Adult game approval on Steam could still be months away

Valve said in June that Steam's policies were being changed to allow basically everything on Steam, as long as it wasn't either illegal or "straight-up trolling." As part of that effort, Valve said it was working on new filtering tools that would give Steam users more control over what they see on the platform, and added that "significant changes" to what's allowed wouldn't be seen until those tools were in place. It also plans tools for developers to help curb harassment due to "controversial content."

In light of that, it's no surprise (or at least it shouldn't be) that adult games are not being automatically and immediately approved for sale on Steam. But as Gamasutra reports, the process may be taking longer than some developers, and some users, expected. When Negligee: Love Stories developer Dharker Studio inquired about the game, which has apparently already been hung up in the process for "a very long time," it was told that it might be months yet before it got the thumbs up. 

"We're right in the middle of building some features into Steam for customers to be able to choose the type of products they see in the store," Valve rep SeanJ wrote. "Your game has content in it that needs these features to be completed and shipped first. You'll have to do some additional store page work around describing the content in your game once we have completed those features. We don't have an exact timeline for those features though, so please be patient as we complete the work." 

The semi-specifics came in a followup post: "Assume months at this point," SeanJ wrote. "The work is progressing, but not close enough to give a time frame." 

So it appears that Valve is sticking to the plan it laid out in June—continuing to withhold approval of adult games while filtering tools are being developed—but isn't pulling it off as quickly as people anticipated. Which, let's be fair, is a well-established Valve way of doing things. As for Negligee: Love Stories specifically, Dharker Studio said it has appealed the decision, but doesn't expect the game to make its planned September 7 release date.

I've reached out to Valve to inquire about the timeline and will update if I receive a reply. 

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.