Seduce Me Game Pulled From Steam Greenlight

In theory, Steam Greenlight will let any aspiring game developer get their game onto PC gaming's hottest online marketplace as long as enough gamers vote for it. But that promise doesn't appear to apply to the makers of the erotic game Seduce Me. The game's listing was pulled from Steam's new Greenlight service last Thursday, the same day it was posted there.

The game's developers are crying foul, saying the removal of Seduce Me affirms the view of gaming as a childish pursuit.

UPDATE: "Steam has never been a leading destination for erotic material," Valve's chief spokesperson Doug Lombardi told Kotaku. "Greenlight doesn't aim to change that."

Greenlight launched last Thursday on Steam. It allows, in theory, anyone to publish a listing for a game they are making, complete with a text description, screenshots and videos. Steam users can then vote on which games seem to be the best. The winners get their games listed on Steam. Those who submit their game must affirm that they own it and check off which of the following categories their game is in: action, adventure, strategy, RPG, massively multiplayer, casual, simulation, free to play, racing and sports. (They must also agree to the Steam subscriber agreement.)

Valve's official Greenlight guidelines indicate that not every game can be submitted to Greenlight. The game has to be yours and:

Are there any restrictions on what can be posted? Your game must not contain offensive material or violate copyright or intellectual property rights.

Perhaps Seduce Me was considered "offensive". It's hard to say, but it's easy to leap to that conclusion. The game lets players chat with virtual women, including the characters Cecelia (... "an older divorcee. Sexually aggressive, confident, and on the look out for her next meal ticket...") and Esper ("Officially she's the barmaid and waitress. Unofficially her job is as eye candy and to keep guests entertained."). Chatting with them successfully unlocks "erotic" scenes involving the women.

This video shows NSFW pixelated gameplay.

Seduce Me's Steam Greenlight listing was pulled on Thursday. In its place is this notice:

The game may have been pulled for those vague reasons on Thursday, but Seduce Me developers believe they've narrowed down their violation. It's that good old sex-is-worse-than-violence double standard, they say. They said it in a press release:

No Reply Games announced today that their erotic indie game 'Seduce Me' has been kicked off Steam Greenlight.

"We submitted the game on Thursday, when Steam Greenlight launched," explained Miriam Bellard, co-founder No Reply Games, "but they took it down almost straight away."

"Many people still view games as 'for children' in spite of the fact that the average gamer is 30 years old." said Miriam. "The gaming establishment is fine with violence and gore but is uncomfortable with sexual themes." continued Andrejs [Skuja].

I've checked with Seduce Me designer Miriam Bellard to learn more about how her team was notified of the game's removal and will update this story if I hear back. I figure other developers might want to know which games of theirs might be too offensive for Greenlight.

UPDATE 2: Bellard told me that her team had received an email saying the game was pulled for violating Steam or Greenlight's terms. They have not complained about it to Valve. "We haven't heard from Valve, but then we haven't contacted them. The email we received said to contact Steam Support if 'you believe your item has been banned mistakenly.' The take down was obviously not a mistake so we interpreted the situation as a non-negotiable one.

It looks like Steam will continue to be, like Apple's popular App Store, a no-eroticism zone.

Seduce Me will be released in November, according to its creators, with or without Steam Greenlight.

UPDATE 3: Valve's Lombardi tells me that Greenlight's terms of service will be updated to more clearly reflect content restrictions.


Comments

    Just go to Kickstarter. They'll have a much easier time funding this.

      Correct me if I'm wrong, but Steam's Greenlight thing isn't about gaining funding, it's about getting your game up for sale on a well known digital store and a way to both increase the game's sales and publicity.

      I imagine many people would feel safer purchasing a game like this from Steam, a trusted service, than from some website the developers might set up for sale of the game, where you have no idea if it's legit or whether your information will be sold to Mexican drug lords. Valve's decision here could really cut into the potential profit of the game and the future of the company making it.

        Having the game pulled from may ultimately be better publicity for their game than Greenlight would have been. I know I don't speak for everyone (and my PC died last week so I haven't been on Steam), but I didn't really know about Greenlight until now.

      Kickstarter is unreliable and if the project fails, there is no guarantee you will get any money back.

        Plus the fact that anything "offensive" can be pulled the same way as it got pulled in Greenlight... or need I remind people of Tentacle Bento >.>

    Colour me interested just for the fact that an adult game with what seems to be production values

    Torture scenes, ultra violence, etc.? All good.

    Bit of virtual porn? Oh no!!!!!

      +1
      This whole violence > porn thing is starting to get tiresome. I'm almost 30. Why can't I have both!?

      'merica.

      Need I say more?

    "It’s that good old sex-is-worse-than-violence double standard, they say."

    And this really is the crux of it.

