The visual novel game The Key To Home keeps getting blocked from being released on Steam. The first time it was blocked was because the developer was told that the game would attract an audience made up of pedophiles. The developer, Henteko Doujin, waited until after Valve instituted it’s new adult filters and then tried to submit the game again, however it was banned once more. The second time it was blocked the developer was told that the game contained sexually suggestive content featuring minors, even though the game was rated ‘T’ for Teen from the ESRB. Well, in a recent post on the Steam forums, the developer has suggested that there’s an employee at Valve who simply has it out for their game.
In an ongoing thread discussing the game, developer Henteko Doujin first explained that he informed Valve that The Key To Home was rated ‘T’ for Teen by the ESRB and does not contain any sexual content or nudity, but he stated that the thread on the developer forum where he attempted to address the issue with Valve was closed down.
In a separate post Henteko Doujin explained that usually their interactions with Valve was done with the same person who was sending out all the ban warnings that initiated the waifu holocaust back in May of 2018…
“Thank you very much for your opinions.
“Valve’s employee who responded us in most cases is just one person, and she is a person who sent ban warning to visual novel devs in this May.
“I doubt that she really represents valve or not, and would like to hear official statement from valve.”
The waifu holocaust is literally what resulted in Valve completely overhauling the content curation policy back on June 6th, 2018.
In the post by Valve’s Erik Johnson, he explained what sort of games would be allowed on the platform and what would constitute a direct ban or denial of entry by Valve, writing…
“If you’re a player, we shouldn’t be choosing for you what content you can or can’t buy. If you’re a developer, we shouldn’t be choosing what content you’re allowed to create. Those choices should be yours to make. Our role should be to provide systems and tools to support your efforts to make these choices for yourself, and to help you do it in a way that makes you feel comfortable.
“With that principle in mind, we’ve decided that the right approach is to allow everything onto the Steam Store, except for things that we decide are illegal, or straight up trolling. Taking this approach allows us to focus less on trying to police what should be on Steam, and more on building those tools to give people control over what kinds of content they see.”
Despite various censorship-focused organizations and SJW media being angry about Valve allowing people to have a choice in the software they purchased, Valve followed up their initial statements during a presentation in Sweden to reiterate that they were “not the taste police”.
However, in this case it appears as if some games are still being prevented from being released on Steam, and some on Kotaku In Action believe that this rogue employee may be to blame.
Another game was also recently removed from Steam called The Last Girl from Banana King. As noted in the Kotaku In Action thread, a Valve employee allegedly told the developer that the game contained underage girls and therefore it was banned from being released on Steam, even though the visual novel doesn’t actually say what age the girls are.
This kind of selective censorship is what a lot of people feared about Valve’s new policy, and some developers are becoming leery again after Valve had promised a more hands-off approach to content curation save for illegal or “straight-up trolling” software.
I reached out to Valve’s Doug Lombardi to inquire about how “hands off” Valve is and whether or not some games can still be banned or prevented from being released on Steam even if they don’t contain any explicitly illegal content or aren’t trolling. If Valve decides to respond the article will be updated with their response.
(Thanks for the news tip Ebicentre)