[UPDATE] Steam Cracking Down on NSFW Games, Violence Still Okay

huniepop
(Photo: HuniePop)

UPDATE: It appears Valve has walked back its removal threats that it sent to multiple developers of NSFW visual novels yesterday:

It's worth noting that these games, as the HuniePop developer points out, aren't out of the woods yet. Valve is simply retracting its initial notice, and is further reviewing said games to make sure they aren't a breach of Steam's guidelines.

Original Story:

The developers behind multiple visual novels of the NSFW variety have received warnings from Valve in regard to the content of their games. In said warning, is the demand that the content in question be removed, or otherwise the game will be taken down from Steam.

News of the newest round of Valve censorship surfaced via the developer behind the notoriously NSFW game HuniePop, who took to Twitter with the following notice:

Not long after, Lupiesoft, developer behind the equally NSFW game Mutiny!! also took to Twitter claiming that Valve reached out to it as well about the same issue.

At the moment of writing, Valve has not commented on the situation. Its current guidelines to use the platform note that pornography is not permitted, however, nudity is fine.

The issue raised by the developers and fans of these certain types of visual novel games is that their games are not pornographic at all, and only contain nudity, which a variety of western games do, such as The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Thus, they point out the perceived inequality of rule enforcement, referencing the stigma around their games as the unfair difference maker.

Further, many have pointed out the inconsistency by Steam when it comes to enforcing this rule. For example, according to the lead producer on Ladykiller in a Bind, a BSDM visual novel, the developer never received any notice from Valve about the content of its game.

Additionally, many have noted that while Steam has gone above and beyond at times to combat games of this ilk, it hasn't touch or bothered games with extreme violence.

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At the moment, both of the aforementioned games remain on Steam, but that could be changing soon. HuniePop has notably been on the marketplace since 2015, where it has over 12,000 user reviews with an “Overwhelmingly positive” score. Further, it has over 44,000 followers on Twitter. So while we are dealing with niche games for a niche audience, said audience is one of the most hardcore and committed audiences in the industry, and perhaps a little bigger than you may expect.

We will be sure to update this post as the story progresses.