Developer Blames "American Culture" for Greenlight Ban

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Developer Blames "American Culture" for Greenlight Ban

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Seduce Me is just too racy for the Steam service.

Miriam Bellard, co-founder of No Reply Games, has a big problem. Her company's game, Seduce Me, has been pulled from Steam Greenlight. The problem is the content; Seduce Me bills itself as an erotic light strategy game "inspired by the lives of American socialites and celebrities." Steam says it violates its content guidelines.

"[Steam sent us] a very generic e-mail saying we'd violated [the content guidelines] and the game was being taken down," said Bellard, adding, "we were actually really shocked when it went down, because we thought that it would at least be allowed on Greenlight to be discussed." Steam's Greenlight service does say that "offensive content" is not permitted, but doesn't elaborate on what might be considered "offensive."

In Seduce Me, you play as unnamed male beefcake, wandering a socialite's villa and interacting with its inhabitants. Win enough mini games - the light strategy element - and you're rewarded with a racy cut scene. Maximize your relationship score with one of the four main female characters and you win the game, getting yet another erotic cut scene as a reward. Fail too often and you get booted out of the villa. Gameplay seems pretty bland, with a symbol-matching game and some conversation trees making up the bulk of the action, but then, gameplay probably isn't the reason people play games like Seduce Me.

Bellard blames what she describes as an "American culture" problem for the takedown, saying that Valve is playing it safe by adhering to prudish American values when it comes to sex and violence. Bellard cites Steam sales as accounting for somewhere between 90 to 95% of an indie's total sales; assuming Bellard's figures are accurate this is make-or-break stuff for companies like No Reply.

Source: GI.biz

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You can't put sex games on Steam.

Why are you surprised by this?

Sure, American culture is prudish when it comes to sex, but that's hardly anything new. Why in the world are you surprised that an American company won't publish your sex game?

Why don't they just make a game that isn't a dating sim with the end goal being sexy times.

They could make a real game, with... idk, rpg elements that ends in sexy times.

or they could just make a good game.

It's not really an American thing. I think Americans are prudes too and I get into a lot of things that would give the average prude a heart attack. And I still think it's a sad game and Steam's got every right to pull it because they don't want to be asociated with selling wanking material.

So Steam can have games like The Witcher were there's boobs and sex all over the place but not something like this? That's a bit strange. I guess it's because sex is the main focus here whereas it's a side feature in The Witcher but still seems a little strange.

DustlessDragoon:
So Steam can have games like The Witcher were there's boobs and sex all over the place but not something like this? That's a bit strange. I guess it's because sex is the main focus here whereas it's a side feature in The Witcher but still seems a little strange.

I assume the sex scenes are a bit racier in this game than the T&A shots in The Witcher games. I really don't see how the developer is surprised by this. Steam is a US-based company. What'd they think was going to happen?

When you bill your game as "Erotic Strategy Sim" what the hell do you expect? seriously? Sorry but the dev is something of an idiot in this case to be surprised or outraged by this. It's like being outraged because you can't show your homemade porn at the local mall multiplex.

Doesn't sound like a particularly compelling game but... I find it funny that a game where people are trying to improve their personal relationship to a point of a natural act that pretty much everyone experiences at some time in their life is "offensive". Yet games where people routinely maim and kill each other are not offensive.

Real life sex = normal. Game sex = offensive.
Game killing = normal. Real life killing = offensive.

Am I the only one thinking that all these sex game developers need to start their own steam-y service.

Steam do what they want and I respect that. If they put up sex games they would probably make a fortune even though people like me would find it distasteful to log in and see "Quest for the Furry cup" is 66% off this weekend.

It's their company they can sell what they want. You don't go into a Chinese restaurant and order a pasta (unless you're a twat)

People seem to have this sense of entitlement over greenlight which is frankly hilarious

I tend to agree. So murder, violence, war, all that kind of stuff is okay... but sex? Oh no, think about the children!

DustlessDragoon:
So Steam can have games like The Witcher were there's boobs and sex all over the place but not something like this? That's a bit strange. I guess it's because sex is the main focus here whereas it's a side feature in The Witcher but still seems a little strange.

