Steam lacks Japan dev support to make the digital distribution service successful in the country, says Marvelous AQL’s Esteban Salazar.
Speaking to Gamasutra, the producer said that the digital platform could help the Japan games industry compete with Western developers, but that Valve did not offer language or dev support for the country to make it viable enough.
He highlighted that small developers were unlikely to able to take advantage of Steam as employees may not be able to speak English, making submitting proposals, translation and dealing with the community a huge barrier for many studios.
"My personal opinion is that Steam is one of the ways that Japan can still compete, as far as putting their games in front of users, and not having to spend huge mega-budgets,” said Salazar.
“It can help them compete with Western publishers."
He added: “There are a couple things that are barriers. One, Japanese developers are like, ‘PC? We don’t really know anything about that market if it’s not browser.’
"The second is the language barrier. Steam doesn’t really have any support in Japanese. So you kind of need someone who’s bilingual to run things, and act as an intermediary.
"That’s another thing I do. Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo have Japanese branches, and have plenty of Japanese speakers, and full Japanese support. But Steam really doesn’t. If you’re a smaller company, you might not even have someone who can speak English that well. So how are you going to contact Valve?"