Steam is delaying approval of new adult games until they’ve created a filtering system to keep “inappropriate” content from player’s storefronts.
You might have noticed that Steam has been cutting back on approving certain types of games. Go to the new games section on Steam and you’ll see there are very few of those buxom, scantily clad ladies that seem to fill the covers of every visual novel game out there. That’s because Steam has halted approving games with adult content until they’ve added some new features that help users filter out such games.
The whole thing became a big issue earlier this year when Steam got into a lot of trouble for such adult games as House Party, which featured some very graphic and very adult situations, but had little more than an age-gate to keep kids from accessing it.
Age gates have historically stopped zero children from accessing whatever depraved piece of content they want, so naturally, more conservative gamers were up in arms.
Thus began a period where Steam started demanding that all games with adult content have them removed before they could be sold on the marketplace. This move garnered accusations of censorship from developers, arguing that free speech should take precedence over protecting children.
Both sides had a point, so in June, Steam posted a blog update that said they wouldn’t stop developers from making adult games or stop players from buying them, but they would create software that prevents adult games from being visible in the marketplace should the user choose to filter those types of games out.
There’s just one problem: it’s taking Steam a long time to develop that software.
One maker of adult visual novel games asked how long they recently submitted game would be in limbo and received a reply that it might take months.
So if you’ve got, a, um, shall we say, enthusiastic appreciation for a certain kind of visual novel game, you’ll have to find it somewhere other than Steam for the time being.