Steam has had some controversies in the past when it comes to the type of games allowed on the marketplace. Notably, Steam decided to allow every type of game on its store recently. However, it had also previously warned developers of games with adult material that such games would be taken down if they weren’t censored. Now it’s come to light that Valve’s adult games approval process could wind up taking months.
It appears that Valve’s decision to publish all types of games on its marketplace — so long as they didn’t contain any illegal material — does not necessarily protect those choosing to develop games with mature material. There were issues with adult game devs not having their games published on Steam until Valve put new content filters were in place (via Gadgets 360). At this point in time, Valve hasn’t revealed the status of these new futures.
However, Valve representatives have reached out to adult game devs with titles pending Steam approval to note that the process for them could take months. The devs behind Negligee: Love Stories shared a response received from Valve with Gamasutra, which noted that the mature content of the game required “additional store page work” that the company didn’t quite have an ETA for.
For devs that are under the pump when it comes to customer obligations and release timelines, delays lasting months could very well be fatal. It looks like there is an appeal process in place for those who are affected, but whether or not this will eventuate in faster approvals is speculation at this point. Those choosing to produce games with more adult content will likely be keeping an eye on Valve’s next steps with implementing its mature content filter and the run-on effects of that on developers who rely heavily on Steam’s storefront for sales and distribution. With no concrete timeframes at this point, publishing on the PC’s preeminent marketplace has an added element of risk.