A developer looking to court controversy got it when news of his game, Rape Day, hit the internet. The adult visual novel would allow players to “verbally harass, kill, and rape women as you choose to progress the story.”
“I have not broken any rules, so I don’t see how my game could get banned unless Steam changes their policies,” the developer said. “My game was properly marked as adult and with a thorough description of all of the potentially offensive content before the coming soon page went live on Steam.”
Despite not technically breaking any of Steam’s rules, Valve has said the game will not be coming to Steam.
“Over the past week you may have heard about a game called ‘Rape Day’ coming soon to Steam. Today we’ve decided not to distribute this game on Steam. Given our previous communication around Who Gets To Be On The Steam Store?, we think this decision warrants further explanation.
Much of our policy around what we distribute is, and must be, reactionary—we simply have to wait and see what comes to us via Steam Direct. We then have to make a judgement call about any risk it puts to Valve, our developer partners, or our customers. After significant fact-finding and discussion, we think ‘Rape Day’ poses unknown costs and risks and therefore won’t be on Steam.
We respect developers’ desire to express themselves, and the purpose of Steam is to help developers find an audience, but this developer has chosen content matter and a way of representing it that makes it very difficult for us to help them do that.”
What’s interesting here is Valve’s wording. They’re not disallowing the game because on any sort of moral grounds, but rather because they think that allowing it on Steam might get them into trouble. It’s a little spineless, but a decision I applaud anyway because games like this shouldn’t really be on the largest PC game distribution platform. Do we really need a storefront full of interactive hate crimes?
That said, I have a feeling this game was made to push Steam’s boundaries to show how fickle the store is regarding policy. They’ve still not altered the rules though, sticking instead with their nearly anything goes policy.
Last Updated: March 7, 2019
March 7, 2019 at 09:30
Good, sanity prevailed
March 7, 2019 at 09:30
I’m definitely agreeing that this game has no place on Steam, but I don’t think it’s fair calling Valve spineless for making a business decision here. They *CANNOT* claim they will be hands-off in terms of subject matter and then, when the first point of contention happens, take a moral ground. The shakiest of all grounds, given half of every game involves some form of capital crime including (but not limited to) murder, theft, kidnapping, torture, etc.
A business decision makes a LOT more sense.