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Developers of adult games on Steam should "assume months" before game approval

Negligee: Love Stories forced into a likely delay as Valve continues work on content filter

Another wrinkle has manifested for developers of adult games who want to publish on Steam. In response to an inquiry from the developer of adult visual novel Negligee: Love Stories, a Valve representative revealed that it may take months before such games can be approved once more.

The trouble began last May, when several developers of visual novels already published on Steam reported that Valve had instructed them to censor their games, or see them removed from Steam. After a backlash, Valve retracted the warnings and publicized a new policy that would allow anything on its platform that wasn't "illegal or trolling."

That aside, Valve did state its intention to implement new filters allowing users to sort out adult content they did not wish to see. But as a part of that, multiple developers of adult games have been struggling to get either updates or full releases pushed to Steam. Some have appealed to Valve, which held the line that the features needed to be in place before any adult games could see releases or updates approved on Steam.

Which brings us to today. Gamasutra reports that the developer of Negligee: Love Stories, Dharker Studio, was growing anxious ahead of a planned September 7 release for what would be its 18th submitted game. In a post to the Steam developer forums, Dharker Studio reported that its game had already been pending review for a long time--longer than any other game it had released.

Valve representative SeanJ responded:

"We're right in the middle of building some features into Steam for customers to be able to choose the type of products they see in the store. Your game has content in it that needs these features to be completed and shipped first. You'll have to do some additional store page work around describing the content in your game once we have completed those features. We don't have an exact timeline for those features though, so please be patient as we complete the work."

Dharker Studio responded, asking if this meant weeks or months, to which SeanJ replied, "Assume months at this point."

In a post on its store page, Dharker Studio stated that it would appeal the decision, but that it was most likely the game would still be delayed and that even the game's "censored suggestive only version" was being considered inappropriate for release.

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Latest comments (1)

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 3 years ago
Legit sucks for developers and publishers to have no time-frame when they can release their products, absolutely no doubt about that.

The only thing I would say in mitigation is, a store of Steam's size having adult games uncensored is going to push them well into the mainstream - uncensored VNs alongside Sekiro and Yakuza (even if there's filters in place) is going to be a fantastic sight to see.

Doesn't make the "now" any better, though.
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