Stella Maiden: Girls of the Stars, the waifu-themed action-RPG from South Korean developer MIST Game, has been banned from Google Play for “sexuality”. Not only that but when the developer attempted to appeal the ban, Google terminated their Google Play developer account.
SungGwon Han from MIST Game informed the English speaking audience about the ban on May 12th, 2020, writing in a Facebook post…
“*Critical issues (T_T)
“My Google developer account has been terminated.
“I objected to Google and I am waiting for an answer.
We will notify you as Google’s response comes.
‘Currently available on IOS.
If you attempt to visit the Google Play store page for Stella Maiden, you’re met with a notice stating that the URL can no longer be found on the server.
In case any Centrists attempt to use the excuse that the game was never available on the server, there is a cached archive of the store page revealing that Stella Maiden was very well liked by the community, sporting 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Users suggested that they look into alternative platforms to bolster the marketing and audience for Stella Maiden, including Nutaku. However, two days later on May 14th, 2020, they informed the community that it would take too much work and money to make the necessary changes to put the game on Nutaku, and that Google stated that they would not reinstate the Stella Maiden account.
In the post, they explained…
“Google says it will not restore Stellar Maiden account.
“The cause is [sexuality] and among many games, it’s so unfair why we just closed our account …
“I think of a way to upload it back to the store, but it is difficult. This is because a lot of changes are required to upload a new version. The work costs a lot of money, but I don’t have any money left. Um … I will think more about what I can do.
“It’s very painful…
In the comment section they further explained that Nutaku wasn’t an option due to the cost of what it would take to make it viable for their platform as well, writing…
“There was a lot to add to service in Nutaku. Unfortunately, I had no cost to do it.”
If you’re unfamiliar with Stella Maiden, it’s a top-down space shooter that features lots of sexy artwork of jiggly waifus with big boobs and scrumptious rumps. You can get an idea of what the fan-service is like with the video below, courtesy of KC Games.
This isn’t the first time that Google has targeted fan-service games aimed at straight male audiences.
- Zyon was removed from Google Play for the exact same reasons. However, the developer censored the game to accommodate Google’s requests.
- Winter Wolves also suffered a similar fate, with the Vera Blanc games being banned because there were a few scenes in the game where the females were in bikinis and cleavage was on display.
- The ArtStation app was also banned for the same reasons, this time because some of the art that was featured on the app came from a female South Korean artist who had artwork up of a curvaceous female character.
- Dodge Club Pocket was also banned from the Google Play app store because some of the characters had cleavage on display.
Those are just a few examples that we were made aware of, and it doesn’t account for all the other apps banned that we don’t know about.
This all started after Google instituted a new policy about promoting products with “strong female characters” back in late 2017, and began cracking down on apps and games that featured sexy female characters. Some games have slipped through the cracks, but usually after being alerted to fan-service titles, Google either has the apps to censor the depictions of the females or they remove it from the store.
Centrists™ have long defended this censorship on the grounds that not every fan-service game has been banned from the Google Play store, so they boisterously proclaim that there is no censorship taking place. Obviously this flies in the face of all the examples listed above making it clear as day that Google is censoring depictions of sexy female characters.
The only upside for developers like MIST Games is that they can still sell the app on the iTunes App Store… for now.
(Thanks for the news tip Daniel Hao)