Even though Dontnod Entertainment got away with an underage sex scene in Life Is Strange 2, with Valve doing nothing about that game, visual novels like Jiangshi x Taoshi from Dendou Denki Dou and Fruitbat Factory have been getting banned, even when the all-ages version has been submitted for review.
One of the developers who were working on the English translation of the game for Fruitbat Factory spilled the beans on Twitter, publishing the letter they received from Steam’s software curator about why the title was rejected from Valve’s platform.
Well then. This is why I always dread submitting VNs to Steam. (All-ages VN, no school setting or school uniforms involved).
Reposted to obscure the name – those who know what’s up should know it anyway. pic.twitter.com/G0AP4lGQnX
— Phlebas (@PhleBuster) April 3, 2020
The relevant portion of the e-mail reads…
“After review, we will not be able to ship your game [redacted] on Steam. While we strive to ship most titles submitted to us, we found that this title features themes, imagery or descriptions that we won’t distribute.
“Regardless of a developer’s intentions with their product, we will not distribute content that appears, in our judgment, to depict sexual conduct involving a minor.
“While every product submitted is unique, if your product features this representation – even in a subtle way that could be defined as a “grey area” – it will be rejected by Steam.” […]
So how do we know that it’s Jiangshi x Taoshi even though Phlebas censored the name? Because according to the Nukige Group’s Google document, it’s the only game that was recently banned from Steam that was published by Fruitbat Factory.
And how do we know this is from Fruitbat Factory? Because it was confirmed further down the Twitter thread.
Whatever else we do, I expect it’ll be there too. Thanks!
— Phlebas (@PhleBuster) April 3, 2020
Looking forward to it, and I’ll do something to signal boost when the time comes. Knee-jerk censorship always sucks, especially when you’ve invested time/money in bringing it over to English speakers. I genuinely appreciate FBF for doing that, there’s a lot we’d miss otherwise ♥️
— Vulp || Commissions 2/2 slots filled (@TheVulpineHero1) April 3, 2020
If you check the SteamDB entry, it clearly shows that the app has been banned, which was corroborated by Phlebas.
In any case, as pointed out by Phlebas, there is no school setting, school uniforms, or lolis engaged in sex in the all-ages version of JIangshi xTaoshi.
However, the game does feature a loli and that was probably enough for the curator to drop the banhammer on the visual novel. You can get a brief glimpse of what the visual novel is like courtesy of a video trailer below from the trial version of the game that came from the official website. Keep in mind that the visual novel originally released way back in 2014 in Japan.
For those of you who have been paying attention to Valve’s banning of visual novel games, they have a hard-on of hate for anything featuring lolis.
Niplheim’s Hunter almost didn’t make it onto Steam due to a character Valve interpreted as a loli. Valve later said that their request for censorship was a “misunderstanding”. Simon Creative was also forced by Valve to remove a loli character from Food Girls.
It doesn’t matter what the context of the character is, sometimes simply having them in the game is enough to have Valve either outright ban the game or request for the character’s removal.
There are dozens of examples of unwarranted bans on the Waifu Holocaust banned game list, highlighting how Valve is systematically picking and choosing certain games to prohibit from releasing on the platform, mostly dependent on the curator’s ideological preferences.
Sadly, it appears Jiangshi x Taoshi was one of those games that was unlucky enough to get caught in what many call the crosshairs of the “Rogue Employee” (or employees).
Hopefully it’ll find a profitable life on alternative storefronts. You’ll have to keep an eye on the official Fruitbat Factory website to learn more about the potential release schedule for the upcoming English version of the visual novel.
(Thanks for the news tips Ri¢hard and Ebicentre)