MangaGamer’s A Kiss For The Petals – Maidens of Michael is a yuri visual novel. That means that it’s about a lesbian romance between two or more young girls. The visual novel is themed around two school students who fall in love. Maidens of Michael originally launched on February 22nd, 2018 and was developed by the group St. Michael’s Girl School. However, shortly after a patch was released on March 5th to address some bugs, the game was pulled from the Steam store on March 8th, 2018 according to an update on SteamDB.
Gamers quickly notified publisher MangaGamer about the disappearance of Maidens of Michael, and asked the company about why it was pulled from Steam. MangaGamer replied via tweet that they were aware and would update gamers on the situation soon.
We’re aware of the situation with Maiden of Michael’s Steam version and are actively working to resolve the situation. We’ll update you all when we have more information.
— MangaGamer (@MangaGamer) March 11, 2018
Like most visual novels that contain adult content, the Steam version of Maidens of Michael was censored and toned down for “all ages”. However, according to some users, there were still a few light erotic scenes contained within the all-ages version that some feared was the tipping point for getting the game pulled.
User Kerbastrar explained the situation in a Steam forum post, writing…
“The adult patch is 300MB. All the more explicit scenes were removed from the Steam game files.
“The argument that the hamburder troll was making was that there were scenes with visible nipples in the all-ages version, which constitutes child pornography in cucknada land. I extracted the assets from the backup I made, and he is in fact correct, and I assume they also show up in-game.
“Now, I already thought that this issue has been settled ever since Kindred Spirits on the Roof 2 years ago. And aparently Mangagamer thought so to, since the Steam edition contains about the same explicitness as Kindred Spirits.
“If I was some low-level tech support person, and someone told me that one of the games has child porn, you bet your♥♥♥♥♥I would immediately bring it up to top people. Such accusations do need to be taken very seriously, but that also opens the door for troll reports actually succeeding.” [sic]
Kerbastrar believes the game is coming back soon once the investigation into the content of Maidens of Michael is complete. Others fear that Valve may be enacting censorship against some yuri visual novels.
However, this still doesn’t answer why the game was removed from Steam.
According to Operation Rainfall, there was a user who allegedly reported Maidens of Michael to Steam’s community service team on March 8th, 2018, after encountering the lesbian scene involving the two girls. The user claimed that the game “depicts uncensored sexual acts between minors”. In a screenshot it reveals that he requested the game be removed from his Steam profile and that the game was in violation of Canadian law. A Steam rep acknowledges the request stating…
“Thanks for reaching out about this game. We’ll look into this.
“I have also removed the game from your account. […]”
Many gamers pointed out that the eroticism in Maidens of Michael is no more poignant than the other games currently available on Steam published under the MangaGamer label.
In fact, last year MangaGamer and Valve had reached an agreement to allow more uncensored patches directly on Steam. This was going to be part of a general policy after having discussions with Valve back in the spring of 2017, as reported by Sanahtlig.
However, in July of 2017, things went sideways when Christian censor groups got a hold of the news, and found out about other uncensored games on Steam such as Strangers In A Strange Land and House Party. The groups threatened to go to lawmakers and have Valve shutdown for distributing porn to minors. In result, Valve had to reinforce their terms of service and prohibit the facilitation, spread, or distribution of uncensored patches through Steam.
MangaGamer later confirmed that Valve had to walk back on their agreement about uncensored patches being distributed through Steam due to fear of state lawmakers coming down on them.
This has resulted in Valve having to take complaints and notifications about sexual content in games very seriously. So when someone reports that a game has uncensored sex or gratuitous nudity, Valve will oftentimes remove the game from the store and contact the developers about it so that they can censor the content. Valve did have the developers of House Party and Strangers In A Strange Land censor their games so that they could be reinstated on Steam.
Some believe that if MangaGamer and St. Michael’s Girl School remove the offending content, gamers could see Maidens of Michael return to the Steam store.
(Thanks for the news tip Richard)