Top Hat Studios had to completely change their ethos for releasing games on Steam after their game Cross Love – Episode 1 got banned on Steam. The company responded by saying that they would no longer release fully uncensored games on Steam, and would avoid certain subjects for their games being released on Valve’s platform. Eventually they released the uncensored version of Cross Love – Episode 1 over on the NSFW Fakku store.
In addition to releasing Cross Love – Episode 1, Top Hat also sent out a tweet notifying the community that they are opening up a digital storefront for completely uncensored games called the Top Hat Store.
In lieu of some recent events, we’ve decided to move forward with a plan we’ve been internally circulating for awhile now – the creation of a storefront operated by us. Learn more on the coming soon/landing page, linked below.
— Top Hat Studios, Inc (@TopHatStudiosEN) December 15, 2018
Sankaku Complex picked up the news and also pointed to the website where details about the operation of the storefront and what gamers can expect were laid out in full.
The store will have the typical 30% distribution fee, as is common with most other storefronts. This is due to payment processing fees being higher for selling NSFW content. They’ll also have to use the revenue to advertise, hire support, and for general maintenance.
They mention on the page that it’s a risky endeavor opening up a digital storefront, but they wanted a more consistent outlet to sell their games. They don’t want to deal with those inconsistencies or the incompetence of support staff who don’t communicate. They mention that they wanted to build something smooth, easy-to-use, and fully functional for users, stating…
“We hear customers loud and clear – you don’t want more software bogging you down. So what are we doing? We’re creating a Humble Bundle-like storefront. Accounts can be made for easier tracking of games, but you won’t need one to buy anything. No bloat, and no bullshit. We’ll be selling both standalone games, as well as bundles, again similar to Humble Bundle or IndieGala. Maybe physical media in the future as well”
So for everyone out there saying “build your own service!” that’s exactly what Top Hat did.
Will it be able to rival Steam? Honestly, no. But will it offer an alternative for those who want to get NSFW content that keeps getting banned on Steam? Absolutely.
They also want completely uncensored games on the platform, save for anything actually illegal, stating…
“There will be no censorship on our end, at all – we will allow almost any product, with the exception of actually illegal content of course. We are also doing our best to create the most consumer-friendly storefront we can. This includes responsive support, a fair refund policy, and again, no bloat or detours.“
This is a nice middle-finger to Valve banning a bunch of games in the past week for practically no reason. I’m not really sure what’s going on there but Valve is supposed to address the issue soon.