There was a big bit of hoopla in the media recently about how Christine Love’s Ladykiller in a Bind was released onto Steam uncensored, including a full-on rape sequence involving oral and vaginal penetration, as outlined in the pastebin containing text of the sequence that was later removed from the game post-launch. Another developer inquired about any specific rules changing on Steam that would now allow explicit nudity and graphic sexual content to be displayed, but Valve told them that the rules hadn’t changed.
The developer in question is the HuniePot developer from HuniePop fame, a popular visual novel dating simulator with a match-3 component and some graphic imagery. The last part had to be censored for its release on Steam. Despite lacking controversial subject matter such as rape or explicit penetration, HuniePop‘s graphic nudity was still enough to prevent the uncensored version from appearing on Steam.
The developer thought things had changed after Valve allowed Ladykiller in a Bind to launch on Steam uncensored. The media was also very supportive of developer Christine Love — for whom many of them are close friends with — for getting the game to appear on Steam uncensored.
This is the opposite of how the media usually treats games with adult sexual content, and visual novels that contain nudity, giving a lot of gamers reason to pause and scratch their heads.
All the media support for Ladykiller in a Bind and Valve’s willingness to let the extremely graphic content slide – especially considering that it contains graphic lesbian sex, graphic lesbian BDSM, and a graphic rape scene – led the HuniePot developer to reach out and try again to get the uncensored version of HuniePop on Steam, especially given that it’s a far less graphic game by comparison to Ladykiller in a Bind.
To no avail, Valve denied HuniePot the opportunity. In a Reddit post the developer explained…
“I have reached out to Steam regarding this issue because many have brought it to my attention. The response I got is that nothing has changed about their policy and Steam does not distribute pornography, full stop.
“I have not played LIAB so I don’t know what it contains but I for one have no interest in getting on the bad side of any of the good people at Valve so I’m going to follow the rules.”
As mentioned, you can read the one rape scene that was removed in full by checking the pastebin file. The details of the rape are laid out near the middle of the text. It’s obviously very graphic, so reader discretion is advised.
The real catch 22 here is that the rape scene that was removed was actually present for the initial launch on Steam. The removal of the scene didn’t arrive until three months after the game’s release. [Correction:] It initially launched on October 10th, 2016 but didn’t arrive on Steam until January 9th, 2017. Christine Love didn’t censor the game post-launch until January 22nd, 2017, as indicated in the update post over on the Steam page.
The allowance of uncensored content on Steam led people on the forums to question “Why?” Valve was being lenient here when other games with far less sexual frequency, nudity or sex aren’t allowed in their uncensored form on the service.
“So I did some investigation, about how long they’ve been friends. This game is made by “Love Conquers All Games”, and the person behind that developer company is “Christine Love”. After some searching on “www.deepfreeze.it”, I did find that she have been related to Patricia (a writer at kotaku) for at least 4,5 years.”
It looks like #GamerGate’s contributions to Deep Freeze is paying off in dividends by informing the gaming community at large.
Some argued that HuniePop was denied its uncensored version on Steam because it wasn’t “story” oriented enough. However, other games like the Sakura series or the Nekopara series have also been forced to release censored on Steam, despite being more “story oriented” than games like HuniePop. Games like Treasures of a Blizzard, another story-oriented visual novel, also had to release censored on Steam, despite the graphic sex not being the focal point of the story.
The inconsistency in applying the rules to various games while giving free passes to other games has led people to question what’s going on at Valve? I did reach out and if they decide to respond the story will be updated accordingly.
[Update 2/1/2017:] After reaching out to publisher Sekai Project about titles being censored on Steam, they mentioned that the Grisaia trilogy on Steam is a direct port from the PlayStation Vita and did not contain any adult material or require content removal. As for other games that were censored for Steam that were published by Sekai, they stated “Beyond that, we cannot comment”
(Main image courtesy of Moppit)