Back in July, Valve grabbed headlines after it asked developer Eek Games to take down its game House Party from its PC digital marketplace Steam. The request required Eek Games to censor certain parts of its game, before it could return to the store. It complied. But the whole fiasco — like the game — was quite controversial.
Fast-forward and now Valve has once again asked a developer to censor sexual content from its game if it wants to remain on the storefront. The target this time is Strangers in a Strange Land, an “erotic thriller” according to developer SOMG.
As you may know if you follow the erotic thriller genre closely, the game initially released at the end of July (July 28th), but then was removed for sale by Valve, who requested SOMG to censor its sexual content.
The game was recently and finally reinstated to the store on August 28th. And as Kotaku UK notes, the new version of its sex scenes features a rather in-your-face censoring job.
For those that don’t know: Strangers in a Strange Land is a 1990’s-2000’s point-and-click adventure game that stars Billy, an 18 year old college student who finds himself on a family vacation with his step-family and his brother and his fiancée on a farm that was recently acquired by the step-dad.
But of course things are strange from the moment Billy and co. arrive on the farm. There’s some dark magic, and some sex afoot. That’s basically it. The game features not only puzzles that require poor ol’ Billy to figure out what is going on, but adult scenes with or without Billy.
And it is because of these animated adult scenes that Valve brought out the censor hammer. And to be fair Valve, officially Steam doesn’t permit graphic nudity of any type or anything that may be considered pornographic on its storefront. The controversy within this controversy preventing rule, is that many games who blur the line between pornographic scenes and almost pornographic, but not quite pornographic scenes, are never taken down. In fact, often it is only the more popular games (whose popularity is largely derived from said sexual scenes) that are subject to such a censoring process, which I suppose is the price you pay for making popular erotic thrillers in this day and age.
Anyway, the game is back up. But now when players encounter sex scenes in the new version of the game, they will see a big red sticker with the word “Censored” covering the screen. Further, each time you boot it up you’re now warned about its “nudity and sexual actions.”
As with House Party, the developers of Strangers in a Strange Land have made it easy to play the game in its original form via downloading patch that removes the censoring work.
Strangers in a Strange Land is available for a humble $4.99 USD.