MangaGamer and Sekai Project will bring their visual novels to GOG, with 11 titles currently available on the digital marketplace and more still to be added. This comes in the wake of uncertain policies from Valve regarding sexual content on Steam, and MangaGamer specifically cite that recent controversy in their announcement.
GOG now host eden and the Higurashi When They Cry series from MangaGamer, as well as the fault and Sunrider series from Sekai Project. All of these titles are on sale for the debut – some up to 66% off – and Sunrider: Mask of Arcadius is currently free-to-own.
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MangaGamer PR director John Pickett says “this opportunity couldn’t have come at a better time. We had been speaking with GOG prior to recent events about adding visual novels as a genre to their retail platform, and with Valve now threatening the livelihoods of visual novel developers everywhere, it’s a huge relief to see GOG opening their doors to these games.”
Pickett adds in the announcement that “Steam has now proven that it’s growing unreliable for small and independent developers, so we are very grateful to have the next biggest retailer in the PC market welcoming visual novels with open arms and an eye for quality.”
Eventually, MangaGamer hopes to bring its entire Steam catalog to GOG. GOG will host “all ages” versions of those titles with nudity and adult content, but they say that they “don’t plan to block or interfere with compatibility for any additional content the devs want to make available on their end.” (In fact, the even joke about a “de-censor patch” on the promo page.) Valve started cracking down on uncensor patches well before the more recent controversy.
Valve sent warnings to a number of developers last week, warning them that their games would have to remove pornographic content or be delisted from Steam. After outcry from fans and developers, Valve have walked back those warnings with the intent to re-review their claims and make more specific recommendations to developers on their content. MangaGamer were among those who mentioned the news, tweeting,“We sincerely appreciate Valve’s prompt response with respect to this issue.”
Still, Valve’s sudden action and lack of clarity have visual novel developers feeling skittish. GOG have typically been reticent to host visual novels, though they did already sell the rather popular (and rather horny) VN-meets-match-3 title HuniePop. If GOG continue to be more receptive to those titles, they may just take over Steam’s place for this particular niche.