[Update:] So it looks like the game had two completely different store pages, one with an innocuous jigsaw puzzle theme and another with R18+ content. The pages were completely different, as one was a jigsaw puzzle game and the other with some sort of interactive 3D BDSM fetish game. A completely different archive of the web store (that has since been deleted) shows that the game indeed contained Adults Only sexual content and nudity. Whether or not this is what led to the ban is still undetermined.
[Original article:] HappyGame’s Rabbit Thief was banned from Steam on April 14th, 2019, according to the SteamDB entry. The game was originally submitted, approved, and had its store opened back on January 9th, 2019.
Unlike some of the more recent removals from the Steam store where games like Fap CEO or Rance didn’t even get their store pages, the removal of Rabbit Thief is a little more interesting because it did have a store page and a community hub, briefly. However, it was originally submitted to Steam as Happy Picture, as indicated by the archive of the Steam store page.
The SteamDB entry seemed to bounce back and forth between adding and removing the adult content tag, and there is a warning in the mature content descriptor mentioning the game contains sex and nudity, but there’s not much of any indication of that from the screenshots or the game’s trailer.
The description was pretty basic, with a note about how the game is a jigsaw puzzle game where you move pictures around to complete basic puzzles via rearranging the pieces, as depicted in the trailer above.
The only odd thing about Rabbit Thief is that it changed its name back on March 29th, 2019 for some reason. Now what is interesting is that originally it had (R18) in the title, and then later on April 7th, 2019 they added sexual content and nudity to the descriptors. They also added that the game had adult content, and flagged it as an Adults Only title.
But on April 14th, 2019, the game has its store page removed and it was banned from Steam, along with the community hub.
There’s still an archive of the hub from Google’s web cache but there was nothing in it.
At this point it’s likely that the game could have been banned over trolling or copyright issues, but since Valve doesn’t make any announcements about bans, it’s impossible to tell.
However, the fact that the game was banned only after it committed to adding the sexual content and nudity tags, while also flagging it as Adults Only, does make it look suspicious. Is it possible they had imagery in there that Valve didn’t like? Is it just more of trying to weed out cash-in games? It’s all really difficult to tell at this point due to the lack of communication, but it definitely comes across as a game that was banned as part of Valve’s Waifu Holocaust.
One possibility is that Valve may have caught wind of an article from SpielTimes, which captured a very different description of the game before it was removed from Steam. According to the SpielTimes, in an article published on April 14th, 2019, it reads….
“You play as Tom, the owner of a silk stocking store. Tom witnesses that a number of stockings are disappearing in a very frequent manner. Putting some effort, Tom catches the thief, who’s actually a “rabbit”, from what the developer claims. Tom then turns this Rabbit to the police but the latter doesn’t take it into custody. Now, it’s Tom’s duty to “teach it a lesson and make it afraid to steal Tom’s things again.””
Based on the images and trailers for the game, it doesn’t look anything like what’s described in the SpielTimes, so I’m not really sure what happened.
[Update:] StarKitsune did inform me that the trailer on the archive of the store page is not the same one that others spotted from the game, where it was completely different from the puzzle aspects featured in the trailer above. A NSFW 18+ trailer can be viewed below, which aligns with SpielTime’s article.
Also, HappyGames was previously known as Topaz Games, but again I’m not sure why they changed the name. But if the game had some kind of sexual overtones that Valve disagreed with, then it’s easy to see why it would get banned.
Additionally, 18 hours before the game was banned and SpielTimes wrote about the title, ResetEra made a polemic thread about the game on April 14th, 2019, framing it as some sort of rape title, with nbnt writing…
“I searched and didn’t find any threads about this one, I took a quick glance over the PC threads and saw no mentions of it, sorry if this is a duplicate, but.. Today as I was browsing the new releases on Steam, I saw this page for an upcoming game that’s literally about tying up a “rabbit” thief, tearing their clothes, and raping them with objects (WARNNING: NSFW at all, full body nudity, disturbing and disgusting):
“Just.. how is this even allowed to appear on Steam? Did no one see this footage before the page went up? Or is this ok by some people’s standards?
Members of ResetEra began reporting the game to Valve, which is what could have led to its ban.
Again, there’s no proof, but this could be what gave Valve the impetus to ban the game, especially since it seemed to be completely innocuous and fine in Valve’s eyes since the beginning of January, 2019.
(Thanks for the news tip Richard and StarKitsune)