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Game websites including Steam and Epic Games blocked in Indonesia
Until websites like Steam, Battle.net, and PayPal comply with rules imposed by the the Indonesian government they will remain inaccessible.
August 1, 2022
2 Min Read
Video game websites including Steam and Epic Games and other online services have been blocked in Indonesia.
According to a report from Reuters, those sites along with others such as PayPal and Yahoo have been restricted by the Indonesian government for failing to comply with licensing rules.
Online games and storefronts have to comply with the rules of a country's government in order to operate in those regions. For instance, last week it was reported that Roblox developer Roblox Corp. was made to comply with China's very restrictive rules surrounding how its government and historical figures could be portrayed before the game could be sold in the country.
With a young population that loves social media and an estimated internet userbase of 191 million, Indonesia -- like China -- is also considered an important market for tech platforms.
Indonesian regulations require websites to register with its government, granting officials the power to compel platforms to hand over certain user data and remove any content they deems to be unlawful within a 24-hour period. Multiple tech companies rushed to complete the registration by the deadline on Friday.
According to senior Communication Ministry member, Semuel Abrijani Pangerapan, the list of blocked websites also includes Origin from Electronic Arts, Blizzard's Battle.net, and the specific Valve games Dota 2 and Counter-Strike.
In addition to being blocked in Indonesia, those companies affected also received a formal warning and must pay a monetary fine before re-registering. The Communications Ministry is already said to have reached out to the sites affected, according to industry analyst Daniel Ahmad.
Of the websites blocked, it's PayPal that's currently causing the most controversy on social media, as freelancers use the platform to get payment from their international clients. For now, Indonesian freelancers have to wait for the government to potentially unblock PayPal long enough for them to pull their funds from the platform, according to Pangerapan.
Quick update for those asking-— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) July 30, 2022
The blocks are not permanent, assuming the companies register and comply with the regulation, and Kominfo has already reached out to these companies to ensure compliance and reverse the block.
Here is a list of affected services: pic.twitter.com/6K121xVEMP
Pangerapan also reminded citizens that the websites affected will lose their restrictions once they comply with Indonesia's registration rules.
About the Author(s)
Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com
A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.
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