Following Valve Corporation’s decision to allow uncensored adult games on its digital distribution platform, Steam, Negligee: Love Stories, the long-awaited first “100-percent uncensored” adult game, was approved and released on September 15.
Valve first announced in June that it would stop policing content on Steam, but would only remove games that were illegal or “straight-up trolling”.
Although the statement made no specific reference to adult games, it was understood at the time that Valve meant it was ending its policy disallowing adult content on Steam. Valve introduced filtering tools that allow users to opt into seeing mature content on the Steam store before approving Negligee: Love Stories for release.
Negligee: Love Stories first appeared on the digital distribution platform on September 15.
However, about 28 countries spread across the globe had moved to ban Negligee: Love Stories before it was released on Steam. Many members of the Steam community who were affected by the restriction were upset and expressed their frustration.
The game’s developers, Dharker Studios, responded to the complaints, insisting there was nothing they could do about it.
According to Dharker, they have no choice but to abide by the laws of countries restricting their content, adding that that those living in restricted countries might still be able to able to find other means to purchase Negligee: Love Stories.
“I wish country restrictions were not necessary,” Dharker explained in a Steam Community post, “but I must comply with laws in countries for the sale of such material. There really is no choice in the matter and is one of the downsides of releasing a mature adult game on Steam.”
“If we release a game in a country where the content is illegal or could be considered illegal then potentially we could suffer,” the statement added.
Many members of the Steam community said they were surprised to see Germany on the list of countries where the game was restricted. Dharker said it did not have an adequate age verification system in place in Germany and thus it could be illegal to sell the game in Germany via Steam. Dharker added that Germany could be very strict about its restrictions and that the company was not willing to take risks.
“If they fined or targeted Steam as per our agreement with Steam, we (Dharker Studios) would be liable for all costs and damages,” the statement continued, “which would end our company. We are a small indie developer and do not have the resources for such costs whilst making games.”
Dharker explained that they were not yet considering the option of censoring Negligee: Love Stories.
“In the past most of our games have stories and then the adult content is created in addition to the main story,” the developer explained. “[This makes] it easy to censor them and still offer a full robust game.”
“This is not the case for Negligee: Love Stories, the stories themselves are adult in nature and style from start to finish,” the developer continued. “If we censored this game so that everyone could play, it would remove 90 percent or more of the content.”
Despite previous restrictions, games with explicit content, such as The Witcher 3 and Mass Effect 2, have appeared on the Steam platform in the past. Valve announced last May that it was cracking down on such games. However, in what was seen as an about-face, the company later reversed its policy and announced it was removing restrictions.
Meanwhile, critics have noted that Valve’s new policy about the status of live action video with adult content is not clear. According to critics, nothing about the new policy statement prevents live action video with hardcore content being presented as games.
See the full list of restricted countries below:
Papua New Guinea
Negligee: Love Stories is available now on Steam.