Indonesia bans Steam and Epic Games alongside other websites

Quite a number of other platforms and storefronts are blocked as well.
Steam and Epic Games logos with a digital game library showing behind them

The Indonesian Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (Kominfo) banned websites and platforms that failed to register with it, including Steam, Epic Games, Nintendo, Origin, Ubisoft, and many others.

The Indonesian government issued a new regulation just a few days ago with barely any grace period and it now requires formal registration of tech and game companies with Kominfo if they want to operate in the country. The new law applies to both foreign and local companies.

Related: Google Play’s new policy update can hurt hyper-casual games

According to Kominfo’s official website, major names like Google, Tencent and Roblox are already registered and continue to operate normally. However, big gaming storefronts like Steam and Epic, and tech giants like Yahoo, Bing, and many others are yet to apply.

The ban these companies are facing right now is nationwide, and both privately owned and government-owned internet providers enforce it. Getting on Kominfo’s whitelist database requires a fee, which changes depending on the brand’s operation size in the country. Registering with Kominfo also would require these companies to share all the data they have in the Indonesian market/operations.

Changes are to create fairness says Kominfo

Kominfo's "access blocked" pop-up message

Indonesia is known for keeping things strict, —though not as strict as China— and per a report Kominfo shared recently, these changes are happening to create fairness among the game developers operating in Indonesia. According to Niko Partners, Kominfo’s report includes the following:

“By tracking the gaming companies currently active in Indonesia, the government can promote more game jams between local and foreign game companies or fund internship opportunities to major game studios.”

Related: Steam changes image rules for game listings starting this fall

Indonesian gamers can’t access their game libraries at the moment unless they use a VPN service or change their DNS to bypass the ban. Indonesia is a major market for mobile games of all kinds; the country usually ranks in the top 10 when it comes to generating revenue or total downloads.

Indonesia ranked fifth among the ten countries that tweeted the most about video games in the first half of 2022.

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