Dharker Studios recently made a post on the Steam forums answering a question from a concerned user who was desperate to get the uncensored patch and install it for their game Galaxy Girls. The user asked where the instructions were on the Steam forums to install the uncensored patch to turn the visual novel Galaxy Girls into a full blown H-novel, and the developers replied stating that the instructions to install the uncensored patch had to be removed from the Steam forums.
Dharker Studios made the reply on October 28th, 2017, stating that Valve has prohibited developers from sharing uncensored patches on Steam directly, writing…
“Steam reps have told us that they no longer allow any information or links to the uncensored patches on steam, so they all had to be removed. We will gradually be updating our own website with info on how to install the patch. “
This supposedly means that official stickied posts by developers are no longer allowed if they contain the developer directly distributing an uncensored patch.
I’m not sure what the exact rules are for this nebulous and unspoken Valve rule because for the adult-themed visual novel Karmasutra, Top Hat Studios still has a stickied forum post explaining how to access the uncensored version of the game. They did, however, replace the direct link to the uncensored patch by linking directly to their website instead, with the update having been made back on October 17th, 2017. So there’s now multiple steps you have to take to get your hands on the patch instead of just clicking the link in the forum post.
The rule seems to be somewhat flimsy, but developers are actually removing official and direct links to uncensored patches. Strangers In A Strange Land, for instance, no longer has the news update containing the uncensored nude patch. If you click on the link it’ll take you to the game’s general announcement page. If you use the Google cache you’ll find the old news posting from the developers that was made on August 28th, 2017 that contains links to the uncensored patch. That announcement, which contains the uncensored patch, is no longer available on the Steam page forStrangers In A Strange Land
Essentially, it looks as if Valve is having developers scrub any instances of uncensored, R18+, AO, or sexually graphic content patches from appearing as official news pieces on Steam, likely to avoid any accusations that Valve is hosting or condones the facilitation of pornographic content.
Valve also appears to be cleaning up the screenshot sections for some of these games as well, with the screenshots from the uncensored versions of the games no longer appearing in the community section.
This all started after Right-leaning Christian groups like National Center on Sexual Exploitation began aggressively lobbying to get Valve to remove games like House Party after calling the game “pornography”. The organization took further steps to then publicly shame Valve by working with other media organizations to have Valve labeled as a distributor that facilitates for kids to access porn on Steam. Since that incident Valve has been working with developers to clean up Steam, which resulted in a couple of games being pulled from the storefront and then being re-submitted following some heavy amounts of censorship.
On the upside, other games like Otaku’s Fantasy still have threads available for the uncensored patch, but this seems to be allowed since the patch wasn’t distributed by the developer. A forum user posted up the uncensored patch in the Steam forums, directing users to the patch.