Does Steam’s acceptance of adult games pose a threat to the already popular adult game stores?

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So as we all know Steam’s first uncensored adult game was recently released. Originally I was going to review it but after playing it I honestly don’t have much to say about it. It’s a series of 4 short stories with fake choices that don’t actually matter, acceptable art, and nothing else. It’s no garbage fire but it’s nothing special either. In lieu of trying to stretch out those previous 2 sentences into an entire article I decided to instead take a look at whether or not steam releasing adult games has any chance of leading to sites like Nutaku or Mangagamer being muscled out of the market. The answer? I don’t think so.

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Before we start looking at metrics let me be frank, comparing figures between a store’s only uncensored adult game and the many other adult games on a different store is tough. Add on to that the fact that most sites and developers seem hesitant to share exact figures and the task becomes nearly impossible. I was only able to find out 2 3 things.

Negligee_ Love Stories (2)

  • On release there were 135 concurrent players on steam. Obviously this is a horrible way of determining sales since this only counts the largest amount of players playing at once during that day. The game could have sold 10 million copies or 135, we have no way to be sure.
  • According to Nutaku, Love Story’s sales were “solid”Capture which, of course, means absolutely nothing to us.
  • As I was wrapping up this article I was able to get in touch with Dharker studios directly. They told me that Negligee definitely sold the most copies on steam and that Steam accounts for 99% of their profits. Clearly this is the piece of information that actually matters.

Now, to spoil the rest of the article, no. I don’t think Steam poses a threat to the established adult markets, mostly because nothing has changed. Steam has always sold these games, just with the nudity patched out. The removal of the extra step required to see big anime tiddy won’t increase sales that much. You might argue that steam has nice features like achievements, forums, playtime counters, and cloud saving. Sure, it does, but it’s always had that and that hasn’t lead to the shutdown of it’s competitors yet so why would it now? The only difference between now and a few weeks ago is that you don’t need to download a small nudity patch anymore. That alone won’t destroy sites like Nutaku and Mangagamer.

We also have to remember that a large amount of the recent Western adult games have been developed and first sold on Patreon as opposed to steam. Most Eastern adult games are sold on sites like DLsite.com. Then the largest adult game companies have their own sites. The only exceptions I can think of is Alicesoft who sells their English translations through Mangagamer and Sakuragames who seems to be the only adult game developer selling on Steam with any kind of name recognition.

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I mean when you put out this much stuff someone’s going to notice sooner or later.

In the end Steam is never going to actively try and grow it’s adult game community. It can’t afford to without risking offending or alienating some of it’s consumers. Steam will never sign exclusivity deals with an adult developer or buy the rights to translate a Japanese adult VN. Steam has to appeal to everyone, that’s what stores that attempt to cater to the demographic of “Fucking everyone with a computer” have to do. Because of that it’s never going to have “BIG TIDDY RAPE SIMULATOR 2K19” on it’s store front where little Jimmy can see it and grow up to be a degenerate like us.

Honestly what I see happening here is business continuing like usual. Small and medium sized game devs will continue to put up versions of their games on Steam in addition to regular versions on sites like Nutaku or Mangagamer, Steam will continue to sell adult games without looking like they care about selling adult games, and the largest devs will continue to either have their own sites or contract out translations to specific adult game sites. Although we can still hope that this lights a fire under the ass of current adult game stores and gets them to start implementing some of Steam’s quality of life features like search bars or libraries.

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