Atelier Arland Deluxe Pack For Steam Delayed After Store Page Gets Disabled
Atelier Arland Banned

[Update 12/12/2018:] Atelier Arland’s deluxe pack is now available for purchase on Steam.

[Update 12/11/2018:] According to Koei Tecmo the game isn’t being censored in any way, it’s just getting rated.

[Original article:] It appears Valve may have removed the North American Steam store page for the Atelier Arland series deluxe pack, which featured three games in one pack, including Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland, Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of Arland, and Atelier Meruru: The Apprentice of Arland. The deluxe pack can still be accessed by those outside of North America, and the individual games will tell you that they are region blocked for U.S., and Canadian users, but the deluxe bundle pack page is no longer accessible to North American gamers.

The reason for the removal wasn’t given, but Koei Tecmo revealed via a tweet on December 10th, 2018 that due to a ratings issue the release of the deluxe pack would be delayed on Steam at some point later in the week.

If you attempt to click on the deluxe pack for Atelier Arland on the Steam store you’ll be redirected back to the front page, which indicates that Valve disabled the store page. An old web cache reveals that Koei Tecmo did in fact have a store page up, but it’s currently disabled at the time of writing this article.

If you check the SteamDB page for the Atelier games located within the bundle, you’ll note that the bundle for the games was supposed to be released back on December 4th, 2018. The games are available in basically every region but the U.S., and Canada, and if you attempt to visit any of the pages from North America you’ll be denied access to the page.

The issue has been persistent for North American users since December 1st, 2018, when threads began popping up on the Steam community pages asking about the access being disabled. This has also been a persistent issue over on social media services as well, such as Reddit, where gamers have also complained about not being able to access the store pages for the bundle nor for any of the individual games within the bundle.

What doesn’t make any sense is that Koei Tecmo said it was a ratings issue but Steam doesn’t require ESRB ratings in order to release. They do, however, require that publishers fill out the content description section to comply with the new adult filters. However, Atelier Arland is not an adult game and is rated ‘T’ for Teen.

Some gamers have questioned if this is in due part to the U.S., enforcing FOSTA, while others are wondering if it’s Valve’s rogue employees who have been banning a lot of anime and visual novel games.

Atelier Arland - Nintendo Switch

The FOSTA excuse doesn’t hold up given that the exact same Atelier Arland bundle just released on the Nintendo Switch, and you can get all three games in the deluxe pack for $89.99 right now from the Nintendo eShop.

The deluxe pack is also only rated ‘T’ for Teen, and while it lists “sexual themes” it doesn’t contain any nudity or sexual content, opposite of games like The Witcher 3 or GTA V, both of which are currently available on the Steam store. Another ‘T’ for Teen game was also banned from Steam in the form of The Key To Home, even though it doesn’t contain any sexual content. However, Valve’s reasoning for the ban was that The Key To Home contained sexually suggestive content featuring minors.

What’s interesting, though, is that Koei Tecmo will apparently be releasing the series on Steam around the same time when Valve is reportedly set to address the bans on anime and visual novel games. There’s no confirmation if the two coincide with one another, though.

At this point we still don’t know exactly why Valve reneged on their open-platform curation policy where they claimed they wouldn’t be the “taste police”. Hopefully the company clarifies its position with the announcement later in the week.

(Thanks for the news tip zac za)

About

Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!