SexualDarkness had a string of games banned/removed from Steam. This included DGirls Lovers, Dr. Tanya’s Experiment and Boarding College 1 and 2.
The circumstances for the games being removed seem to vary per title, but according to user Rik67 in the Nukige community, the game DGirls Lovers may have been removed from Steam due to a DMCA takedown request after it initially launched on April 8th, 2019.
Rik67 references a quote from a forum thread that was apparently deleted, where it was stated…
“DMCA – Comic possibly stolen from “Miki3dx”. Other games from dev may have stolen content in them as well.”
This is one of the rare times where a Western, 3D visual novel got hit with the ban hammer from Valve. However, the circumstances are clearly different from the anime games and other Japanese titles that have been banned or removed by Valve, because if it was over the DMCA charge as stated in the comment above, then the developers at SexualDarkness will simply need to remove copyrighted material and then notify Valve and the game’s store page will likely be restored.
It’s really impossible to tell if anything was mentioned on the Steam store page because DGirls Lovers store page is gone, and the cache has already been deleted after the game was removed back on April 9th, 2019, according to the SteamDB entry. And since the last available cache of the game is the Spanish version of the site from April 4th, 2019, before the game released, there’s no way to know if SexualDarkness made a comment about the removal or DMCA on the store page itself.
However, things get a little trickier with some of the other games that have been removed from the Steam store page.
Dr. Tanya’s Experiment was removed… again. Now it was never made clear why Valve banned the game the first time, but it happened back in February of 2019, and then again on April 9th, 2019 according to the SteamDB, the same day as DGirls Lovers. So it’s possible it was also due to the DMCA takedown notice from Miki3dx.
According to the Lumen Database, Miki3dx did send out 34 DMCA copyright claims on April 1st, 2019 against infringing sites that had used content from Affect3d.com, but none of those claims included SexualDarkness, DGirls Lovers, Dr. Tanya’s Experiment or anything related to Steam or Valve.
Obviously, though, just because the content doesn’t appear in the Lumen Database doesn’t mean that the DMCA wasn’t sent directly to Valve, Steam, or SexualDarkness. Updates for the game have also been suspended, according to the Steam Kiwi.
Two other games were also removed from Steam that were made by SexualDarkness, both Boarding College 1 and Boarding College 2.
The first game came out on January 11th, 2019 and it was banned on April 11th, 2019, according to the SteamDB.
The second game came out on February 25th, 2019 and it was banned on April 11th, 2019 as well, according to the SteamDB. So these two bans happened separate from DGirls Lovers and Dr. Tanya’s Experiment.
It’s possible it’s also still DMCA related, but someone in the forums did mention an interesting point. DBD Pretty Gute Job made a post back on March 29th, 2019, stating…
“Just a warning to the devs that Steam has gone to a zero tolerance policy on adult games with a school as a background, even University is not allowed, and games that have a school as a background, even with adult characters, are being pulled. Probably shouldn’t use a school as a setting anymore.”
Boarding College 2 actually has stories outside of college, featuring two office women engaged in coitus as well, as depicted in the NSFW archive of the Steam store page.
The first game, however, takes place strictly in a classroom setting, as depicted on the archive of the NSFW Steam store page. So is it possible that Valve removed those games for the school settings? It’s possible.
My Girlfriend was the all-ages version of the visual novel set in a college and it was also banned from Steam not too long ago for being set in a college.
[Update:] It was pointed out that since the app IDs for the games weren’t banned from Steam that it’s unlikely that the games were removed for anything related to the thematic content of the game(s), and that it was likely for other reasons.
However, given that there hasn’t been any word from Valve or the developers about the removals, we’re only left with speculation. All of the games were also removed post-release, so Valve had already approved for the store pages to go live, gave a thumbs up for the release, and were already selling these games. They were also all appropriately marked as Adults Only, and even though they had NSFW imagery on the store pages, so do all of SexualDarkness games, and many are still available for purchase, such as Alien Hardcore Invasion, Lareena and Evalina.
If more information is made available the article will be updated to reflect those changes.
(Thanks for the news tip Mitsuru Kirijou)