Palette and Sekai Project’s 9-Nine-: Episode 1 was officially released on the Steam store for $19.99. During the first week of release the game is discounted by 10% off, so you can grab a digital copy for only $17.99. Despite Valve supposedly not being the “taste police”, the company actually prohibited the developers from releasing the visual novel with the R18+ DLC, so instead the game had to release censored on Steam.
The good part is that you can get your hands on the free R18+ patch by visiting the Denpasoft page.
Additionally, you can purchase the R18+ version of the game from the Denpasoft store for $17.99.
According to the developers the patch will be available along with the R18+ version of the game on Denpasoft. It’s not entirely uncensored, though, there are still mosaics for the game in order to comply with Japanese law.
Nevertheless, the R18+ patch isn’t available on Steam due to Valve prohibiting the developers from releasing the visual novel with the adult patch. This was revealed in a Steam forum thread, where the developer revealed that due to Valve, the patch had to be made available off-site…
“Steam declined to ship the DLC and we respect their decision. And as mentioned before the DLC will be made available for free through Denpasoft once the game is live.”
Essentially what this means is that we’re back to the way things were before. This means that most anime and visual novel games aimed at straight males will likely have to launch on Steam heavily censored and an R18+ or uncensored patch will have to be provided off-site.
Some developers have already taken the hint, with popular indie outfits like HuniePot announcing that HuniePop 2 will launch censored on Steam and an off-site R18+ patch will be provided in tandem with the release of the game.
Neko Works also expressed apprehension about releasing Nekopara Vol. 4 on Steam after a series of visual novels, including the all-ages version of Victory Project, were banned from the platform even though some of the games didn’t contain any sexually explicit content.
As noted by Valve in private e-mails to certain developers, even if you claim that the characters in the game are over the age of 18, the employees at the company can still exercise their own discretion to ban it from Steam. Obviously, Valve has silently changed their policies regarding allowing content on Steam and curating said content as the “taste police”, especially since they still allow games on the platform that contains gay underage sex between school kids.
In this case, 9-Nine- managed to make it onto Steam but the R18+ content is a no-go.
(Thanks for the news tip Rich)