UPDATE 05/21/2018: Steam chooses the crackdown. The platform has instructed the game developers concerned to ignore their original email address, which threatens to ban their software titles because of the alleged “pornographic” content.
Steam is now “checking” the affected games again and will, according to several developers, provide feedback on their content. Whether this means the anime-drawn nudity and sexual imagery are allowed remains to be seen.
— #WAIFUHOLOCAUST UPDATE —
I just got a message from Valve apologizing for the confusion and saying to ignore their previous email about the violation that they are in the process of reviewing the game and will be following up soon.
– HunieDev (@HuniePotDev) May 19, 2018
Lupiesoft also just got a message from Valve that Mutiny !! is checked again for content and the period of 2 weeks has expired.
We’ll update all of them as we get more information.
– Lupiesoft (@Lupiesoft) May 19, 2018
Steam appears to be cracking down on games with anime-style art and sexual content.
On Thursday, several game developers tweeted that Steam had marked their products for porn and ordered them to remove the problematic content. Otherwise, their titles would be pulled off the platform.
– IMPORTANT NOTE –
I received an email from Valve stating that HuniePop is violating the rules and guidelines for pornographic content on Steam and will be removed from the store unless the game is updated to remove that content.
– HunieDev (@HuniePotDev) May 17, 2018
We have been informed that the content of Re; Lord 1 must be censored by the end of this month or the game will be removed from Steam. We will have discussions with Valve, but at the same time we will make the desired adjustments. https://t.co/ZhG2TnBJcP
– Sekai project (@sekaiproject) May 18, 2018
The developers say they have two weeks to fix the issues, even though their adult games have been in the digital business for months, if not years.
All of the affected titles include characters drawn by anime and some nudity. Many also contain overtly sexual images. But the content was hardly a secret; In order to comply with Steam’s guidelines, the games have been marked to contain sexual images.
In addition, Steam has a category specifically dedicated to games with sexual content.
Why is the platform suddenly taking a hard line in these games? Valve, the company behind the digital store, didn’t comment on this. Although pornography is not permitted on the Platform, adult content, labeled appropriately and “age-dependent”, is subject to Steam’s own policies. This leaves room for certain adult games in the store, some of which have received thousands of positive reviews.
The developers say they are in the dark about why Steam suddenly reversed course. One publisher, MangaGamer, said it was “very stressful” keeping a title of your own by Valve representatives to ensure none of the content was viewed as porn. But now it appears that at least eight games will be hit by the imminent crackdown.
In a tweet, developer Lupiesoft said Steam had singled out anime-style games for sexual content as hit titles by US developers that also include nudity and sex remained “unscathed” by the upcoming change.
“Games are simply drawn because they look a certain way and there is a stigma behind how a game looks,” added the developer.
However, Steam isn’t the only platform that has taken a stricter stance on porn in recent months. In October, the crowdfunding service Patreon introduced new rules against pornography, which led many developers to complain.