Valve Isn’t a Fan of Fan Service
Valve has threatened the developers of many of Steam’s popular erotic games with warnings that the games will be taken down if adult content is not properly censored. Developer HuniePot, who created the extremely popular erotic romance visual novel/puzzle game, claims that their notice said that the game “violates the rules & guidelines for pornographic content on Steam and will be removed from the store unless the game is updated to remove said content.”
Developers of numerous other games, including Mutiny!!, Kindred Spirits on the Roof, Re;Lord 1, and VR Kanojo, received similar warnings from Valve. Mutiny!! developer Lupie soft claims that their warning was issued due to “reports of pornographic content.”
This is not normal, this is not okay. Games are being pulled simply because they look a certain way and there is a stigma behind the look of a game. In the future this could easily extend to anyone who even makes visual novels no matter how ‘sexy’ they might appear to be.
— Lupiesoft (@Lupiesoft) May 18, 2018
We have been informed that adult content in Tropical Liquor must be censored by the end of this month or the game will be removed from Steam. We are working on this issue.https://t.co/Cs3VxVARQy #steam
— NEKO WORKs@OVA配信中！ (@nekopara_pr) May 18, 2018
All of the games in question have a focus on romance and are Japanese or Japanese-inspired, with erotic or suggestive content. But Lupiesoft claims that they have been careful to make sure that their releases adhere to Steam’s guidelines. Some games, like Mutiny!!, even have patches available outside of Steam to add uncensored content that is not advertised on the platform.
MangaGamer, publisher of Kindred Spirits on the Roof, posted the following statement on their blog:
“As you may recall from our own announcements and coverage in several news outlets, we and many others in the industry considered the release of Kindred Spirits unaltered on the platform a positive shift in the treatment of tasteful, mature content on the platform. We stand by our assertion then that content of the game is not pornographic, but an earnest and tasteful exploration of sexuality.”
Valve’s sudden action is strange, as some of the games have been on Steam for years. But they also targeted recent titles like Re;Lord 1, which was released in March.