Visual Novel Publisher Expands To GOG, Says Steam Is ‘Threatening Livelihoods’

Visual Novel Publisher Expands To GOG, Says Steam Is ‘Threatening Livelihoods’
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Screenshot: Kindred Spirits (MangaGamer)

After running into issues with Steam, video game publisher MangaGamer is teaming up with the digital store’s biggest rival, GOG, to sell visual novels.

Last week, several developers of visual novels with varying degrees of sexual content received emails from Valve saying that their games were in danger of being removed by the end of the month.

Among these games was Kindred Spirits, published by MangaGamer, which was the first uncensored visual novel to be released on Steam. Although Valve has reached out to these developers to say that their games are no longer in danger, MangaGamer says it is now seeking new retailers to sell its games.

“This opportunity couldn’t have come at a better time,” John Pickett, PR Director of MangaGamer, said in a press release. “We had been speaking with GOG prior to recent events about adding visual novels as a genre to their retail platform, and with Valve now threatening the livelihoods of visual novel developers everywhere, it’s a huge relief to see GOG opening their doors to these games.” Pickett also said that the company hopes to release its full catalogue of games on GOG eventually.

The first slate of games to launch on GOG are Fault, Sunrider, eden*, and Higurashi When They Cry. MangaGamer says that it is working with GOG to release nine other titles on the platform, including Kindred Spirits.

“Steam has now proven that it’s growing unreliable for small and independent developers, so we are very grateful to have the next biggest retailer in the PC market welcoming Visual Novels with open arms and an eye for quality,” Pickett said.


  • While I really like Steam it is becoming apparent that they are only willing to moderate adult content, but don’t care about all the low effort titles, scams and asset flips that permeate throughout the platform. It is kind of disheartening; even if I am not into those sorts of titles.

    • Valve’s ONLY interest is in minimising any possible fuss or trouble for themselves while lazily raking in as much money as they can skim off the sales of the worthless garbage they allow to pollute their storefront. If you recall the case of Digital Homicide, Valve did NOTHING about their shitty asset flip garbage, endless reskin sequels of games that hadn’t even come out yet, censorship of their forums and abuse of their critics, UNTIL DH subpoened them for the details of 100 anonymous Steam users so they could sue them. THAT was when Valve woke up and said “Whoa, they want to get US involved?! Screw that, ban them completely!” Now again they face the prospect of trouble from self-righteous moralistic busybodies kicking up a stink about “Think of the children!” so they decide it’s easier to just drop the axe on a bunch of indie developers rather than actually do any work pushing back against them or risking any possible public controversy for them. Valve is every bit as lazy, shady and self-interested as EA or Activision or Ubisoft, but people are mostly willing to give them a free ride because they made Half-Life once upon a time and they sold you all your digital games (and could revoke them at will, if they wanted to).

  • It’s clear that steam doesn’t want to promote manga/anime style games that are hyper-sexualized, and they have all the right to do so. If people want to play games like this then all the power to them, but valve owns the platform so they get to ultimately choose what goes on there, for better and worse.

    “Steam has now proven that it’s growing unreliable for small and independent developers”, that’s simply not true at all, steam has been a massive promoter for independent developers. Just because they don’t like the outcome doesn’t mean they can blanket statement the facts.

    • Maybe in the past, but Steam is now the WORST place for an indie game dev to try and promote their game. Valve doesn’t “promote” indie games any more, they just wave their hand lazily and say “yeah, you can put your shit up here, no matter how worthless and lazy and terrible it is, just slot it in right there between the 427th copy of Unit Z with a new name slapped on it and that runner game where a copy-pasted background just streams at you for a few seconds until you hit an obstacle, forever.” Many indie devs have said that Steam is SO bad that it isn’t even worth their effort to release their games on it, because they’ll just get subsumed by the sludge which Valve refuses to do anything about, because quality control or moderation in even the slightest degree is against their religion. Unless it’s anime titties, of course, because we have to THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!

    • There is a shit ton of hyper sexual games on Steam, Visual novels were an easy target for the Morality in Media group who targeted them & petitioned Valve, Valve couldn’t be bothered to do an iota of research into the said games or currate their store & “Blanketed” a huge number of visual novel devs under the bus before backflipping on it, Steam has proven they don’t care, Nothing has been said that isn’t true.

      • But if steam doesn’t care then that’s their choice. I’ll throw my own opinion for context to show my stance, I personally don’t mind nor care what people consume and it’s the persons choice to do so. But if steam wants to do this then that’s their choice, It’s their platform after all. If their sales are hurt by this action then that’s purely on them. Visual novels are still there as far as I’ve checked.

        It’s literally not true, go check steam now and see that you still have access to plenty of indie titles from games, movies and still even visual novels.

        • Steam didn’t remove all visual novels, No they were going to remove alot that were easy targets & were targeted by Morality in Media, The Witcher 3 wasn’t threatened with removal by Valve, Just indies & visual novel devs.

          • Yea it’s not the greatest of moves by steam, it’ll drive more people off the platform. Their call though. I’m surprised there’s not a platform already created for such content like that, unless there is and i’m unaware of it, which could also be the case.

    • Yeah exactly, the entitlement is off the charts. It sucks for those guys, absolutely, but it’s not steam’s responsibility to ensure that someone else’s business venture remains profitable. It’s their platform, they can do what they want with it unfortunately.

  • I’ll be honest, GOG is definitely the way to go. I’ve been using it a lot more lately, and it’s just way better about things that Steam ever has been. It feels… I dunno, more mature? More friendly? More streamlined? GOG Galaxy, the client, has a few kinks, but it’s fast becoming my go to

  • It’s sad to see people defending the corporation. The business doesn’t give a damn about you and if it could take all your games from you and sell you the access back it would.

    Stop giving Steam more power over you.

  • Nine bucks for the Sunrider series! I chipped in for that. I’ve read that VN fans kinda dislike that series because it’s less ‘click to read’ and has more ‘gamification’ in it, but that’s right up my alley (and will probably be the only VN’ish stuff I buy – The ‘click to read’ishness and general lack of input/decision-making of VNs has always turned me off the genre/format).

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