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They are digital storefronts like Steam, Epic Games Store, Origin and others currently banned in Indonesia. The Indonesian government has requested that digital companies that are not registered with the government not be whitelisted.
Apparently, many companies are not registered with the government.
The Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies of the Republic of Indonesia (Kominfo) proposed the regulation against private electronic system providers in late July. According to game industry analytics company Niko Partners Kominfo has four main goals with regulation.
- Establishing a system of all PSEs operating in Indonesia
- Maintaining Indonesia’s digital space
- Protecting public access on digital platforms
- Establishing a fair system between domestic and foreign PSEs, including in terms of tax collection
There are a couple of things in there that are head-scratching. It makes sense if Indonesia is trying to figure out who is selling what.
If a company sells something over the Internet and makes enough money to be worth registering in Indonesia, then that company will probably be listed in Indonesia. What if the company decides Indonesia isn’t worth the trouble and doesn’t register?
This is indeed a list of all PSEs operating in Indonesia. There is a slight difference, but it seems important.
Why is it important? What can it be?
If Valve as a hypothesis, any Indonesian Steam user suddenly can’t access their purchased games when they decide not to register. This seems to contradict Cominfo’s third objective of protecting public access on digital platforms. As a result, the public already had access. This arrangement can remove that entry on any PSE that doesn’t bother to register.
Similarly, Indonesians who use many services online for business, such as broadcasters, have to keep their fingers crossed that each one is registered. YouTube is registered, but watch it quickly list of foreign companies It doesn’t show that Twitch is registered.
Even if Twitch is there, what will a streamer stream until all the various digital outlets are whitelisted?
But ignore the speculation for a second. The first thing that came to my mind was the old debate: physical vs. digital. I currently have a library of several hundred titles on Steam. I have dozens installed.
If I lived in Indonesia, I would still technically have them, but I wouldn’t be able to access and play them. Only games I own digitally. Usually the fear is that the digital storefront itself disappears from the Internet.
Now there is a new concern: if a country decides to ban the store.
This is not an immediate problem. Eventually, all the big, important companies will sign up and transfer some money to Indonesia for the privilege. Many of them are already in the process of doing so.
It’s an unsettling glimpse of what might happen one day.
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