A new Steam release, Chaos;Head Noah, was canceled this week just a few days before it was supposed to launch on the PC platform, and Steam users aren't too pleased with the development. Spike Chunsoft, the publisher responsible for Chaos;Head Noah's English release, confirmed on Friday that the Steam release planned for October 7th would not happen while citing "Steam's guideline-required changes" as the reason for why the release won't happen. The game will still come to the Nintendo Switch, however.
Spike Chunsoft addressed the plans for the English version of the game in a post on the publisher's site. According to the publisher, a Steam release would've meant changing parts of the game to adhere to the platform's guidelines, but Spike Chunsoft felt those changes would make it so that the game fell short of the publisher's standards.
"Spike Chunsoft, Inc. today regrets to announce that it will not be able to release CHAOS;HEAD NOAH on Steam as originally planned due to Steam's guideline-required changes to the game's content," the publisher said. "Spike Chunsoft, Inc. believes these changes would not allow the game to be released to its standards."
Chaos;Head Noah, for those unfamiliar with the game, was originally released in 2008 simply as Chaos;Head before being renamed and rereleased on different platforms years later with added content. It's a visual novel that comes from the same developer as Steins;Gate and contains scenes that sometimes depict content which could be considered disturbing and, at times, suggestive.
Despite those rereleases, an English version of the game had not happened yet. That's why visual novel fans were excited to hear of this Western localization, but those same fans are now frustrated that the Steam release isn't happening. In responses to the announcement, users on social platforms questioned why Chaos;Head Noah's content was deemed unacceptable by Steam's standards while other far more obscene games are allowed to be sold there. Further discussions lamented the fact that Steam's guidelines for content are vague themselves which leads to situations like this where some games are allowed but others aren't. Visual novels in particular seem to have issues with these sorts of releases, some users posited.
The Nintendo Store's listing for the game is still up, and as Spike Chunsoft said, that Switch release will still happen on October 7th as planned. For those who were keen on getting the game on the PC platform, the publisher said it'll be looking into options for alternative storefronts to perhaps make that release a reality after all.