Steam service returns to Indonesia, Epic Games Store still blocked

The Heavy turns from a PC and gives a thumbs-up
(Image credit: Valve Software)

After being blocked for failing to register with the appropriate authorities, Steam is now back online in Indonesia. Niko Partners analyst Daniel Ahmad reported Steam's return on Twitter, but said that the Epic Games Store and Origin are still blocked, and there's no sign of when they'll return.

Authorities in Indonesia granted themselves the power to force platforms to disclose user data or take down content that "disturbs public order," and gave companies until July 20 of this year to sign on to the new regulations through the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, also known as Kominfo. Some did, but many others, including Valve, Epic, Origin, PayPal, Yahoo, and Ubisoft, did not. Thus, they were blocked.

See more

Anyone's hope that the loss of Steam might have resulted from a principled stand against over-regulation went out the window when Ahmad reported that Valve had filled out the necessary paperwork, and access to Steam had been returned. The comeback was confirmed by Engadget, which reported that PayPal and Yahoo are back online as well. A separate Reuters report indicated that Facebook parent company Meta, along with Google, Spotify, Netflix, and TikTok have also signed on to the new regulations.

It's definitely not great when a government decides that it can arbitrarily force the takedown of content it deems unlawful, but the primary backlash in Indonesia appears to have arisen not from the new regulations, but rather the loss of videogame access. In fact, Kominfo actually issued an apology to gamers (Google translated), although it also said that "rules must still be enforced." Steam is back, in other words, but those new rules that online companies have to play by are clearly here to stay too.

I've reached out to Epic Games, Electronic Arts, and Ubisoft to ask about their own efforts to get their services restored in Indonesia, and will update if I receive a reply.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.