UPDATE: We’ve learned Duel Princess was pulled from the western eShop, likely a follow-up decision to the original Japanese eShop listing being pulled, also likely due to its sexual content. Developer Qureate hasn’t issued a statement, but we’ll update this story as it develops.
While Duel Princess just launched for Switch worldwide, it seems like the game was a bit too spicy for Japanese markets as Duel Princess was pulled from Switch in Japan.
The news that Duel Princess was pulled from Switch in Japan came up when the game’s eShop listing was suddenly taken down (via Automaton-Media). Following this developer Qureate confirmed the game was pulled.
“For various reasons, the distribution of Duel Princess on the Nintendo Switch has been suspended,” the developer said. “If you’ve already purchased the game, you can download it now.”
They added, “If you have already purchased the game, you can re-download it. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause to our users.”
What’s curious is the game’s overseas eShop listings remain live, so this seems like an issue with CERO, Japan’s Computer Entertainment Rating Organization for rating games (their version of the ESRB). The game was given a 17+ rating on Switch, but its PC / Steam release was reportedly submitted with the plans of offering an 18+ patch to Steam users.
A now-deleted tweet from Qureate producer Yujiro Usuda claims the game had too much borderline sexual content, and was seemingly denied approval of sale for Steam.
“I thought I was aiming for the edge, but it seems I was way over the point. I’m going to reflect on this from now on and try to make a solid game,” Usuda said.
He added, “That’s a lie. I will continue to make games that make you hard! LOL! In Japan, Duel Princess will be available in a few hours! Please play it, gentlemen!”
To put the level of sexual content in Duel Princess into perspective, the game’s protagonist is a female warrior that must battle the ten different princesses to obtain the “crests” hidden on their bodies. This is done through a “punishment” mini-game where victory makes the girls’ clothes explode.
The punishment mini-game has the player use items and touch the girls’ bodies to increase their temperature and heart rate, which eventually makes a crest appear on their body – which you can then take. The entire mechanic is presented in a silly/awkward way much like the Senran Kagura series, and does not depict sexual violence.
Valve’s policy on games with sexual content is murky and unclear at best, where Asian-produced games with sexual content tend to get the ban hammer while any western-made games can have actual sex depicted and remain on sale without question.
Things got interesting with Qureate’s next game, Nin Nin Days 2, which just got a Steam release and hasn’t run into issues regarding its content – despite having as much anime boobs and titillation.
Qureate noted they’re going to try getting Duel Princess back on the Japanese eShop, but are mum on what is going on with its Steam release. We’ll keep you guys posted.