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The developer of Negligee: Love Stories has restricted the sale of its game on Steam in several countries, reminding devs that the big AO OK from Valve still comes with some caveats.
According to a post on the game’s Steam community page, developer Dharker Studios has begrudgingly made the decision to limit the sale of Negligee: Love Stories on Steam in certain countries to comply with local laws.
“This all came about when countries started contacting Steam to ban the game from selling in their region,” reads the post. “Then Germany's USK contacted about [the] game and so we researched, contacted our solicitor (who deals with international laws), and began the process of working out what is legal and what is not and restricting the game.”
Dharker Studios’ game made a splash last week when the dev announced that Valve had given it the go-ahead to release the explicit game on steam without censoring out any adult content. Previously, Valve and adult had somewhat of a troubled relationship, but the recent addition of new search filters changed that in a way that would allow adult games to release on Steam.
Those filters, however, require Steam users to be both logged in and opt into seeing adult content in the store before they can even see Store pages or search result listings for adult games.
However, as Dharker Studios’ recent post shows, that go-ahead from Valve doesn’t mean the games can be listed for sale across the board. As a result, the game isn’t available on Steam in Japan, Malaysia, Botswana, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan, Uganda, Bangladesh, China, Lebanon, South Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkmenistan, Belarus, Iceland, Ukraine, Russia, Australia, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Guyana, Iraq, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Germany.
“Several of the restricted countries banned the game which prompted us to realize that we can't release it under the radar,” reads the post. “If we release a game in a country where the content is illegal or could be considered illegal then potentially we could suffer. If they fined or targeted Steam as per our agreement with Steam, we (Dharker Studios) would be liable for all costs and damages. which would end our company, we are a small indie developer and do not have the resources for such costs whilst making games. Therefore sadly we must err on the side of caution. And that determines the restrictions.”
In that full post, however, the developer encourages potential Negligee players to pick up the game “from other platforms which do have proper age verification services” on its website. Additionally, the developer notes that its future projects will likely, when possible, release free of adult content but will offer low-cost adult DLC on Steam to avoid having the full game restricted from sale in some regions.