Steam have removed visual novel Bokuten – Why I Became an Angel despite it being an all ages version, and allegedly with no notification to the publisher.
The news comes via @Kaitsu, one of the MangaGamer team who brought the game to Steam. They claim that while the game had been “banned,” they had received no notification from Steam of the game’s removal. According to SteamDB (a website dedicated to tracking alterations on Steam’s databases), the game was removed from Steam at 04:08:48 a.m. UTC.
“The entire Bokuten team put countless man hours into both the adult and AA versions of the game,” Kaitsu explains, “and to see it getting banned with no notice was a huge punch in the gut. Bokuten was our baby & it deserved better.”
Steam had gradually edged away from adult content- with one developer on October 28th 2017 confirming they were no longer allowed to post any information regarding uncensoring patches on Steam.
On May 18th, 2018, many adult game developers received messages from Steam, stating they needed to remove adult content from their games or have them removed. The day after it was explained this was an error– as all adult games were being re-reviewed.
Valve then stated on June 7th, 2018 that it would “allow everything” on Steam other than “trolling” or illegal content. On July 16th of that year, developers claimed Steam was working on a new adult filter system.
While the first totally uncensored adult game did come to Steam in September 2018, others have not been so lucky. Visual novel Hello Good-Bye was banned even after patching the game appropriate for all ages. “HunieDev” also confirmed that HuniePop2 would be censored on Steam, while heavily hinting at an uncensoring patch being available.
Taimanin Asagi series was set to become available on Steam in August 2019, with the first episode being free. A few weeks later the game was removed from Steam, due to accusations that the game’s characters were underage. Some believed this was caused by some characters wearing a school uniform.
The game would later return as Taimanin Asagi 1: Trial, devoid of any sexual content and- as its name implies- acting as a trial with only the first few scenes shown.
Looking at an archive of the game’s Steam page, the mature content description contains the following:
“This title features mature content that may not be suitable for all audiences, including occasional coarse and/or derogatory language, sexual references, use of alcohol, smoking, and depictions and/or written descriptions of blood, violence, domestic abuse, suicide, murder, and death.
This software contains artistic depictions of sexual conduct. All characters, or any human-like representation of characters, engaged in sexual conduct in any way, shape, or form are 18 years of age or older.”
The game had also launched on December 19th, 2019. This would bring further confusion into why Steam acted now, as oppose to closer to the game’s launch. An “adult patch” was also available through MangaGamer (Editor’s Note: the preceding link is NSFW).
The visual novel focuses on Tomoe Kirinokojima, a “jaded young man who doesn’t believe in love or happiness.” He meets Aine, an angel who came to Earth and “uses her magical guitar to sing love’s praises to sooth the broken hearts of couples in love.”
After shooting Aine out of the sky and breaking her guitar, Kirinokojima agrees to help use the last string for his bow, becoming a cupid-like figure to help couples in distress.
The game’s description and screenshots on MangaGamer depict some characters in school uniforms. Further research is required to determine what the game’s various characters do, to see if Steam felt anything was illegal.
This casts doubt over how Steam handles adult games. Do they allow adult content patches from third party websites? How thoroughly do they check adult games submitted to their platform- or other games for that matter? Was Steam right to remove the game in this instance? What prompted them to act now?
What do you think? Sound off in the comments below!
Bokuten – Why I Became an Angel is available on Windows PC via MangaGamer (Editor’s Note: the preceding link is NSFW, and the game is NSFW).
Image: MangaGamer (Editor’s Note: the preceding link is NSFW)