Steam has come under criticism once again for its often-confusing stance on adult-only titles. This time, the creator of Holodexxx, an interactive virtual environment that allows users to communicate with adult film stars through 3D scans and chatbot tech, has expressed dissatisfaction after being turned down three times by the marketplace.
Its developers describe it as a sex-positive, ethical game created in collaboration with and starring actual sex workers. At this point, Steam has a slew of games with adult material, some of which go into much darker conceptual territory than Holodexxx. That didn’t stop Valve.
Holodexxx is Hardcore Relentless in its approach
The game’s developers detailed everything they’ve attempted over the course of several months in a recent comprehensive blog post. To begin, they uploaded to Steam a “PG-13 experience” featuring a clothed variant of adult film performer Riley Reid, as well as a censored clip of live adult stars. According to the developers of Holodexxx, Valve rejected the request “with a pro forma statement that video pornography was not permitted on Steam.”
As a result, the developers spent more time making a new demonstration minus adult star footage, in which the gamer could instead view a virtual model of adult film actress Marley Brinx. Valve blocked it once again, citing “pornography” as the reason.
Developers went back to the drawing board and worked on Holodexxx Home, a far more intricate immersive experience with language modeling and direct physical encounters, for “months.” It entails undressing a character, but so do other Steam games, so it shouldn’t cause any of Valve’s tripwires in principle. Nevertheless, you already have a clever idea of what happened immediately.
So, what comes next?
This is far from the first time Steam has thwarted adult game developers, as the platform’s rules regarding explicit content have never been completely defined and remains inconsistent even after years of debate. To get around banning or avoid playing with fire with Valve’s ambiguous law, several creators have released external adult content modifications for Steam versions of their games.
“Would it be appropriate if a 3D artist designed a virtual adult performer from scratch using conventional 3D modeling and texturing rather than photogrammetry? ” The programmers enquired. “Would the same repulsion from Steam occur if we stylized our adult star characters while keeping their personalities intact? Can Riley Reid, for example, appear in a believable and erotic game like Cyberpunk  if her breasts are shown? Is she capable of appearing in any game? ”
While Valve’s Rules and Guidelines state that sexually explicit photographs of real people will not be published on Steam, the sex game House Party appears to have gotten around this restriction. Holodexxx is available on itch.io if you want to give it a shot.