Valve has today revealed that a controversial game by the name of ‘Rape Day’ will not be distributed on their Steam storefront. The decision was made after a lot of community backlash and concerns beings raised around the content of the game, including a change.org petition that has gathered almost 8,000 signatures at the time of writing.
The game features incredibly dark content and describes itself as “a game where you can rape and murder during a zombie apocalypse.” It deals with troubling subject matters and certainly doesn’t shy away from showcasing the most despicable of human actions. I won’t highlight any of the overly violent imagery from the game within this article, although I’m sure you can find it if you so desire. Below image courtesy of French website NewsBeezer.
Rape Day certainly isn’t the first game to be banned from Steam, with a few games including Aids Simulator getting the ban in June of last year. This follows Valve’s policy for game releases where games deemed highly inappropriate or purely trolling aren’t allowed for distribution. Valve also released a statement to the Steam blog about the ban.
“Over the past week you may have heard about a game called ‘Rape Day’ coming soon to Steam. Today we’ve decided not to distribute this game on Steam. Given our previous communication around Who Gets To Be On The Steam Store?, we think this decision warrants further explanation.”
“Much of our policy around what we distribute is, and must be, reactionary—we simply have to wait and see what comes to us via Steam Direct. We then have to make a judgement call about any risk it puts to Valve, our developer partners, or our customers. After significant fact-finding and discussion, we think ‘Rape Day’ poses unknown costs and risks and therefore won’t be on Steam.”
“We respect developers’ desire to express themselves, and the purpose of Steam is to help developers find an audience, but this developer has chosen content matter and a way of representing it that makes it very difficult for us to help them do that.”
Personally I don’t believe the game was ever intended to release onto Steam. I think this is a case of a developer deliberately generating controversy in order to get their otherwise easily ignorable game some attention. In fact the developer has already defended the game over on the Steam Community Forums where they had some choice words to say about Rape Day.
“The game is marked as adult. It’s for a niche audience; If it’s not your type of game you definitely don’t need to play it but as other’s have said I tried to make a game that I would enjoy playing, and there are other people like me. 4% of the general population are sociopaths and the type of people that would be entertained by a story like this is not even limited to pure sociopaths.”
An interesting take on a controversial release. However you can’t really blame Valve for not wanting to associate themselves with a game built for sociopaths, can you?