Valve is continuing to cull select anime and adult games from the Steam store. This time it includes Sol Press and HiqoSoft’s title Yotsunoha was hit with the ban hammer along with Runa’s Date, a Chinese dating sim, and a troll game called Gachimuchi: Ass We Can.
Gachimuchi: Ass We Can is based on the popular 4chan meme, and it was attempted to make its way onto Steam, but Valve dropped the banhammer on it back on May 7th, 2019, according to the SteamDB entry.
The R18+ version of another game was banned, but there wasn’t enough information on the title to find out who made it or when it was scheduled to be released. It was banned on May 9th, 2019, according to the SteamDB entry. The developers had originally submitted it as far back as February, 24th, 2019 for approval to get a store page, but for some reason Valve decided to reject it, thus banning it from appearing on the Steam store.
Dream Bucket’s Runa’s Date was also banned, according to the SteamDB entry. But what’s odd about this is that it’s a follow-up to Runa’s School Story, which is currently available on the Steam store right now for $4.99.
Runa’s School Story is also available on itch.io, but Runa’s Date was axed from Steam shortly before its release. Unfortunately all of the store pages have been completely wiped out of Google’s Cache and Valve removed the community hub, so there’s no way to see what was going on with the game, whether or not there was something on the store page that was out of sync or if it was one of those games that Valve’s staff just didn’t like and decided to ban it from the store.
We do know that back on April 28th, 2019 there was an announcement on the Runa’s School Story page from Dream Bucket acknowledging that development of Runa’s Date was nearing completion. They explained…
“Runa’s Date is a mix between a dating simulator, puzzle game, and visual novel. Play as a bad or good guy, and influence the main heroine, Runa, through your interactions with her!
“The development of this game was parallel with the first one. Now the game is at the stage of localization and testing. We hope that everything will go well and we will be able to please you with a release in May.”
There’s no mention of Runa’s Date being banned in the forums, for now. But that could change later on. At least we know that Dream Bucket hasn’t been banned, and whatever the issue was that Valve had with Runa’s Date they didn’t see an issue with Runa’s School Story. Then again, Valve have retroactively banned some games, so it’s possible that Runa’s School Story might still end up on the chopping block.
Last but not least is HiqoSoft’s Yotsunoha. The visual novel originally came out back in 2005 in Japan, according to the VNDB.org entry. The visual novel comes in both all-ages and R18+ version. Sol Press submitted the all-ages version to Steam, but it was banned.
According to the SteamDB entry Valve not only banned the game on May 9th, 2019 but they also removed the visibility of the community page. However, there are archives of both, but there wasn’t much discussion in the forums.
In an archive of the Steam page we see that there is no Adults Only tag, so it appears Sol Press was submitting the all-ages version of the game to Steam. However, as noted on the VNDB page, Yotsunoha features a loli as the main protagonist, and we all know how Valve feels about lolis, even in the all-ages versions of games.
Also the mature content description states that the Steam version contained “nudity” and “sexual content”, but how much of it I’m unsure. So maybe it wasn’t censored enough for Valve’s tastes and that’s why they nixed it? Alternatively, it could have been the loli protagonist in addition to the school setting. We know that Valve doesn’t like anime school settings with young looking characters, so that could have been what triggered them to ban the game.
[Update 5/10/2019:] A snapshot of the Steam store page from May 3rd, 2019 just before the game was banned shows that the mature content descriptor was updated, listing the following content being in Yotsunoha’s all-ages version of the game…
“Contains content of a sexual nature, including:
Sexual jokes, innuendo, and references
Panty shots (Both accidental and intentional)
Groping (Both accidental and intentional)”
But then again, Neko Nyan did manage to get Hello, Goodbye back onto Steam after it was initially banned for having lolis in a school setting, so I’m not entirely sure what the criteria was for why Yotsunoha was banned.
You can still purchase the game from over on the official website, so it’s not a complete bust for Sol Press. Even still, it’s not looking good for anime visual novels releasing on Steam, as these titles continue to fill up the Waifu Holocaust 2.0 banned list.
(Thanks for the news tip StarKitsune)