Indian Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have started imposing restrictions on Valve’s Steam platform in response to government directives. Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), a major public sector undertaking, has led the way by blocking the entirety of the platform’s services in multiple states.
Alliance Broadband from West Bengal commenced restrictions on June 17, citing a government request to impose a block on various websites, including Steam. Presently, Alliance Broadband is allowing users access to all of Steam’s services, barring the community market pages. In an official statement to its customers, Alliance Broadband mentioned they were currently verifying the specifics of the directive.
In Maharashtra, both Tata Fiber and Channel 3 Cable Internet have followed suit, imposing a complete blockade of Steam services. Gujarat-based GTPL has also joined the list of ISPs restricting access to the popular gaming platform.
On June 12, Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar revealed that the Indian government was in the process of developing a regulatory framework for online gaming. The government’s plan involves prohibiting three types of games: those involving betting, those potentially harmful to players, and those that could have addictive qualities.
These measures by ISPs, coupled with the government’s impending regulation of online gaming, raise pressing questions about digital freedoms and the future of the gaming industry in India. This development is being closely watched by stakeholders and could have far-reaching implications for gamers and game developers alike.
Source: IGN India (Moulik Mathur)