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.