribution platform.
China is notorious for having strict rules regarding video games, as titles that are intended for sale must first apply for a license before they can be published. In 2020, only 97 games even managed to obtain a license in China.
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