I don’t play through a whole lot of Dating Sims or Visual Novels, but DatingSim/Puzzle hybrid HuniePop is one of few exceptions. I very much enjoyed the game, and have been looking forward to the sequel ever since. I scrolled across something a little concerning yesterday, though.
At first I thought “Alright, some kid’s mom caught him playing this game and reported it to Steam as obscene”. The problem is that other developers have also apparently received notices from Valve regarding similar games.
This annoys me because:
- I’ve owned HuniePop through Steam for 2-3 years now; it’s already been available there for AT LEAST that long.
- The only way to actually get full-on nudity in the game is to get the patch from the developer or another outside source. In this regard, it’s the same as literally any other adult mod out there for any other kind of game.
- This seems like a targeted strike against a very specific type of game. I have a strong suspicion that Rockstar Games didn’t get this same notice for the adult content in the Grand Theft Auto series….And what about the Witcher games? Do they not also include nude/sexual content?
The pages for HuniePop, Galaxy Girls, etc. are currently still up, but from what I gathered through the HunieDev twitter account, they (including the other developers) have a few weeks to figure things out or the games will be removed from Steam.
While licensor/distributor censorship isn’t anything new, really, I literally cited HuniePop and Steam as an example in a debate against someone on MAL maybe a month or so ago. The user basically thought the sky was falling around Ecchi games and anime due to increased censorship. Up until yesterday, HuniPop and Steam stood as an example of games like that being available on a very popular distribution platform, but minus the truly “adult” content, unless the purchaser was to specifically seek it out.
If the potential ban holds, my argument on this becomes a lot weaker. Sure, developers will still be able to create that type of content; no one is preventing them from doing so, but platforms like Steam are extremely helpful in allowing smaller studios to easily access a large pool of potential customers. Hell, I probably never would have even learned of the damn game I hadn’t scrolled past it during a Steam Sale.
I do eventually plan to bring one of the people from MAL onto the podcast to talk about anime/game normalization and censorship, but I haven’t actually set that up yet. So what your guys’ thoughts on this? Is it much ado about nothing since devs can still create the content and possibly sell it on their own sites or platforms? Or could this legitimately hinder smaller developers and studios that produce sexualized content?