Rape Day, the controversial visual novel that allows players to verbally harass, rape, and murder women during a zombie apocalypse has officially been banned on Steam. The title was slated to arrive on the online store next month, however the company confirmed in a recent statement that they will not making the game available for purchase on their platform.
The developer offered a response to his game being banned from Steam after the review. “I have not broken any rules, so I don’t see how my game could get banned unless Steam changes their policies,” the developer said. “My game was properly marked as adult and with a thorough description of all of the potentially offensive content before the coming soon page went live on Steam.”
Last year, Steam changed their content policies from prohibiting nudity and sexual violence to an “anything goes” policy. Currently, there are many adult rated games available on Steam, so the addition of this one might not have seemed far fetched with their new relaxed policy. However, the company outlined the reason why they chose not to make the game available on their store.
“We respect developers’ desire to express themselves, and the purpose of Steam is to help developers find an audience, but this developer has chosen content matter and a way of representing it that makes it very difficult for us to help them do that.” They added that they did not know the conditions that could be at stake from distributing the game, and ultimately that also contributed to their decision.
This isn’t the first time Steam has been in a controversial situation about their content. Since their policy change, they’ve tried to do some damage control by outlining their site’s filter features to control what games viewers will be able to see. However, many argue that even with the filter system graphic sexual content can still be seen.
These circumstances have left some with the impressions that Steam is “becoming the go-to video game platform for pornified video games that gamify sexual violence and objectification.” This was especially egregious for the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, who placed Steam on its 2019 Dirty Dozens list, which names 12 mainstream facilitators of sexual exploitation.
As for the developer’s plan for Rape Day, he plans to find other venues to sell his game despite its ban from Steam, even if it means creating a whole new platform altogether. On the game’s official website he states that the creating of the “niche site may take some time but it will happen.” So even though the game won’t be on one of the largest video game stores, we might not have heard the last of the title just yet.