Several publishers of games that have appeared on Steam have received a warning from Valve that they must be stripped of “pornographic content” before the end of the month. The games had previously made it through the admissions process.
In a blog post, MangaGamer, a publisher that translates visual novels from Japanese to English, shares how Valve has indicated that the game Kindred Spirits on the Roof will be removed from Steam if the game is not modified.
MangaGamer claims that the company previously worked closely with Valve to get the game on Steam in the first place. For example, the company would have sent all images that could possibly be questioned to Valve in advance and the game would never have made it to Steam if the Valve employees had labeled the content as pornographic.
Other publishers are also complaining about Steam’s sudden policy changes. HuniePot, lupiesoft and Neko Works indicate on Twitter that the publishers have received a message from Valve that they must adjust their games before the end of the month or else they will be removed from the platform.
Valve has a history of inconsistent policies regarding erotic games. The company has long had a policy that games with pornographic content are not allowed unless they are censored. However, games like The Witcher 3, which feature several pornographic scenes, can be released without censorship. It is also striking that Kindred Spirits on the Roof was initially allowed, but now has to be adapted.
Some publishers have tried in the past to get around the terms on Steam by releasing censored versions of their games and making patches available on their own websites for players who want to play the original versions. Valve has banned posting links to these patches on Steam.
It is not known why Valve comes with these new measures so abruptly. It is also not clear what exactly the publisher considers pornographic content or not. Valve has not yet made any public statements on the matter.