With the draconian way it censored its video games in the 80s and 90s, there is still a perception that Nintendo is a company that is always ready to ban titles that dare to address specific themes. However, after Steam turned its back on the game, the so-called chaos; Chapter NoahIt was on the Switch that it found a new home.
Released in 2008 for PC and the following year for Xbox 360, the Spike Chunsoft-published visual novel remained a Japan exclusive, and when news broke that it was being localized into English, fans rejoiced. But if the initial prediction was that chaos; Chapter Noah On Steam on October 7th, we know it won’t.
According to a statement released by the publisher, what prevented them from releasing the game on Valve’s service would be the content guidelines imposed by Steam. With that, the only way to get the game accepted would be to make changes that the company thinks will affect the story they want to tell.
The note also mentions that the company continues to look for alternatives to make the game available on the platform, concluding that in the case of the Nintendo Switch, the release date will be kept. But what kept Valve from accepting the game as it was designed?
By CERO, which is the Z rating originally received by Japan’s Age Rating Authority, it will be equivalent to the Adults Only badge awarded by the ESRB. Thus, the game should not be sold to anyone under the age of 18, which flashes a warning sign, especially among console manufacturers.
So when chaos; Chapter Noah Received adaptations for the PlayStation 3, PSP, and mobile device, it had much of its content edited out, with several violent scenes and descriptions removed. It was warranted an ESRB equivalent rating of “M for Mature” and the version that will be released on Steam (and that will appear on the Switch) would be based on it.
Still, when the game came to Nintendo Video Game in Japan a few months ago, it still received a Z rating from CERO. In the United States, the nomination has been retained for more than 17 years, indicating that the story involves profanity, sexual themes, gore, and intense violence.
For the head of PQube Games, the company responsible for localizing another title in the franchise Steins; gatewhat we have chaos; Chapter Noah It won’t be worse than what already exists on Steam. According to Andrew Hodgson, while some of the scenes may be quite gruesome, they are far from “adult”.
Still, I can understand when such a game turns the eye of the most conservative. With several murders and suicides taking place in the Shibuya region, decisions made by players can lead to grotesque situations – obvious or only implied – including sexual assault.
However, the case still raises debate about what Steam should or shouldn’t accept, as the store used different measures to evaluate what was sold there, and the example chaos; childwhich serves as a sequel chaos; Chapter Noah. Even with similar themes, it has been available on Valve’s service since 2019.
The assumption is that the company’s pet won’t be the violence or the sensitive topics these games deal with, but rather the places they’re set in and the characters they portray. As in 2019, censorship also occurred Taimanin AsagThe game, which took place in a school, seems like some of Valve’s reviewers would prohibit this type of setting.
“There’s a real problem with Steam routinely rejecting games that have an ‘anime’ and school aesthetic, even games that aren’t remotely obscene,” Andrew Hodgson defended. “[…] It’s like someone on their team saw a certain aesthetic, saw the school environment, prematurely put two and two together, and then rejected them.”
The translator also said that he’s been seeing this all the time since at least 2019, and since publishers and developers haven’t been given any explanation as to what caused such games to be rejected, they’re still not sure how to resolve the issue.
And while the mystery continues, the group is known as the Committee of Zero announced Willingness to work on adaptation chaos; Chapter Noah Making a patch for PC as well as Switch that restores the original content that was removed so the age rating would be more lenient.
On Steam’s part, the lack of transparency regarding these bans is against the store, but I believe they have the right to decide what can or cannot be published there. It is interesting to note how the game has changed in recent years, PCs, which are so protected as free platforms, will be without a game release, and Nintendo does not see a problem in taking it. If someone had told me in the 90s that this would happen one day, I would certainly have doubted the prediction.
Source: A comic book