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Steam Greenlight’s most popular game blocked from Steam over Slender Man copyright

Steam Greenlight

Long-sleeved stuff-of-nightmares Slender Man has swiftly become one of the most sophisticated internet memes ever conceived, outgrowing Photoshop and his nest in the Something Awful forums to become the subject of numerous game projects. Why, Paul covered two of them in this week’s Spotlight on Greenlight alone. Both were first-person horror games flashlight mechanics, and one was Faceless, the game Valve are currently blocking from Steam despite its long-held position as the highest-rated game on Greenlight.

In a chat with Joystiq, Faceless developer Justin Ross revealed that a copyright issue was keeping his game from the service. Although Slender Man is free-to-use and Ross has the permission of meme creator Victor Surge, there’s one more barrier left standing that has Valve’s legal glands aflare.

Valve have told Ross that “The permission from Victor Surge/Eric Knudsen is fine but since he has an option holder we’ll need their permission too.”

Ross is currently in communication with the Slender Man option holder, who owns the contract for the IP license for mediums including television, literature and video games. In the meantime the game formerly known as Slender: Source is in distribution limbo.

Ross is understandably frustrated. “[It] makes little sense to me as Slender Man is a public property used by people before without having to do what we’re having to do,” he told Joystiq. “I think we have to sign waivers because we’re the most popular and most anticipated out of the Slender Man games right now.”

Nonetheless, he hopes that the issues will be ironed out with the option holder and Faceless will take its rightful place on Steam. If not, he plans to simply release the game via ModDB.

Have you voted for Faceless on Greenlight? There’s plenty of tense shoegazing going on in the teaser:

Thanks, Kotaku.