If you were hoping to spend your weekend not with Spider-Man or Lara Croft, but instead with the outerwear-despising anime girls of the long-awaited “100 per cent uncensored” Steam visual novel Negligee: Love Stories, I’m not gonna judge. But I am gonna tell you that even though it’s now out on Steam, Australians aren’t able to buy it.
Slowly but surely, Valve seems to be letting uncensored adult games onto Steam at last, starting with Negligee, which came out yesterday. The catch is that it’s only available in some regions, and it remains banned in a globe-spanning majority of others.
In a thread on Steam, developer Dharker responded to prospective players’ confusion by explaining where and why Negligee remains unavailable.
“Several of the restricted countries banned the game [before release], which prompted us to realise that we can’t release it under the radar,” the studio wrote.
“You might think that it is ludicrous, but Dharker Studios is a company. If we release a game in a country where the content is illegal or could be considered illegal, then potentially we could suffer. If they fined or targeted Steam as per our agreement with Steam, we would be liable for it. Therefore sadly we must err on the side of caution. And that determines the restrictions.”
Here’s the full list of countries where the game currently cannot be sold: Australia, Japan, Malaysia, Botswana, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan, Uganda, Bangladesh, China, Lebanon, South Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkmenistan, Belarus, Iceland, Ukraine, Russia, Papua New Guinea, Guyana, Iraq, Dubai, UIE and Germany.
Germany is an interesting case, according to Dharker. Negligee could theoretically be sold there, but Steam isn’t equipped to handle it yet.
“Steam does not have a comprehensive third-party age verification system in Germany, therefore there are ways that it could be considered illegal to sell this game in Germany via Steam,” Dharker wrote. “Germany is particularly strict on this kind of thing. This may be changed in the future, but for now we have no choice.”
The Steam community doesn’t appear to be taking the news well, as evidenced by a series of remarkably irate threads on this subject. All Dharker can do, though, is continue to reiterate that its hands are bound here, and not in the sexy way.
“I wish country restrictions were not necessary,” wrote Dharker, “but I must comply with laws in countries for the sale of such material. There really is no choice in the matter and is one of the downsides of releasing a mature adult game on Steam.”