Yume Creations revealed in a set of recent tweets that the reason Episode 4 of Games&Girls hasn’t released yet is due to Valve holding up episode in their review process due to the swastika… or more pertinently, due to the swastika looking like the Hakenkreuz.
The news started with a tweet on September 3rd, 2019, where Yume Creations noted that Games&Girls: Episode 4 was still held up in Valve’s content review system, where curators ensure that the game meets their standards before being allowed on Steam.
Games&Girls Episode 4 is still on review at steam. I’m a bit worried… ^^”
— Yume Creations (@YumeCreations) September 3, 2019
Typically if a game gets held up in review at Steam, the results aren’t good. These games either go on to be indefinitely delayed until they’re banned, which is precisely what happened to Tenkiame, which was indefinitely delayed back in March of 2019, but then banned in June, several months later.
There are some rare cases where games get indefinitely delayed and then are later released, which is what happened with Food Girls, an all-ages visual novel where Valve forced the developers to extricate a loli from the game before allowing it on Steam. That process took five months, since the developers had to redo all the scenes involving that character.
A similar case also happened with Niplheim’s Hunter, which was held up from releasing for a while until Valve finally allowed it through after initially attempting to force the developers to remove a character from the game; almost like what they made Simon Creative do for Food Girls. They still banned Niplheim’s Hunter’s R18+ patch, though.
In the case of Yume Creations, a day after fretting over the review delay, it was announced that Valve said that Game&Girls: Episode 4 would have to be resubmitted for review.
Okay, I got a reply from steam and they asking me to resubmit Games&Girls Episode 4 and nothing more? I don’t get it ._.
— Yume Creations (@YumeCreations) September 4, 2019
There was obvious confusion in the tweet, but then we finally get to the crux of the matter and what Valve actually had a problem with: the symbols on the outfits.
In a tweet published on September 6th, 2019, Yume Creations revealed that Valve’s lack of being able to tell the Buddhist swastika from the German Hakenkreuz is what prevented Games&Girls: Episode 4 from launching on Steam.
Got a reply from steam. Now they have issues with symbols used in the game. It’s sad that people still can’t distinguish between a swastika and a Hakenkreuz :/ pic.twitter.com/a4F4Q8QGHO
— Yume Creations (@YumeCreations) September 6, 2019
In case you can’t view the tweet or the image in the tweet, you can check it out below.
Yes, the SS-inspired outfit apparently sent the Valve content curators into a conniption, and they decided to hold up the release of Games&Girls: Episode 4 over… symbols?
This completely flies in the face of Valve’s claim that they would no longer be the “taste police”.
Preventing a game from releasing on the digital storefront over drawn symbols is very much the definition of taste policing.
But then again, the entire Waifu Holocaust 2.0 banned game list basically proves that Valve has been taste policing for quite some time since they implemented the Adults Only game filters.
In the case of Games&Girls, even though the Steam version is the all-ages version of the visual novel, and three previous episodes were released without any problems, the fact that some symbols appeared on an article of clothing that didn’t jive with the curator’s personal ideological stance is quite telling.
So will Valve let the episode through or will they force Yume Creations to alter the symbols, even though the Nazi symbols appear without any problems in MachineGames’ Wolfenstein titles?
This wouldn’t be the first time that Yume Creations ran afoul of Valve’s inconsistent policies and curation methods. The indie developer previously had to deal with their developer account “mistakenly” being banned, following a row that involved their game Imolicious being banned from Steam.
At the moment you can purchase Games&Girls and the first three episodes from the Steam store.
(Thanks for the news tip Doraggon)