Sex in the witcher was one of its main drawing points, like the mass effect "controversy", the controversy is what drew people in to the witcher and while its a decent rpg it doesn't have a whole lot going for it without that attribute making it stand out.

OT:This is basically the same thing as every other flash game on the newgrounds adult game list[its been so long since i visited that site it may no longer exist], which means it could just be snubbed because its a boring, unoriginal concept put in a subpar wrapper. I personally like the occasional dating sim but only when they have good writing where you feel more like you're communicating rather than a kid at chucky cheese trying to get enough tickets for nookie, Leisure Suit Larry already drove this garbage into the ground, leave it buried.

Don't they age-gate everything with mature content on Steam. I don't understand the difference between this and a game with violence and swearing, don't people find them offensive too. It's not like someone tried to green light 9/11 Plane simulator... Oh wait.

Maybe the dialogue was just so wooden they thought it was an MGS knock-off!

Ciler:
Doesn't sound like a particularly compelling game but... I find it funny that a game where people are trying to improve their personal relationship to a point of a natural act that pretty much everyone experiences at some time in their life is "offensive". Yet games where people routinely maim and kill each other are not offensive.

Real life sex = normal. Game sex = offensive.
Game killing = normal. Real life killing = offensive.

This. Exactly this.

I think this is what the developer means by "American Culture". All sorts of violence and gore is allowed, but get a little sexual? Wouldn't want kids seeing that sort of stuff now, would you?

You can see this sort of thing in film, with anything sexual related being rated higher on average than anything violence related.

They think people would pay for this
What did they do, pull it straight off new grounds
Could you really be surprised an erotic game would not make it in

DustlessDragoon:
So Steam can have games like The Witcher were there's boobs and sex all over the place but not something like this? That's a bit strange. I guess it's because sex is the main focus here whereas it's a side feature in The Witcher but still seems a little strange.

Two different cases. With the Witcher, if you take the whole shagging out, you still got a massive RPG left. The sex was barely part of the game.
In this case, it's nothing BUT that. There isn't even any gameplay, from what I could see. And trying to sell a "game" with nothing but sex in it... well, EVERYWHERE it would have been taken down, I guess. That barely has something to do with Valve but simply with how people react to that topic in general. And I personally would feel offended by such a game.

Maybe they should focus on making like a actual real game then, not just a better looking version of those dodgy flash games you sometimes see advertised.

It seems odd that Valve are not a little more specific when it comes to their guidelines in regards to sexual content if this is really an issue.

I think part of the reason is trying to avoid a downward spiral. Sure, games like the Witcher and Mass Effect include relationships and (Not exactly explicit) sex scenes, but this game was labelled as an 'erotic' strategy sim, so the sex stuff was front & center and marketed as the main focus of the game.

Newgrounds is being discussed here, and I think that's actually a fairly good example of what I think Steam is trying to avoid: If I remember correctly Newgrounds eventually had to do a bunch of reorganizing and rebranding because it had gotten to the point where it was mainly known as "that place where the sex flash games live."

Whether or not you personally think such games are inappropriate does not change the fact that they do have a stigma of being of a significantly lower quality and are generally less socially acceptable. (For whatever reason) Steam would risk losing several major developers (and possible a few users as well) if 'erotic' became a category of game available for sale because of the devs trying to avoid any sort of connection to such things.

Is it a bizarre and rather unintelligent situation? Yes. But it's still present nevertheless, and so Steam has to take such things into account while making decisions.

It would be useful to know what aspect of the game does Valve deem offensive, before passing judgement. That being said, it does seem counter-productive for Valve to be doing this, when the whole point of Greenlight is for audiences to rate games in development.

Yes and no.

America does seem to have a problem of viewing sex as worse than violence.

On the other hand, it's shared by a lot of other countries. And in many countries, the problem is worst. Japan is the only country in Asia I know of that pornography is actually legal.

Also, Seduce Me looks kind of like crud.

Uhhh, I'm pretty sure that the devs failed to read the content rules before posting this, therefor it got pulled.

