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Nintendo Is What Valve Isn’t: Game Banned From Steam Will Release On Switch

Enlarge / Nothing weird happens here. No sir.

Japanese Publisher Spike Chunsoft Announced that the first official English translation of visual novel Chaos; Chief Noah it will not be coming to Steam as planned “due to changes required by Steam guidelines to in-game content.” But while the game is apparently too risque for Steam, the familiar folks at Nintendo apparently have no problem with it. a switch version which Spike Chunsoft says will still launch in the US on October 7 as scheduled.

“Spike Chunsoft, Inc. believes that these [Steam guideline-required] the changes would not allow the game to be released at their standards,” the publisher said in its announcement. “The company is looking to deliver the title through alternative storefronts, and when the details are decided, it will make another formal announcement. Until then, your patience and understanding is appreciated.”

Nintendo says this scene is appropriate for their store page, so we think readers can handle it.
Enlarge / Nintendo says this scene is appropriate for their store page, so we think readers can handle it.

Chaos; Chief Noah was initially included in Steam pre-sale in April, but that page was removed in August, according to the SteamDB tracking site. By the time she drove to some concerns about the ultimate fate of the Steam version, which Spike Chunsoft finally confirmed today.

Valve’s apparent push for content restrictions comes despite the extremely similarly themed sequel. chaos; little boy has been available in English on Steam since 2019 (after its initial release in 2014 in Japan on Xbox One). The PS4 English version of chaos; little boy received an M for Mature rating from the ESRB, which game scenes described of strangulation, torture, and “exposed brains” along with sexual content such as “two female characters moaning off-screen while arguing over each other’s breasts”.

How bad is it?

Chaos; Chief Noah is an improved port of chaotic headthe game that launched the cult classic series Science Adventure of visual novels (which also includes Steintor and its sequels). The game follows a series of murders and suicides in Tokyo’s Shibuya neighborhood and allows players to change the progression of the story by indulging in various positive or negative “delusions”. Some of those delusions can reportedly become extremely gory and/or suggest (but not directly show) imminent sexual violence.

“I don’t think it’s much worse than anything that’s already in the Steam library,” said PQube Games localization chief Andrew Hodgson (who worked on the English translation of Steintor) told Ars Technica about the game’s “exciting and violent content”. “He’s far from adult, even if he can be quite gruesome in certain scenes.”

Just your average everyday game on a Nintendo console.
Enlarge / Just your average everyday game on a Nintendo console.

the original chaotic head was originally released for Japanese PCs in 2008 before the upgrade noah came to the Xbox 360 in 2009. That console port (and a subsequent Vita re-release) received ZERO Content Ratings in Japan, which “assumes the game is not to be sold or distributed to anyone under the age of 18” and is roughly equivalent to an ESRB “AO Adults Only” rating in the US. CERO’s “content rating” for that game only included a warning about “crime,” and not about violence or sexual content.

Later Japanese ports of Chaos; Chief Noah for PS3, PSP, Android and iOS were heavily edited remove some of the more extreme images and descriptions of violence. In turn, those ports received a lower CERO D rating (roughly equivalent to the ESRB’s “M for Mature” rating) in Japan. A source in the visual novel translation community (who asked to remain anonymous) confirmed that both Switch and Steam’s proposed English versions of the game were based on this edited script.

A Japanese chaotic head port for nintendo switchreleased earlier this year, received the highest ZERO Z rating (and the “crime” content icon) despite using the edited version of the game which previously received a ZERO D rating. The English translation will be release on Switch in the US next monthwith an “M for Mature” rating and content descriptors warning of “Gore and blood, sexual themes, language, [and] Intense violence.”


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