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GOG adds 'a hot selection' of visual novels, Sunrider: Mask of Arcadius is free

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In the wake of Valve's now-rescinded crackdown on games and visual novels containing sexual content on Steam, publishers MangaGamer and Sekai Project have announced that they're bringing their games to GOG. And while Steam seems a little iffy about the whole "sex" thing, even after rolling back the threat of immediate removal, GOG appears to be embracing it, promising "a hot selection of stylish visual novels" at the top of its main page. 

The problem isn't just this weekend's incident, as MangaGamer explained in a blog post, but broader questions about Steam's viability as a retail platform for visual novels. The wheels had already been turning on a GOG rollout of MangaGamer's stuff, but "with Valve now threatening the livelihoods of visual novel developers everywhere, it’s a huge relief to see GOG opening their doors to these games," PR director John Pickett said. 

MangaGamer's offerings on GOG will begin with the Higurashi When They Cry series and eden*, but nine more are on the way, including Kindred Spirits of the Roof and A Kiss For the Petal ~Maidens of Michael~, which Valve actually removed from Steam in March. Pickett noted that MangaGamer has made "repeated attempts" at contacting Valve about the removal, but has yet to receive a reply. 

"Steam has now proven that it’s growing unreliable for small and independent developers, so we are very grateful to have the next biggest retailer in the PC market welcoming visual novels with open arms and an eye for quality," he said. "In the long run we hope to transition our full Steam catalog over to GOG, and we hope other developers will consider reaching out to them too. We want fans everywhere to always have a means of enjoy these great titles." 

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Sekai Project releases on GOG include the fault and Sunrider games, one of which is actually free: Sunrider: Mask of Arcadius, a tale of "huge space armada battles, political intrigue, moral decisions, and romance." The rest of the games, from both publishers, are on sale until May 29.

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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.