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In brief: Steam is once again under the spotlight over its often-confusing policy regarding adult-only games. This time, the developer of Holodexxx, a virtual reality experience that lets users interact with adult film stars through 3D scans and chatbot technology, has expressed disappointment after being rejected from the marketplace three times.
In a post explaining the situation, the dev writes that Steam's 2018 decision to allow adult material onto the service and take a less hands-on approach to moderation was a boost.
The company began its tentative attempt to get Holodexxx onto Steam by submitting a PG-13 experience that involved Riley Reid, star of Night at the Erotic Museum and Grease XXX, performing a "sensual dance" in VR. Despite a lack of nudity, it was rejected with "a boiler-plate explanation that video pornography was not allowed on Steam."
Holodexxx then submitted Meet Marley, which allowed the player to inspect a 3D naked model of adult actress Marley Brinx; this was also rejected for the same reason. The dev asked Valve to clarify why it said no, again. Instead of receiving a detailed explanation, the company said it would "judge our next app when they receive it."
A bunch of you have asked why Holodexxx isn't on Steam. Steam will not allow IP featuring real adult entertainers on their platform, regardless of nudity. Someone explain it to us, because Steam won't. https://t.co/Lhl3DMcJYH— Holodexxx VR (@holodexxxvr) May 8, 2021
Finally, Holodexxx Home was submitted in the hope that adding context to the adult content through story and character would appease Valve. This experience involved talking to Lady Euphoria (based on Brinx) using the chatbot tech. It also included some of the game's "truly adult" content. Unsurprisingly, this was also rejected.
Back in March, Steam refused to sell "pickup artist" FMV game Super Seducer 3. While there are plenty of games with sexual content available on the platform, Valve seems to draw the line at anything involving real people or their virtual representations.
Valve does specify in its Rules and Guidelines that sexually explicit images of real people won't be published on Steam, though sex game House Party appears to have dodged that rule. If you want to try Holodexxx, it's available on itch.io.
h/t: PC Gamer