The censorship and bans for Steam games currently sweeping through the visual novel and Japanese indie community has finally started to spread enough to warrant the attention of some of the content leaders in the field, namely developers like HuniePot, the makers of HuniePop and the upcoming HuniePop 2.
Following a banning spree of three games in one day by Valve, HuniePot took to Twitter on January 25th, 2019 to announce that it was decided to launch HuniePop 2 censored on Steam, and that there would be an off-site patch available for the game.
I’ve been mulling it over ever since the censorship issue last year and I’ve decided that HP2 will launch with nudity censored on Steam just like HP1. Valve said it was fine but it’s become quite clear since then that it’s not. We cant help it if some madlad drops patch though 🤭
— HunieDev (@HuniePotDev) January 25, 2019
This was received with a lot of positive feedback from the followers of HuniePot, since they know what’s at stake with these games.
Most gamers acknowledge that it’s better to launch on Steam in a censored state than to risk being permanently banned from the platform, which is what happened to a number of other games recently, including games like Ayura Crisis!, where Valve stated that no amount of censorship would enable that game to return to Steam.
People like Jed Whittaker, a former reviewer for Destructoid, and a self-proclaimed Liberal, attempted to distill the fears by stating that plenty of porn games are currently available on Steam, but others were quick to fire back that their deletion came with seemingly very little reason.
But a decent amount of those games have been taken down for seemingly no reason.
— Proto-Makoto (@Sp00ch) January 25, 2019
Actually, Valve has been privately e-mailing developers the reason for the bans: they deem the games to be in a “legally grey” area.
Valve has not defined what laws these games have actually broken, nor have they explained how games with no sexual content and no nudity have violated any of the nebulous obscenity laws that they’ve attempted to fall back on.
That’s not to mention that the reliance on the law has been wholly inconsistent, as the company has allowed games like A Hand In The Darkness on Steam, which contains underage explicit sex between gay high school boys, which clearly goes against Valve’s own standards about banning games containing “child exploitation” and “high school” settings.
Nevertheless, if HuniePot manages to censor the game up nice and neat to get past the moral arbiters currently taste-policing content on Steam, then I think most gamers would be okay with using the old method of purchasing the censored version of the game from Steam and downloading the R18+ patch from off-site.
HuniePop is currently available right now on the official HuniePot website, while HuniePop 2 is set for release at some point in 2019.
(Thanks for the news tip Richard Gristle)