Steam Partly Backtracks on Crackdown on Games with Adult Content, Retracts Deadline for Censorship

After a couple of rather tense days for independent visual novel developers, it appears that Steam is taking a softer approach to the issue.

May 19, 2018

Yesterday reports surfaced about several warnings sent by Valve to multiple developers of games (mostly visual novels featuring anime-like art styles) including mild adult content on the Steam digital download platform.

The developers involved faced demands to further censor the mild adult content featured in their games, or see them removed from the storefront altogether.

Just a few moments ago, many of the developers that have reported the warnings took to Twitter to reveal that Valve has reached out advising them to disregard the previous communication.

The folks behind Steam are currently reviewing the affected games for content and will provide more specific feedback at a later date. In the meanwhile, the deadline before which the development teams were demanded to further censor their titles has been retracted.


Below you can read comments from HuniePop developer HuniePot, Galaxy Girls and Battle Girls developer Dharker Studios, Mutiny!! developer Lupiesoft, Tropical Liquor developer Neko Works, Kindred Spirits on the Roof publisher MangaGamer, and Re;Lord publisher Sekai Project.

That being said, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the issue is fully solved just yet, as we don’t know what results Valve’s review process will yield.

Hopefully, Valve’s review will result in the recognition that the content included in the games is perfectly acceptable since it was already censored to be released on Steam to begin with, and no imagery involved can realistically be likened to “pornography” contrary to what the warning emails lamented.

Incidentally, some of the developers affected mentioned that they will still expand to other storefronts to diversify their reach.

The issue gained large visibility on social and gaming media over the past two days, and a petition against Steam’s actions passed 10,000 signatures in a single day. Whether or not the widespread reaction had any effect on this development remains unknown.

Giuseppe Nelva

Hailing from sunny (not as much as people think) Italy and long standing gamer since the age of Mattel Intellivision and Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Definitely a multi-platform gamer, he still holds the old dear PC nearest to his heart, while not disregarding any console on the market. RPGs (of any nationality) and MMORPGs are his daily bread, but he enjoys almost every other genre, prominently racing simulators, action and sandbox games. He is also one of the few surviving fans of the flight simulator genre on Earth.

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