[Update 12/16/2018:] After contacting Cherry Kiss Games, they explained that My Bullied Bride originally had its store page approved for a “while”, but Valve would not give the green light for the game’s release. However, on Friday, December 15th, 2018, Valve banned various games and My Bullied Bride was among them.
[Original article:] Valve originally stated at the end of the summer that they would not be the taste police once the adult filters were implemented. They stated that the only games they would curate were illegal games and those that could be classified as “straight-up trolling”. Well, they’ve walked back on that policy. The offbeat romantic visual novel from Cherry Kiss Games and Norn/Miel called My Bullied Bride, has been banned from Steam.
The visual novel is about a depressed, gloomy girl who gets bullied by delinquents. The player-character saves her from the delinquents and she offers to repay her kindness in the form of becoming the player-character’s wife after the player-character gets expelled for getting into a fight.
Throughout the game you’ll need to bond with Mei in order to get her to come out of her shell and stop being so glum. As your bond increases she eventually becomes a joyful and endearing wife who births your child.
The visual novel doesn’t seem anymore risque than other romantic/erotic visual novels. It features a variety of sex scenes, all of which contain mosaic censorship, which is something that Norn requested, according to Cherry Kiss Games, who mentioned in the Steam forums…
“The original Japanese developers requested that any mosaics (that were in the original Japanese release) remain in the game.”
Even the decision to keep the game censored for the R18+ release, and tag it with the adult filter, still wasn’t enough to stave off My Bullied Wife from being released on Steam.
If you check the SteamDB page, you’ll note that the game has been removed from the Steam store on December 15th, 2018.
If you attempt to visit the store page it redirects you back to the main Steam store page.
There’s an old web cache of the store and there are a few images of the game but it’s mostly just another generic erotic romance visual novel.
However, the game appears to sometimes take place in a school setting, but it doesn’t say how old the characters are, so it’s likely that Valve classified the game as promoting sexually suggestive content featuring minors, which is the excuse they’ve been using to ban quite a few games, including the safe-for-work versions of games that didn’t contain any erotic content, such as Hello, Goodbye or The Key To Home.
However, it appears as if there’s a crackdown on games that contain school settings, lolis, or any character that Valve even partially construes as “underage”. Originally it was two employees at Valve banning all of these games, a Jason Ruymen and Arisa Sudangnoi, but it could be more of Valve’s staff banning games at this point.
Valve was supposed to address these bans at some point and clarify why they’ve reneged on the policy of not being the taste police after implementing the adult filters, but so far there hasn’t been any word from Valve. Instead, the company has been requesting developers to censor their games, even games that aren’t the R18+ versions. So Valve has literally become the taste police.
I did reach out to Cherry Kiss Games about the ban, and if they respond the article will be updated with their response.
(Thanks for the news tip Richard & Top Hat Studios)