Published: Sat, March 09, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Valve won't distribute 'Rape Day' game on Steam following outcry

Valve won't distribute 'Rape Day' game on Steam following outcry

The game's developer, Desk Plant (also recognized as Desk Lamp), described "Rape Day" as "a visual novel where you control the choices of a sociopath during a zombie apocalypse". Valve, the company that owns Steam, delisted the title on Wednesday saying, "After significant fact-finding and discussion, we think "Rape Day" poses unknown costs and risks and therefore won't be on Steam".

A computer game in which players rape and kill women has been pulled from a popular digital game store following a major outcry.

Valve closed out its statement by saying it's willing to work with developers to find an audience but said Desk Plant chose content matter that made it hard for Valve to help them with that. Valve issued a statement clarifying their decision to remove the game after previously approving it.

A page attempting to stop the game from reaching market was started two days ago, and has received over 6,500 signatures.

"I'm very wary of making promises or setting incorrect expectations, but: We also care about this and are trying to fix it in a way that makes Upcoming Releases more valuable without hurting games that wish to shift their release date", explains Giardino.

The pornography business is new legal and ethical territory for Valve, which only approved its first explicit, uncensored game on Steam in September of previous year, but this is not the first time it has been called out on ethical grounds for the content of the adult games it distributes.

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PC Gamer highlighted the title yesterday: a game that offered players the chance to "verbally harass, kill, and rape women as you choose to progress the story" and to become "the most risky rapist in town" had been submitted to Steam and was waiting for approval before it could be sold through the store.

From Valve's part in things, it released some minor updates for the game in January, but the official Twitter account hasn't posted anything since mid-December. Johnson brought up the company's stance outlined in "Who Gets To Be On The Steam Store?".

According to the website, which is mostly just an FAQ about whether or not the game will get banned, Rape Day is apparently a "dark comedy" inspired by "horror and psychological thrillers", and porn.

"I'm a woman, I'm a gamer and I'm a Steam customer".

That Rape Day game won't be releasing on Steam after all. During this time Steam users could see the game, along with updates from its creator.

While blocking the Steam release of "Rape Day" was a goal for the critics of the game, Steam's response does little to address the concerns raised by the situation. The game's developer said it was put under review by Valve earlier this week.

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