Rape Day won't be released on Steam

Judy Cobb
March 9, 2019

Rape Day, the unreleased video game that seemed created to cause controversy, will no longer be distributed on the Steam digital distribution system.

Steam said it was pulling the controversial video game Rape Day, which sees players assume the role of a rapist serial killer as it "poses unknown costs and risks".

Defending the game in a Steam Community post prior to Valve's decision, Desk Lamp wrote "The game is marked as adult.

We respect developers' desire to express themselves, and the objective of Steam is to help developers find an audience, but this developer has chosen content matter and a way of representing it that makes it very hard for us to help them do that".

According to the description from the now removed Steam Store page (via J.L.Rose on Twitter) "Rape Day is a game where you can rape and murder during a zombie apocalypse", that contains "more than 500 images", over 7,000 words, and "evil choices".

Izzy Sims
Izzy Sims English student ✓ Games Editor ✓ eGirl

News of the game's release prompted petitions in several countries to block it, with one Change.org petition garnering almost 8,000 signatures. Today we've decided not to distribute this game on Steam.

Ahead of Valve's March 6 statement, the developer said it would seek alternate distribution methods if Valve made a decision to pull the game. "I'm glad that it has been pulled by gaming site Steam, but their response was woeful". While the concern over Rape Day was honest, I fear this is a system ripe for abuse, and if the press can be manipulated into railing erroneously against something for long enough, I fear Valve will react as they have here. This statement blocks this particular game but does not offer clarity on what similar types of content would not be allowed in the future. Johnson brought up the company's stance outlined in "Who Gets To Be On The Steam Store?".

The game's developer, who goes by Desk Plant online, defended the game on its official website.

In a video of her statement (below), Bardell says that "a game of this nature has no place in our society", adding that Valve's statement about the listing's removal was "woeful" and did not "accept or acknowledge the risk [Rape Day] could pose at a time when one in five women will experience sexual violence in their lives". It's a little spineless, but a decision I applaud anyway because games like this shouldn't really be on the largest PC game distribution platform. It still seems like the company could do a better job of preventing these situations from occurring, but they find themselves in a tough situation as their mission to enable developers to express themselves freely can lead to extremely offensive situations for customers and the broader public.

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