Saturday, June 3, 2017

MangaGamer commits to free uncensor patches for Steam releases

MangaGamer will release free uncensor patches for future Steam releases of eroge, following the lead of English indie developers.

From MangaGamer's official blog:
[...] we managed to reach an understanding with Valve regarding patches.
Going forward it will be our general policy to provide free content patches for all Steam releases whenever possible where there are content differences between versions. Technical issues or contractual obligations with specific developers may make patching not possible for specific titles, but we will do our utmost to ensure that doesn’t happen. Should patching not be an option for a relevant title, we will inform you before it goes on sale.
We will be working to update some of our existing Steam titles with content patches in the future; however, as our previous Steam releases were designed as separate versions, it may not be immediately possible for some older releases. [...]
English indie developers of eroge, including the creators of Huniepop, led the charge to provide free uncensor patches for their sanitized Steam releases.  In Japan, adult versions are often sold at a hefty premium over their non-adult counterparts, and Japanese devs have been reluctant to change that model for sales overseas, where customers often view such sales practices as unfair or even as price gouging (KARAKARA, Dovac, Twitter wars, and Overcharging for adult content).

MangaGamer now joins the push for equivalent pricing between adult and non-adult versions of eroge with their first release under this policy, Dal segno, setting the stage for an industry-wide shift in their pricing model.  This would be an important victory for eroge fans, as it could increase exposure to eroge among more mainstream audiences and drive down prices by linking adult version prices to Steam sales.  Hopefully JAST USA, Sekai Project, and Frontwing will follow MangaGamer's lead.

MangaGamer first pushed boundaries for adult content on Steam with the uncensored release of LiarSoft eroge Kindred Spirits on the Roof and Gakthun of the Golden Lightning.  They also released Euphoria completely uncensored, when companies like JAST USA were censoring games with similar content (sometimes with uncensor patches leaked anonymously).  Despite my personal quarrels with their management, MangaGamer has continued to advocate for thematic diversity without restrictions (vs. Nutaku, who merely pay lip-service to this cause).

As always, I continue to track news of eroge censorship to keep my followers updated, and you can visit the link below for a comprehensive list of censored eroge, uncensor patches, and workarounds or alternative versions.

Eroge with a censored official English release, a comprehensive list

You can show your support for my efforts by clicking my affiliate links before making purchases or when registering with Nutaku, or by following me on Twitter.

Edit 6/22/17: MiKandi Japan was previously attributed with starting the push for free adult patches amongst JP localization groups, but ironically they've recently decided to sell the patch they'd previously promised would be free (it's still free for backers).

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