A Benchmark Of Sorts: Steam's First Fully Uncensored Adult Novel-Game To Be Released In Coming Weeks

from the hands-off dept

So, it’s been nearly three months since Valve announced that it was going with a new policy for the Steam gaming platform that was supposed to basically be hands off, with only “illegal” and “trolling” games being disallowed from the Steam store. As with all things Steam, the end result of what was supposed to be a transparent and simple policy turned into a shitshow, with developers having no idea whether once-banned games would suddenly be allowed, and some developers that were contacting Valve to get their games included were being told that their bans were still in place. There must have been a fair amount of frustration in the developer community, because Steam last week attempted to clear up its vague language in its policy. This attempt to clear things up, of course, cleared up basically nothing.

And, yet, the policy marches on. For all of the frustration on the part of developers, it appears as though we have our very first real tangible result, so let’s all celebrate the first 100% uncensored adult visual novel title making it to Steam in the coming week or so.

Things were looking dicey for a little while, but it seems like Valve is set to start allowing uncensored adult games onto Steam. Well, some of them, anyway—starting with Dharker Studio’s lingerie-centric visual novel, Negligee: Love Stories.

Today Dharker announced that the game—previously stuck in limbo while Valve sorted out tools that’d allow users to filter objectionable content—will be coming to Steam on Friday. The developer says it’ll be its “first ever 100% uncensored game on Steam” and added that there’s “no patch needed.”

Whatever you might think of the adult visual novel genre of games, it must be said that this is progress along the road that Valve laid out. A game that once would have been banned no longer is, while the platform has indeed finally begun to put more filtering tools in place, and has also begun requiring that developers be more explicit about which parts of its game are controversial and in what ways. So, unless you want Steam to babysit your sensibilities, this is progress of a kind.

Still, getting only to this benchmark after three months doesn’t fell all that impressive. Add to that the fact that this is all still a mess for much of the developer community and it’s hard to give Valve glowing marks right now.

I reached out to other developers I’ve spoken to in the past about this issue, and they reported mixed results. Boobs Saga, a “satirical 3D action” game about escaping from a dungeon and probably also boobs, hasn’t been approved yet, but developer Georgiy Kukhtenkov told me in a DM that he was asked to fill out the mature content survey, too.

Things aren’t going so smoothly for James Cox, developer of You Must Be 18 Or Older To Enter, a lo-fi horror game about porn that’s not actually porn itself. His game got booted from Steam last year, and he said in an email that he hasn’t been able to resubmit it yet.

Anyone who has paid attention to how this story has evolved over the past few months knows that what developers and game makers want more than anything is clarity on what Steam will and will not allow. Perhaps we can write off some of the current struggles to growing pains within the policy, but we certainly don’t have clarity just yet.

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Companies: valve

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Comments on “A Benchmark Of Sorts: Steam's First Fully Uncensored Adult Novel-Game To Be Released In Coming Weeks”

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28 Comments
John Smith says:

Techdirt might like to talk about “uncensoring” but the truth is that these pro-piracy a**holes will censor the hell out of honest content creators who support Article 13. But seeing that Article 13 was approved it shows there is still hope for this world.

The repeal of Section 230 is next, and I hope shortly after this site follows it down the toilet.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Anything that would prevent pirates like you from stealing millions is appreciated

Anything? So you willingly support any measure that would do more harm than good, so long as it stops piracy. An interesting notion. Let’s run with that shall we?

Since you’ll never stop piracy so long as the human race exists, and since, according to you, every human who uses any piece software is now a pirate, thanks to the Google vs Oracle ruling, then you must fully support killing off the entire human race. And in supporting this as the only way of stopping piracy, I assume you will be the first one to step into the incinerators. Right?

Calling me deluded is hate speech

No, actually, it’s not. If you think it is then you truly don’t know what you’re talking about.

I’ve given up on this site of libtards caring.

Good. Be gone then and never darken our doorstep again with your drivel.

Anonymous Coward says:

I have mixed feelings on this. I love Steam but they do have a lot of junk games on there. However, one person’s junk game is another person’s golden treasure.

I understand where people are coming from in wanting Steam to return the days when it was a carefully curated platform with little in the way of garbage, but honestly, I think it’s grown beyond that now. It’s now THE marketplace for selling video games. If your game isn’t on Steam, you’re either a publisher who is big enough to get away with making your own Steam-esque platform or your game isn’t getting sold.

I think Steam has the right idea, but terrible execution. Open up the rules so most games are approved for sale, but narrowly tailor a few exceptions for illegal stuff and game content you just really don’t want to have on your platform, and have really good filters and curation to keep the chaff out of site of most users. The trick is accurately defining those exceptions so it’s clearly understood what they are, and providing good filters and curation. These are all things Steam is currently failing at.

I’m hopeful they will get better.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Agreed. I would like for Steam to be a functional, browse-able store. It’s currently failing at that what with how many trash-fire “games” get put on there. Broken asset-flips made in half a day, games without an executable, and secret cryptominers all get onto Steam when they honestly shouldn’t. There needs to be a minimum quality standard.

Anonymous Coward says:

Valve ought to slap a $1000 publishing fee on all games.
If you don’t think your $5 game can push 200 units maybe you should turn around and go home.

A few payment options wouldn’t hurt, would help the odd indie dev eat the cost. But the point of it is that it should *cost*. It seems like the best way to mandate developer behavior and standards, and keep the user from wading through a sea of thousands of asset-flipped trading card games.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Simple Solution

They weren’t, what, 75% of all computer game sales back in 2005? It’s quite possible they didn’t initially consider that.

And considering their nebulous statements and unclear goals currently, it’s quite possible they still aren’t thinking about it, aren’t thinking, or are totally okay with it, since they do make money from all the trash that bloats their catalog or exploits their trading card system.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Leftovers from the Puritan ancestors of Americans that eventually turned into modern anti-sex groups?

“How dare you corrupt my child before I had the chance to teach them shame them the same way I was!”

Kids find out about stuff themselves if they’re curious enough. Parents have to give context according to what they believe in or someone else online will for them.

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