If you haven’t been keeping up with the news, some rogue employees at Valve have reportedly been banning games from the Steam store that they don’t like, typically from the visual novel and anime categories. A number of games have been banned, including some visual novels that were the all-ages version of the game or games that were rated ‘T’ for Teen. Well, one developer has received word that Valve will address the games being banned at the end of the week.
On December 10th, 2018 one of the developers affected by the bans, Top Hat Studios, informed the community that they’ve been in talks with someone who will be in touch with Valve to at least get an answer regarding Valve becoming the taste police again. The individual that they’ve been in contact with wanted to remain anonymous during this time.
Someone has contacted us who is in contact with Valve. They are requesting to remain anonymous, but have told us to expect an answer by the end of the week more than likely. We’ll see what happens; no promises or anything but it’s possible progress. Thank you for your patience.
— Top Hat Studios, Inc (@TopHatStudiosEN) December 10, 2018
Furthermore, Top Hat Studios relayed that the individual they’ve been in contact with is also talking with other affected studios, saying…
” They also have said they’re in contact with a number of other studios than ours and acting as a liaison for us.”
So for all of the studios who have been affected by the bans, this probably assuages some of those concerns, especially for games like Niplheim’s Hunter, which has been given the silent treatment from Valve while also being denied a release on Steam.
Other developers, like Top Hat Studios, were told that their games couldn’t release on Steam because it contained material that featured the “exploitation of minors”. This is despite the fact that — in Top Hat’s case — the characters in the story were over 18 and that there are other games on Steam that contains far more graphic imagery, some of which involve minors.
Top Hat responded by noting that they would no longer release uncensored games on Steam due to the uncertain nature of having the game banned by Valve’s staff.
Others like NekoNyan, whose game Hello, Goodbye was banned even though it was the all-ages version of the game, made a public announcement about how they would pursue other options to stay afloat if Valve keeps banning their games on Steam.
We’ll see what Valve has to say at the end of the week. So far they’re completely reneging on their policy of only banning games that were strictly “illegal” or “straight-up trolling”, considering that none of the games that have been banned are illegal or trolling.