Epic Game Store is starting to establish itself as a major competitor to Valve’s massive Steam Store, but it still has a lot of policies to detail.
One involves the sort of content Epic Games will sell once the store starts opening its doors to a broader selection of games and publishers.
A developer asked the company Thursday where it would draw the line on what it does and doesn’t allow. The question comes in the wake of controversies that continue to bubble up on Steam surrounding its hands-off approach to game curation.
“In America, anything (rated) up to mature is OK,” said Epic Games director of publishing strategy Sergey Galyonkin. “Anything adults only is not OK. Even for visual novels.
“We welcome quality games, but we do not intend to sell porn and hate games on the store.”
“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,” it said at the time. “We then have to make a judgment 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.”
“Rape Day” is a visual novel from indie developer Desk Plant. It contains 500 images and over 7,000 words enabling the player to “verbally harass, kill, and rape women as [they] choose to progress the story,” according to its now-removed Steam product page. Its content reportedly includes “violence, sexual assault, non-consensual sex, obscene language, necrophilia, and incest.”
Steve Allison, head of the Epic Game Store, was a bit more blunt when asking the developers question about Epic’s own policies.
“If we get into the business of visual novels, we’re not going to sell porn,” he said. “If they don’t have any rating and we have to make a subjective decision, we won’t be publishing porn.”