The all-ages version of the visual novel If My Heart Had Wings -Flight Diary- was supposed to launch in January. However, MoeNovel’s title has been delayed, presumably into February as the developer has to deal with requests made by Valve to modify the visual novel before it releases on Steam.
The developer sent out a tweet informing fans who were looking forward to the visual novel that the release was delayed. Over on the Steam community thread there’s a slightly more detailed post explaining…
“We are really sorry to announce that to comply with Steam’s requests, we have been delayed in releasing the game to you all. We ask for your understanding and patience while we resolve the current issues.
“At the moment, we are looking to release the game in February, so stay tuned for our release date announcement.”
Now typically the pro-censorship crowd will attempt to declare that the game is in violation of Steam’s policies, or that the game is “illegal” in certain regions, or any other number of ill-conceived and poorly formulated arguments. But none of that applies here.
If My Heart Had Wings -Flight Diary- is just a bonus story for a game that’s already available on Steam, and both of the Steam versions of the game have no sexual content.
In fact, MoeNovel’s visual novel originally released back in 2013, and the visual novel is rated ‘T’ for Teen.
But The Key To Home also ran into a similar problem on Steam even though it was also rated ‘T’ for Teen. Valve had the game banned from the platform because they said it contained “sexually” suggestive content featuring minors.
This is despite the fact that Valve allows games like A Hand In The Darkness on the platform, which features explicit underage gay sex between school boys.
Nevertheless, Valve silently decided to change their own policies in order to curate games based on their employee’s own discretion.
In this case, a follow-up story to a game already available on Steam is now being withheld until the developers make certain changes to comply with Valve’s new policies. This is despite the fact that the whole point of the adult filters was to let adult oriented games on the platform without curation or content policing, even though in this particular scenario neither game contains sexually explicit content.
However, in recent months Valve has been ramping up the content policing and banning a lot of games just like they did during the original Waifu Holocaust in early 2018. So it’s not surprising that they would continue to target anime and visual novels, even if they’re the all-ages version.
We still don’t have an actual release date for If My Heart Had Wings -Flight Diary- but MoeNovel expects to get things in order for a February launch. Failing a Steam release, it might be best if they seek out distribution through JastUSA, DLSite, Nutaku, or MangaGamer.
(Thanks for the news tip Hi3cchi)