"Rape Day" is a visual novel featuring still images of graphic sexual violence against women; the game was available for preview on Steam for three weeks with 25 screenshots that included scenes of rape and women held at gunpoint. It further stressed that its policy must be reactionary, meaning all it can do is wait what will be on their platform, and only then it can decide about any risks a content puts on all parties involved - customers, developers, and Valve itself. As of 6March, the game has been removed from Steam after "significant fact-finding and discussion" due to posing "unknown costs and risks".
Its most recent post echoes much of the same language used in the blog post for its June decision, explaining that Valve respects "developers' desire to express themselves".
A developer looking to court controversy got it when news of his game, Rape Day, hit the internet. In theory, that 30% cut would be acceptable because Steam allows quality games to thrive.
The game had been set for release in April.
"It's time for the United Kingdom government to undertake a full review into how tech companies and gaming platforms - specifically Steam - are able to get away with this kind of stupidity", said Hannah Bardell MP, member of the Scottish National Party. Was it the sexual violence, or merely the specific and cavalier way the sexual violence was presented?
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News of the game's release prompted petitions in several countries to block it, with one Change.org petition garnering almost 8,000 signatures.
It's unclear what any of that means, or how hard-nosed fact-finding resulted in "unknown costs and risks".
While Steam is specifically targeted in these comments, Robinson adds that "I am delighted that Steam has rejected the distribution of this incredibly shocking game on their online platform".
Clearly, this is an exploit that benefits games that are already well recognized by the public instead of the fledgling indies that could actually benefit from it. The petition reads, "Rape is not a game and the makers of this should not be allowed to make money promoting the rape and killing of women".
Valve closed out its statement by saying it's willing to work with developers to find an audience but said Desk Plant chose content matter that made it hard for Valve to help them with that.
Indie developers want their game to sell, what they don't want is to be buried under a pile of troll titles and asset flips.