Valve has refused to sell Super Seducer 3 on Steam, where its listing has been removed. One of the game's developers, Richard La Ruina, posted the news (opens in new tab) to Twitter alongside screenshots of Valve's response to the game.
Super Seducer 3 is a full-motion videogame that uses multiple-choice dialogue to have the protagonist succeed on dates with women. It's the third entry in the series, which advertises itself as an educational tool to help men learn "how to talk to girls." The player character in the game is portrayed by La Ruina, a self-styled "dating guru."
La Ruina is an advocate of 'pickup artist culture,' a community of men whose purpose is to help each other seduce and have sex with women. A wide-ranging array of commentators consider pickup artist culture to be sexist and misogynist.
Valve's reason for refusing the game was that "Steam does not ship sexually explicit images of real people," per screenshots (opens in new tab) of La Ruina's back-and-forth with Valve. In the correspondence, Ruina claims to have sought the advice of a lawyer in order to get Super Seducer 3 released on Steam. Much of La Ruina's concern both to Valve and in public is focused around the game's 61,000 Steam Wishlists, which many developers use as a pre-release metric for a game's expected success.
Steam have BANNED and removed Super Seducer 3 from the store. They will not allow it to be released in any form. Our page is gone and 61,700 wish lists are gone. Prior to this they told me expect either “approval or feedback”.We repeatedly said we’d do whatever they needed pic.twitter.com/hVuDcvzL2nMarch 20, 2021
In his response to Valve, La Ruina says that he is "ready to take a butcher knife to the game" and that it would be "easy enough" to edit the game to be as "safe" as other FMV games on Steam, removing the explicit imagery in question. "Please give us another chance," he said.
In response, the Valve representative reiterated the company's decision to neither "sell the game or re-review it." Valve offered to refund the money used to list the game on Steam in 2018. The first and second games in the Super Seducer series remain available on Steam.