VenusBlood Frontier was supposed to release on December 20th, 2019 next week on Steam, but it appears as if that may not be happening since Valve rejected the game. The developers had to break the news to their Kickstarter backers in a recent post, making it known that the role-playing strategy game will likely have to be heavily edited and censored in order to release on Steam.
The good news is that the December 20th date is still going to be honored for the Jast USA and DLSite release. Steam, however, is a complete toss-up or maybe even completely off the table.
On December 13th, 2019 the developers informed the Kickstarter community about the delay, writing…
“Let’s not beat around the bush, there is a very high probability that the STEAM version of Venusblood FRONTIER International will be delayed.
“It would seem we may have been a little too optimistic when it came to the STEAM review process, because as it stands right now, the game has already been rejected once, and we are currently working on the updated build for STEAM. As a result of this, we may not be able to release the STEAM version on the promised date of December 20th…
“For backers of the JAST USA version and the JP DLsite version, rest assured that even if the STEAM version is delayed, we will not push back the release of these two versions and you will get them on the promised release date. Physical goods including the physical edition of VBFI will also be shipped on time without any delays.”
Before Ninetail made the announcement on their Kickstarter page, the visual novel community was already tipped off that the game had been rejected by another visual novel programmer, who confirmed that Sekai Project’s Baldr Sky had been approved for release on the Steam store and had passed the review process successfully, but a few other visual novels were not so lucky.
Baldr Sky got approved, but it sounds like a number of other adult (and even non adult) visual novels submitted to steam from various publishers over the last few weeks got banned. While I can’t elaborate what titles, they’re definitely games that would have been approved before.
— Doddler (@The_Doddler) December 12, 2019
Unfortunately Doddler doesn’t say which games got banned, and since they don’t appear on the Madjoki filter of banned games, we have no idea what these games are/were or whether or not they were justly banned or unjustly banned.
However, this makes it difficult to keep the Waifu Holocaust 2.0 list updated when we don’t even know what games were rejected from Steam or from which developers or why.
Apparently Valve is getting slick in the bans to prevent the general public at large from even finding out what games have been getting the axe. It’s the sort of tactic you expect from censorious dictators.
Worse yet is that Valve has completely abandoned any attempt at not being the taste police. They’ve become full on curators of content in the worse way possible, with no visibility or transparency behind their actions. At least with Steam Greenlight you could see what games indie developers were trying to bring to Steam and you could vote for them if you thought they deserved to be on the platform. As it stands now Valve is deciding what you can and cannot play and you have no say so in the matter whatsoever.
On the upside you can still purchase VenusBlood Frontier from the Jast USA store.
(Thanks for the news tip Zero Eternity and Doraggon)