Okay, I'm going to pipe in here: I'm an American, specifically from New York. This country is as big as Europe, including Scandinavia, the UK, and Turkey. We're not all the same and most of us aren't prudes. Don't believe me? Queue up an episode of Jersey Shore. It won't convince you we aren't idiots, but you'll see the other end of the prude/crude spectrum. Most of us populate the middle, but unlike those assholes on the extremes, we don't get any air time.

As for this game, there have been multiple mentions already of flash games that do the same thing. And by the look of that screen shot, I'd prefer the flash games. And these guys tried to upload this despite knowing Steam's terms. This just comes off as whining.

lol he thinks America has a culture, I read that and could not stop laughing

snekadid:

DustlessDragoon:
So Steam can have games like The Witcher were there's boobs and sex all over the place but not something like this? That's a bit strange. I guess it's because sex is the main focus here whereas it's a side feature in The Witcher but still seems a little strange.

Sex in the witcher was one of its main drawing points, like the mass effect "controversy", the controversy is what drew people in to the witcher and while its a decent rpg it doesn't have a whole lot going for it without that attribute making it stand out.

OT:This is basically the same thing as every other flash game on the newgrounds adult game list[its been so long since i visited that site it may no longer exist], which means it could just be snubbed because its a boring, unoriginal concept put in a subpar wrapper. I personally like the occasional dating sim but only when they have good writing where you feel more like you're communicating rather than a kid at chucky cheese trying to get enough tickets for nookie, Leisure Suit Larry already drove this garbage into the ground, leave it buried.

did we play the same witcher game? witcher one had painted cards, w2 had what a nude shot? both great rps, people that loved the witcher series did not tune in for the omg boobiez, we tuned in for the fact it was a great rpg that did many things well or better including a good story.

AverageExtraordinair:
lol he thinks America has a culture, I read that and could not stop laughing

Everywhere has a culture. Why the hating on the USA?

Zipa:
Maybe they should focus on making like a actual real game then, not just a better looking version of those dodgy flash games you sometimes see advertised.

Or the dodgy flash games that are all over the place for free.

Seriously, go ahead and type in "erotic games" on google and see how many different sites pop up that say "free". Heck, I KNOW Newgrounds has its share on there (they've made the daily 5 lists at least).

Maybe they should put it out on there? If they are lucky, they might win a hundred bucks, placing them back to pretty much breaking even!

It's a sad day in sad land when Porn can't figure out how to make money.

Oh wait, it can.

Go market your porn that way.

cursedseishi:

Zipa:
Maybe they should focus on making like a actual real game then, not just a better looking version of those dodgy flash games you sometimes see advertised.

Or the dodgy flash games that are all over the place for free.

Seriously, go ahead and type in "erotic games" on google and see how many different sites pop up that say "free". Heck, I KNOW Newgrounds has its share on there (they've made the daily 5 lists at least).

Maybe they should put it out on there? If they are lucky, they might win a hundred bucks, placing them back to pretty much breaking even!

ignore this

I thought this was going to be about the rise of sociopathy in America leading to trolling on Greenlight. But seeing what the story's about, I'm just going to quote this:

Krantos:
You can't put sex games on Steam.

Why are you surprised by this?

And walk away, shaking my head.

Rainboq:

AverageExtraordinair:
lol he thinks America has a culture, I read that and could not stop laughing

Everywhere has a culture. Why the hating on the USA?

I was being cheeky I live in the US I did not actually mean that

Well its obvious that Steam wasn't offended by the sex, they were offended by how shit it was.

It probably has more to do with the fact that Valve doesn't want games that revolve entirely around sex to be on Steam. That is their prerogative.

AverageExtraordinair:

Rainboq:

AverageExtraordinair:
lol he thinks America has a culture, I read that and could not stop laughing

Everywhere has a culture. Why the hating on the USA?

I was being cheeky I live in the US I did not actually mean that

Fair enough, word to the wise, sarcasm and such doesn't translate well on ten interwebs

Oh weird, Steam won't publish your "sex with celebrities and socialites" game. How bizarre.
What really gets me though, is that this developer is denouncing it as a "Prudish American Value" problem with Sex and Violence.
Sorry, sex can be understandable, but violence? Steam is full of violent games. Absolutely chock full of violence in fact. What's your deal?

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