Developers Look past Steam Following Sexual Content Crackdown

Visual Novel Developers Are Losing Trust In Steam

After Valve threatened the takedown of many of Steam’s popular erotic games before quickly apologizing and rolling back on the threat, many developers are looking for other more reliable avenues to host their games.

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Taosym, a visual novel artist and director from developer Lupiesoft, claims that the company has yet to hear anything else from Valve following the initial notice. And neither has publisher MangaGamer, who is behind the adult visual novel game Kindred Spirits

“We have yet to receive any further notice or information from Valve since the initial one we reported on in our press release and a follow-up email telling us to disregard it after the news was first covered in the press,”said John Pickett, the PR director for MangaGamer. “According to the disregard notice the product is still under review and may potentially still face removal.”

“Considering we had Kindred Spirits thoroughly reviewed by our Valve representative prior to even trying to get the title hosted on Steam, we expect it to pass and remain on the storefront without edits or censorship,” he continued. “Anything less would mean a true backtrack on previous standards and policies.”

But despite rescinded takedown plans, the companies behind erotic visual novels are still looking to companies outside of Steam—such as digital distribution platform GOG—as the service is obviously not as reliable as they thought.

“We’ve received a lot of positive press and response from fans who are equally upset to see Kindred Spirits and other titles threatened this way, but this certainly makes it hard to trust that Steam will hold to the results of its reviews and serve as a reliable storefront for our titles,” Pickett said.

“This incident has given us more reasons to be grateful to GOG and excited for the opportunities to retail our titles there as well,” he continued. “Luckily for us we also sell our products in their completely uncensored and uncut form on our own storefront——so we’ll continue doing so there without any changes, but going forward we’re going to have to reconsider what degree of content has to be cut in order to retail on Steam. That includes making the decision to withhold certain titles from Steam that we would have sold there otherwise under the old policies and content guidelines.”