Valve has begun to put a content ban on some of the more risque visual novels and games that have been popping up on Steam. Valve has been enforcing their policies by taking down the games that are in direct conflict with their content policies. Of course, the games would be allowed to be re-posted on Steam is the risque content were censored. As expected, these practices have begun to send shockwaves through the otaku community.
JAST USA put out a Tweet earlier today noting their disappointment with the company’s decision:
We’re disappointed about Steam’s new enforcement of their content policy, hurting good developers. VNs should be accessible to everyone, so we’re making an open invitation to any VN developers who’d like to join our DRM-free store to release their titles. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
FAKKU, another site that plays host to a myriad of eroge and adult entertainment games have also offered refuge for the titles:
Today many game developers were told to censor their games (by removing mature content) or they will be forced off of Steam. That’s exactly why we launched FAKKU Games earlier this year. Please help spread the word that FAKKU accepts ALL GAMES.
A list of games that are being targeted has also made their way around the internet. The list (so far and it could have grown by the time of this posting) includes:
- Tropical Liquor
- Re;Lord 1
- Kindred Spirits on the Roof
- Battle Girls, Galaxy Girls
These titles show that it’s not just visual novels that are being affected. HuniePop, for example, is a game that mixes dating sim elements with a match 3 puzzle game. Part of the dating sim elements includes graphic scenes depicting nudity.
Lupiesoft, the publisher of Mutiny!!, went to Valve headquarters in person. They had this to say about their encounter with them:
We’ve just received some troubling news today that @steam_games has decided to pull down our titled “Mutiny!!” within 2 weeks for ‘reports of pornographic content’. Now those of you who know @Lupiesoft know that we don’t put that on Steam, or advertise that content on Steam.
In fact @Lupiesoft has been one of the strictest developers in terms of following Steam’s guidelines, and absolutely nothing in Mutiny!! violates their guidelines. After our Steam publisher @MangaGamer met with Valve in person, they were told that ecchi content was fine on steam.
It appears that Valve is targeting games based on complaints that are being registered with their service. Valve has not stated where the complaints are originating from, though. Regardless, this seems to be a growing issue but it’s nice to see many other companies step up and accept these games, especially if developers/publishers refuse to censor their own intellectual properties.