Steam isn't officially available in China, but it's not officially blocked either. But this inbetween state still gives the censors unofficial power to ensure that Steam does not allow adult games to be sold in China.
Steam only recently stopped
censoring adult games in the rest of the world but the change of policy will not apply to China.
As part of the policy shift, steam added two more content filtering options for users: A general Mature Content filter and an Adult Only filter. But
China doesn't have the latter option, which means that they don't have access to these games at all.
Chinese media speculated that Steam is restricting adult titles from Chinese gamers to avoid getting officially blocked in the country. China's
government is tightening its grip on the gaming industry and repeatedly clamps down on online content that they deem inappropriate, so Steam could be trying to keep a delicate balance: Not officially blocked, but not officially banned, either.
Online games distributor Steam recently relaxed is previous prohibitions on adult gaming but it still draws the line at games it considers illegal.
Now, according to some developers, Valve, the company behind Steam, is going after games that feature
themes of child exploitation, which it seems to define, at least in part, as games with sex scenes or nudity where the characters are in high school.
Over the past few weeks, the company has removed the store pages of several visual novels,
including cross-dressing yaoi romance Cross Love , catholic school adult visual novel Hello Goodbye , a story about the love between siblings Imolicious , and cat girl game MaoMao Discovery Team . The developers of these games
all claim to have received similar emails stating that their games could not be released on Steam.
There are a common threads that link the games in question: 1) Cross Love, Hello Goodbye, and Imolicious feature school settings, and 2) all four of
the aforementioned games contain adult elements and centre around anime-styled characters who appear young -- in some cases uncomfortably so.