    I have issues with a game that quite clearly objectifies women and treats them as nothing more than sex objects and the description of the game seems to confirm that. But I'm more annoyed that once again it's okay to dismember people in the most bloody fashion possible but show a little bit of booby and all of a sudden it's the end of the world.

    To anyone claiming the women are objectified- are they objectified more than a wife in harvest moon? Are they strong, sexually aware women making their own desicions? We don't really know until we play it, but I doubt they are. I do get away from this with the slightly crappy taste in my mouth that games are perceived as a juvenile medium- even by developers.

    There are about 1000s of skyrim mods on the steam workshop that violate this stance against sexual material. Consistency is all thats required when refusing something.

    I suppose, guess I'm going to have to find another place to sell Dildo Quest...

    Gah, this crap again. I've got nothing wrong with dating sims. You get sex scenes in books, television and movies, but the second it's in a videogame it's WRONG.

    Dating sims often have a good story too, like Clannad. So what if it has sex scenes in it? I seriously don't see the problem, I've played a bunch and although a lot of them are crappy, a fair few of them are actually really good, with deep characters and the adult scenes being a normal part of the plot. Restricting access to these scenes in games is ridiculous. It should be age restricted, sure, but it shouldn't be banned altogether.

    My huge respect for Steam just went down a little.

    Fucking Americans and their backwards views of the world. It's seeping into every aspect of our lives. Why is a game simulating completely legal (and to be honest, "not unrealistic") aspect of our lives decided to be "inappropriate", yet games like Grand Theft Auto (Where you can commit many, many crimes) can be sold without so much as a blink of the eyelid.

      Are you implying that this would never happen in Australia? The country that took us over ten years of back and forth bullsh!t before we got approval for a R18+ rating?

        That being said though Australia is generally more accepting of sex in video games than America is, we got un-edited versions of both The Witcher and Farenhite while Americans had to have theirs censored. It's just those wierd situations of sex being a reward that our system is screwed up.

        You didn't hear anyone in Aus going nuts of the ME 1 sex scene but in the US it was big, big news.

          Was our version of The Witcher uncensored? I know that Witcher 2 was altered for local release - because of our rules against "sex as a reward", there's an early proposition Geralt receives after completing a mission that has been edited so you auto-decline.

            No the Original game was not edited for Australia. The American version had all of the sex cards censored plus some other edits. Compare the American version of the Dryad in the swamp to the international version.

            I think our original version of The Witcher was censored but the enhanced edition that was released wasn't.

              No the original witcher wasn't, I distinctly remember being shocked that the Dryad made past Aus censors in it's original form.

    Rofl. Tiffany's description.

    Think that's meant to be nurtured...

      I saw that too. Player 1 beware, Tiffany is a post op Tranny.

    Dammit I wanna play as Don Draper!

    I've got to say, I'm impressed with how civil this is. Valve takes the game down, the developers understand that Valve doesn't want it on Steam even though they don't agree with it, and Valve essentially admit that their terms don't cover it and that they need to update them to be more specific. It's like they don't have lawyers or something. =P

    I've always found dating sims/sex-themed games to be very decisive. On one hand, I believe that they should be allowed to be sold so long as they receive the appropriate rating for the content.

    That said...I've never really seen the appeal, and I understand what people say when they're being sexist. They're really just catering to an already huge male demographic, which is doing nothing to dispel the notion that gaming doesn't have to be male-centric all the time. It seems kind of shameless and cash-grabby.

    I've always found dating, relationships and even sex in games better when it's integrated as part of an already greater part of the story. Bioware games are the best example of this I can think of. It's more meaningful for me to have a relationship with, say, characters like Mass Effect like Tali or Liara, who are well developed characters with distinct personalities and a greater narrative purpose than just being there for the sexytime.

      ^sorry, meant 'very divisive' at the start

      Will it make any difference on your opinion if u knew that the designer and co-director was a woman?

      Add to the fact that while fanservicey judging from the video and samples on the website this game actually takes into account how you treat each woman and you do get penalised for "cheating/playing around"?

      Yes it definitely has a male-centric bent but VN's are not just the realm of men. There are also a fair few otome and reverse harem VN's in Jp

    I wonder if Postal 2 will be pulled, that game is nuts.

      No, Postal 2 is not going to be pulled. It in fact was after 24 hours, but we reached out to Valve and it seems they only pulled it because they thought it was a false submission not by RWS. It's back, and safely going to stay.

    Given the games already on Steam (Dangerous High School Girls In Trouble, Analogue, Witcher II, Binding of Isaac, The Path, Fatale), I feel like there is more to this than just "It has sexiness in it". Seems a bit suss that they didn't follow up with Steam either but made assumptions as well.

    If you want Porn, go to Pornhub.

    LOL!

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