Developers of adult visual novels are having their games temporarily withheld from Steam while Valve works on features to allow users more control over what they see on the platform. Valve have previously attempted to police adult content on Steam, with a series of takedowns threatened earlier this year.
Developers Love in Space, who are currently developing mature visual novel Shining Song Starnova, tweeted in June to say that they had finished developing the game and were waiting for Valve to approve the build. Last week, the company tweeted again, stating that it had heard back from Valve, but that the release of Shining Song Starnova would be delayed.
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In the tweets (via TechRaptor), Love in Space say that Valve are “working on new features to give people more control over the content they see and SSS has been identified as needing these features in place before it can go live on Steam.” They go on to say that “we’ve not been able to get a timeline on this, but we’ll continue to keep you all informed.”
In May, Valve asked several developers to remove adult content from their games, or risk having them removed from sale. Those changes were swiftly walked back after a response from the community, and Valve instead said that it would “re-review” games for content violations, before feeding back to developers.
We’ve now been updated by Valve in regards to Shining Song Starnova, the summary is that they are working on new features to give people more control over the content they see and SSS has been identified as needing these features in place before it can go live on Steam. [1/2]
— Love in Space (@Love_In_Space) July 12, 2018
Earlier this month, SteamSpy creator Sergey Galyonkin suggested that Valve should offer more ways to filter content on its store, suggesting that the current ‘anything goes’ approach to games only works if users can control what they see.
TechRaptor report that several other developers have been affected by Valve’s decision. We’ve reached out to Shining Song Starnova publisher Sekai Project to ask about the delay. We’ve also reached out to Valve to ask about the new features and their proposed timeframe. We’ll update this story if we learn more.