Today, we found out that the visual novel game published by Spike Chunsoft, Chaos; Head Noah, has been officially banned on Steam by Valve prior to it even being released. Though, they really did not give any context as to why the game was banned in the first place, leaving fans baffled and filled with questions.
Though the game was initially launched in 2008, the publishers have been making progress towards releasing the game on both Steam and Nintendo Switch platforms. As of yesterday, they have been shot down by Steam, and the publishers have yet to make any form of comments or statements as to why this decision was made by Valve.
Chaos; Head Noah is a science-fiction-based visual novel, where players take on the life of Takumi Nishijou, a reclusive individual who suffers from horrible delusions. While the game is inherently linear, there are choices that players can make that will affect the gameplay here and there, making it immersive and interesting. Players are also able to choose whether these delusions that Takumi experiences are good ones or bad ones, meaning the game can be overwhelmingly positive and lighthearted or filled to the brim with horrific scenes that are encased in violent acts.
So far, Chaos; Head Noah has been very well received by fans of the visual novel genre, and it seems like this might just be a minor setback for the publishers. Though, it is important to note that the general public seems to think that the game doesn't capture the concept of Anime as well as they had hoped, which led to quite a few negative remarks about the game.
The ban was reported via Twitter, which also features a screenshot of a Google Spreadsheet that has a list of all of the visual novels that Steam has banned thus far. Several big visual novel community members have also reported on this matter, solidifying that this is indeed legitimate. One of the key points to take note of here is that Steam has been banning several visual novels as of late, such as they did with Full Metal Daemon Muramasa, a dark and twisted fantasy visual novel.
For Full Metal Daemon Muramasa, it was determined that the game featured too many scenarios that included "sexual violence, racism, oppression, terrorism, and other atrocities", as the publishers at JAST state. They also went on to state,
"Full Metal Daemon Muramasa is considered by many as a pinnacle piece of the visual novel genre. It dives into challenging and uncomfortable themes of war, sexual violence, racism, oppression, terrorism, and other atrocities; for the sake of artful storytelling. Steam has never had a policy against bad things happening in video games, and in fact Muramasa is unequivocal in its condemnation of these elements. Out of the darkness of Muramasa’s story emerges a statement on what it means to be a hero, to be human, to be family, to be friends; and in many ways, what it means to be"
Just as with Chaos; Head Noah, the publishers at JAST believe that this decision was not justifiable in the least and that their game should have at least been given a chance on the platform, but Valve remained firm on their decision.
Chaos; Head Noah is still scheduled to release on Nintendo Switch on October 7, 2022, and is available currently on Android, iOS, Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, and PlayStation Vita. To read more about what the game entails, head over to Spike Chunsoft's official game page.