Another Adult Game Banned by Steam. Much Larger Issue Uncovered!
Multiple developers and journalists report: legitimate or not, your title can get permanently removed, too – and you will never be told why.
The incoming adult virtual reality game made by premium VR adult movies’ makers, VR Bangers – has been banned and completely wiped out from its existence on Steam – one of the biggest gaming platforms owned by the Valve Corporation.
Even though Valve had already approved the game’s store page as far back as on February 22nd, the company has made a last minute call (the game was meant to be released on May 31st and, according to the SteamDB.info database, it was removed on May 22nd) without granting any reasonable explanation of the action and, according to the developers, providing its makers with no contraindications or issues on any stage of the game’s introduction to the shop.
The Date Night was a logical game inside of which you were being “rewarded” with pre-recorded virtual reality footage of professional adult models working with the subscription-based VR adult videos’ website VRBangers. According to the game’s description on Steam – which is not available anymore – it was supposed to be a “catchy match 3 game, being a perfect entertainment and a time killer” inside of which you could “hop on your tablet and play this puzzle game to relax and meet a sexy girl from your dreams”. Date Night was meant to be working with or without a VR headset – so both inside and outside the virtual reality – and it did not stand out with anything from many similar adult titles available on Steam at the moment.
Typically, if the Steam’s product release team – led by the product release manager Jason Ruymen – do not want a game on Steam, they deny the app ID and reject the store at the initial submission for approval. The Date Night was accepted and was moments before its release, yet it still did not manage to reach its final destination – meaning the customers of the Valve’s market – even though the developers have followed all the Steam’s guidelines for adult-related titles.
The reason behind the Date Night’s ban is unknown, and the game was not removed because of its adult content – it has been over a year since Steam’s new policies for uncensored adult games have taken effect, and the library of the platform is swarming with similar titles at the very moment. What is more, Date Night was meeting the most important condition required by Steam – it was marked as “Adult Only” upon being added to the service, so the customers interested in the title knew exactly what they are getting into.
William Usher from One Angry Gamer claims that it is not the first such situation, and that many similar supposedly harmless and rather unobtrusive games are getting banned from Steam every day. Usher also claims that it is happening in the steadily increasing manner over the last couple of months – at least when it comes to the adult games with the heterosexual nature, it is. Simultaneously, another title called “YOU CAN’T F*** ON AN EMPTY STOMACH” is available in the Steam’s library at this very moment, even though it has been reported to provide the user with contents related to a homosexual rape – hence being way more obscure and alarming than the Date Night.
What is more, which was reported by the PC Gamer’s journalists, Valve’s staff has decided to initially add the game called Rape Day to their market – inside of which the player becomes a serial killer rapist – and removed it only after multiple reports and a numerous articles in leading gaming news websites. While sexual content like nudity could be undesirable to some users, rape is already a crime that could not ever be compared to a softcore adult game like Date Night.
If Steam’s product release team does not want to support the adult games at all, why the aforementioned title with homosexual rape content is still allowed to be purchased, right next to hundreds or other uncensored titles for adults – and the previously added Rape Day game? This question remains unanswered and Valve’s employees did not reply to this matter officially just yet.
At this very moment, even following the Steam’s guidelines thoroughly is not giving the developers a 100% certainty that their game will be allowed for selling, and the company chooses which is suitable for their platform, and which is not, according to their own internal predispositions – and, which is even more troubling, without providing the makers with any reasons behind potential removal of their titles.
On the other side of the globe, though, in China – a country with one of the harshest laws on digital distribution of the external titles within their borders, prohibition against foreign investment, and vague and restrictive censorship regulations – Valve’s Steam seems to be one of the very few foreign gaming platforms available, successfully “avoiding” the Chinese censorship laws and selling the titles through Steam disregarding the prevailing rules.
“Despite the great lengths the Chinese government has gone to censor and regulate video games, Steam and most of its games remain accessible to Chinese users,” states the article about the Chinese gaming industry from the PC Gamer magazine. How is that even possible? According to Lisa Cosmas Hanson, founder and managing partner of Niko Partners, an expert research firm for the Asian games market: “That’s the 64-million dollar question isn’t it?” She said. “Everyone knows it’s there and they shut down other systems, they lock things regularly as you know. How that’s been continuing? I don’t know.”
This is not a single case shaking up the adult acceptance, and not too long ago the society had to deal with a rather similar situation that happened at the CES 2019. As reported by journalists from the VentureBeat, the Consumer Technology Association reverted the CES 2019 Innovation Award given to Lora DiCarlo – the one granted to her for the innovative sex toy called the Osé (which means “bold” in French) – saying that “the award for the female-focused micro-robotic sex toy Osé was inappropriate”. After the public outcry, the reward has been returned to the ingenious female creator – but if it were not for the fact that the matter was publicized in the media all over the world, it probably would never have been reverted.
So what is the Valve’s policy after all? They accept the uncensored adult games, but only those that the company find fitting for their market according to some unknown internal rules? And what about the aforementioned titles with extremely alarming content that remain untouched from the Steam’s market? And if the company is really against such materials, why have they started accepting it in the first place, and how could you explain their working on “avoiding” the censorship law in China? All these questions remain unanswered.
For this very moment, the only thing that could be said is that it turns out that Steam truly has some double standards – and especially when it comes to adult content – and everything that is going on in the Jason Ruymen’s team is far from being “fair and square”. We feel sorry for VR Bangers and we are honestly waiting for Valve to issue an official position on this matter. Perhaps, if the online media community reacted in a similar way as it was with Mrs. DiCarlo, Date Night could return to the Steam library one day – it is, of course, if members of Ryumen’s team and the product release manager himself would be able to admit that they have made a mistake.