Chaos;Head Noah Steam Release Goes Ahead After All

Published: October 7, 2022 8:22 AM /


An anime girl character in the Chaos;Head Noah Steam release, with the dialogue "I'd never see Rimi again" beneath her

It looks like a Chaos;Head Noah Steam release is happening after all. Despite Valve deciding to ban the game from its platform prior to release, the company says it's re-examined Chaos;Head Noah's case and has decided to release it on Steam after all, and it sounds like some permanent changes are coming as a result of this case as well.

Chaos;Head Noah, a visual novel originally released back in 2008, was banned on Steam back in August, months before it was even due to release on the platform. Valve didn't give a reason for the ban, but last month, Spike Chunsoft revealed that the Chaos;Head Noah Steam release had been canceled, as it would have required changes to the game's content.

Two characters in Chaos;Head Noah, with the dialogue "if you can say the Shibuya words that we practiced together, Takumi will give you the winning stick" underneath
Better learn those words, