Valve Allegedly Cracking Down On Sexual Content, Nudity In Video Games Hosted By Steam

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The king of the digital distribution castle, Valve’s Steam platform, has taken a decidedly puritanical turn this past week as Kotaku reports several game studios coming forward with written warnings and threats of delisting in hand.

Delisting a game from Steam can very obviously be disastrous for many developers, great and small. Lupiesoft, creators of the sexy-yet-charming Mutiny!!, claim that 80 percent of their revenue is garnered from sales on the Steam platform and that the threat of censorship and removal from the store for their content could be disastrous for them and their upcoming project due in late 2018. Lupiesoft says that Steam has decided to pull their title at some in time within the next two weeks due to “reports of pornographic content” despite the game having passed all QA tests when first placed in the store, and the game itself not violating the Steam submission standards on the matter.

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Fan-favorite HunieSoft, of HuniePop fame, a racy match-three style game with anime and manga aesthetics, was also served with a similar letter.

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Though Steam has not released an official statement on the matter, Gadgets360 alleges that a forum post made by an employee indicates that a new content policy is coming, and with it, an increased scrutiny of sexuality and sex in the video games they allow to be hosted on the Steam platform.

This is not the first time that Valve has been accused of artistic and commercial censorship. A group of gamers calling themselves The Cut Content Police were profiled by Patricia Hernandez of Kotaku over two years ago, speaking out about the massive number of alterations and demands made by Steam of developers looking to port or publish their original content on Valve’s service. Distinguishing themselves from game curators, the group is still very much active and attentive to instances in which games brought over from Japan or from the indie game scene have been forced to cut or constrain their content.

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It is unclear what the final decision will be with regards to Steam’s policy on sexually-charged video games. There is a note of hypocrisy, however, in condemning a swath of visual novels and anime games to heavy-handed censorship or outright removal while AAA bestsellers like The Witcher 3, Dragon Age: Origins, and others contain just as much nudity – and much more graphic violence – remain in promoted positions on the Steam store with millions of purchases that Valve profited, and continues to profit, from.