A game that a developer is calling Steam’s first “100 percent uncensored” adult game is set to hit the popular PC platform Friday, complete with “sexual interactions and nudity” that were previously blocked by black bars.
Negligee: Love Stories was part of a group of erotic “visual novels” and other games that were removed from the service or held up for approval in recent months amid a crackdown on “sexually explicit” content on the store. Many developers responded to that restriction by adding black “censor” bars to the Steam versions of their games, then directing players to outside sites for downloadable patches to remove those bars.
Now, though, Negligee developer Dharker Studios says an uncensored version of the game “has completed the steam review process” and will be available without any need for patching on Friday, September 14.
Valve announced back in June that it would be taking a more hands-off approach to Steam game curation for anything that isn’t “illegal or straight-up trolling.” Listings for adult games, though, have still been held up as the company worked on new filtering tools to stop users from seeing these explicit games unintentionally.
That “Adults Only” filter rolled out last week and is now turned on for Steam users by default. That means games like Negligee will not show up in a Steam user’s recommendations unless the filter is unchecked in the Store Preferences settings.
Alongside the filters, Valve now also requires developers to describe the “violent or sexual content” in games submitted to the Steam storefront to give potential players more information when browsing the store. “We think the context of how content is presented is important, and giving a developer a place to describe and explain what’s in their game gives you even more information when browsing and considering a purchase,” Valve wrote.
Loading up the NSFW Steam page for Negligee: Love Stories requires users to log in and read through a detailed description of the game’s explicit content before seeing the full store listing or purchasing the game. That description includes warnings of “illustrations featuring nudity, undressing, and sexual interactions… themes relating to pressured sexual relationships… [and] themes relating to abusive marriages and adultery.”
“On the whole, what Steam have done is not exactly what we wanted; it isn’t perfect,” Dharker Studios wrote in a recent Kickstarter update for Negligee. “But it is a big step in the right direction.”
Oddly enough, Valve’s Steam Direct guidelines still list “pornography” as one of the types of content that “you shouldn’t publish on Steam” alongside “content that is patently offensive or intended to shock or disgust viewers.” That raises questions of whether there is a line between allowable “adult” content and disallowed “obscene” content on the platform and how exactly that line might be determined. We’ve reached out to Valve for clarification and will update if we hear back.