HappyHand has been put through the wringer when it comes to getting Niplheim’s Hunter launched on Steam. First the all-ages version was supposed to be released back on December 3rd, 2018, but then it was postponed indefinitely, and then Valve told the developers they had to completely remove a character from the game in order to get it on Steam.
Well, on January 3rd, 2019, the studio informed the community that Valve communicated to them that it was all a “misunderstanding” and now the game will be launching next Monday on January 7th, 2019. In the Steam news thread HappyHand states…
“Steam contacted me and said there has been a misunderstanding on their part and there’s no problem with shipping Niplheim’s Hunter on Steam!
“I asked if they could explain in detail how this whole thing happened and why it took so long to solve, but right now, I’m overjoyed that I can finally release Niplheim’s Hunter on Steam so the answers can wait!
“I want to thank all of you for all the support and advice you gave me and I hope everyone will have fun playing Niplheim’s Hunter next Monday!”
Niplheim’s Hunter was one of the many games that have been affected by Valve’s inconsistent “taste policing” in recent months, where various games were getting indefinitely delayed or banned from the Steam storefront. Some developers inferred that a new policy had been put into effect where games containing content deemed “child exploitation” in combination with taking place in a “high school” setting would net it higher scrutiny and a ban from Valve. However, games like Niplheim’s Hunter neither contained minors nor took place in a school setting.
While HappyHand didn’t properly receive a reply from Valve regarding the “misunderstanding”, there have been multiple reports from developers that have told One Angry Gamer that these bans on anime games and visual novels have mostly come from the product release manager at Valve, Jason Ruymen, and Valve business development associate, Arisa Sudangnoi.
We’re not sure why Valve had a change of heart about Niplheim’s Hunter or if this means they will ease up on banning visual novels and anime games, but a variety of games are still being held up from release, including Victory Project and My Erotic Summer to name but a few of the games affected by Valve’s silent censorship policy, despite the fact the company saying they would take a hands-off approach after instituting the adult filters back in September of 2018.
You can look to purchase Niplheim’s Hunter from the Steam store starting January 7th. And according to the developers they didn’t have to remove any of the characters like Valve originally requested.
(Thanks for the news tip Trihelix)