It’s not uncommon for governments to ban games or even block services. For example, India banned Player’s Unknown Battlegrounds in 2020 and later banned Battlegrounds Mobile India in 2022. However, it may be a severe concern for innocent gamers looking to indulge in their favorite games.
Recently, gamers across Indonesia have been devastated to discover that their government has officially blocked access to several online platforms. On 29th July 2022, Indonesia’s government blocked search engine Yahoo and gaming platforms, Steam, Epic Games, and Battlenet, as well as payments firm PayPal over licensing issues. In particular, the ban was due to a failure to register the companies according to the licensing law under Indonesian government jurisdiction.
Indonesia Blocks Steam, Epic Games, And Battlenet
Indonesian government ordered online platforms and services to comply by registering their companies according to the licensing rule so the country can have more control over what they filter out to the public.
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Registration from companies like Steam or Paypal is required for them to continue providing their platform and services to users in Indonesia. The licensing law ruled in November 2020 has taken full effect and will give authorities the power to compel platforms to disclose data of specific users and take down unlawful content.
At the time of writing, gaming platforms, Steam, Epic Games, Origin, and Battlenet have been blocked by Indonesia. Other online platforms and services include Paypal, Yahoo, Opera, LinkedIn, and many more. While the ban affects multiple gaming titles, most notable are Dota 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Fortnite.
Companies that failed to register with Kominfo are now being blocked in Indonesia.— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) July 29, 2022
This includes services such as Steam, Epic Games, Paypal etc...
Will update when there is a greater clarity from these platforms or the govt on next steps https://t.co/vtxWjDCC57
Don’t fret, though. As long as the online platforms and services register their companies according to Indonesia’s licensing rule, they’ll be able to continue functioning, in which case Indonesians can resume accessing these services. Google, Instagram, Facebook, Whatsapp, and Amazon have complied with Indonesian authorities and are open for use.
There’s no doubt that gamers across Indonesia must be devastated and assumably bored out of their minds knowing four of the largest gaming platforms with thousands of games, including Apex Legends, Warframe, Dota 2, Fortnite, and more, are now blocked.
On the contrary, the licensing law is understandable too. Knowing how rapidly the digital era is evolving with platforms and services stealing private information and essentially spying on users, protecting the public is necessary.
The law will give authorities more power over what online entities feed the citizens of Indonesia. It's a rough road bump for Indonesian gamers, but it’s a necessary precaution and motion to maintain lawful order.
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Featured image courtesy of Steam.