[Update 11/11/2018:] According to the developers, one employee at Valve keeps prohibiting the release of The Key To Home despite the ESRB rating only being Teen.
[Original article:] Henteko Doujin and Katsudou Managaya’s The Key To Home has been removed from Steam… again. The game just recently made its way back onto the Steam store on October 30th, 2018 after it was removed from the Steam store back in November of 2017.
Initially a Valve employee said that The Key To Home would attract an audience of pedophiles, which is why the game wasn’t allowed on Steam, even though it has no sexual content in the game itself. After Valve removed it from the Steam store, the developer – who doesn’t speak English very well – attempted to resubmit the game to Steam, and successfully managed to do so recently.
After it was announced that the game was coming soon to Steam, for a second time, on November 5th, 2018 gamers noticed that The Key To Home was removed from the Steam store… again. It was revealed on the Steam database that the game was removed from the storefront and now it just redirects you back to the front page.
Gamers asked the developer about it and Henteko Doujin responded in a forum thread, where they explained…
“家的钥匙/IenoKagi has allowed its store release, but banned again, because this visual novel ”appears to include sexually suggestive content involving minors. ”
“Their interpretation is opposite to our message in the story. From previous banning, we have been repeating that so many times, but haven’t get any reply yet.”
As mentioned in the thread, Henteko has had trouble getting the theme of the game across to Valve, but this was probably due to the initial contact they had with Valve where they didn’t properly describe the game and Valve assumed that it was a lewd loli game. This is despite the fact that The Key To Home secured a ‘T’ for Teen rating from the ESRB.
ESRB, an American self-regulatory organization that assigns age and content ratings to consumer video games, rated our work “The Key to Home” as “TEEN”.
This means that this game is suitable for those aged 13 years and older. pic.twitter.com/RgR0g0sl3I
— Henteko Doujin (@Henteko_Doujin) March 4, 2018
While Valve may have opened the flood gates for all sorts of games and claimed they wouldn’t be the “taste police”, they claimed that they will still ban games that are “straight up trolling” or “illegal”.
In this case, gamers and the developers have been trying to communicate to Valve that The Key To Home doesn’t have any sexual content within, but they haven’t had much luck.
Various platforms have been reluctant to embrace loli content due to the fact that they’re cautious about the potential dangers that come wit hosting loli content. GAB outright banned loli content on its social media service, much to the chagrin of otaku.
Some gamers feel as if Valve is being hypocritical since there are some H-games on Steam that contain loli content that haven’t been removed. Others feel as if a rogue Valve employee – likely one with SJW tendencies – have it out for The Key To Home and are desperately trying to keep the game from releasing on the storefront.
(Thanks for the news tip Woody Zero)