We would like to confirm, along with so many other developers who have come forward, that our title, Kindred Spirits, has also been targeted by Steam’s sudden and abrupt content policy shift and has been threatened with removal if the content of the game is not modified.
As you may recall from our own announcements and coverage in several news outlets, we and many others in the industry considered the release of Kindred Spirits unaltered on the platform a positive shift in the treatment of tasteful, mature content on the platform. We stand by our assertion then that content of the game is not pornographic, but an earnest and tasteful exploration of sexuality.
We went to great pains to run the game’s content by Valve representatives––including sending along every potentially questionable graphical asset along with advanced builds of the title––to ensure that that feeling was mutual. The game would have never appeared on the platform if we had not confirmed with Valve representatives that they did not feel the content was pornographic and was appropriate for the platform.
Despite our best efforts to respect both the letter and spirit of Valve’s content guidelines as we were made to understand them, we are wholly in the dark with this latest apparent shift in policy as no clear guidelines or standards have been provided. We will seek to negotiate with Valve to keep Kindred Spirits as-is on the Steam Store to the best of our ability, but failing that we still require guidelines to modify the title and future titles to fit these new, apparently stricter standards.
Regardless of Steam’s content policies, MangaGamer remains committed to excellent games and stories being told as they were meant to be. We have a long history of this commitment in the digital space relative to the majority of our competitors, and we invite any developers and partners who would like to sell on our platform to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org as we prepare to upgrade it in coming months for more clients, partners, and community building. Remember that in buying directly through us, more of your purchase goes directly to the game’s developers rather than a significant portion going to retail platform fees.
We will continue to post developments as they progress on this topic. All press requests should be made to our press director, John Pickett, email@example.com.
UPDATE 5/19 7:28p.m. EDT: We have just received word from Valve to disregard the previous notice. According to the e-mail, Kindred Spirits will be re-reviewed and we will be provided with specific feedback if there are concerns about the game’s content. We sincerely appreciate Valve’s prompt response with respect to this issue.