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Steam suddenly banned in Vietnam

Valve's platform has been inaccessible in Vietnam for a few days now, but it's anyone's guess as to why, or if it'll return.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

May 9, 2024

1 Min Read
Logo for Valve's Steam marketplace.
Image via Valve.

Days ago, Steam was banned entirely in Vietnam, and it's unclear as to why.

Vietnamese players took to Steam forums, saying all of the country's internet providers blocked access to both Valve's app and browser. One commenter said they spoke to someone who claimed the order came "from above."

At time of writing, neither Valve or anyone from Vietnam's government have spoken on the matter.

Per a translated story from VietnamNet, the ban may be connected to domestic publishers. A representative for one domestic publisher claimed Steam can put out games in the country without having to seek permission from the local government like Vietnamese developers have to.

According to them, Valve's alleged ability to break the rules is "an injustice to domestic publishers. Authorities [have] to take management measures with this cross-border platform, otherwise, domestic game publishers will die."

All games change depending on the country they release in

Vietnam isn't the only country that requires games to change violent or sexual imagery to be sold. But here, it appears things have escalated to the point where a publisher was claimed to be breaking government rules and hurting the country's local game development scene.

At time of writing, it's unclear how much of a hand those domestic publishers had in Steam's ban. It's also unknown what could be done to reverse the ban.

It was noted there's no contact point for Valve in Vietnam. For the time being, authorities are reportedly looking into different solutions.

Game Developer has reached out to Valve for comment, and will update when a response is given.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

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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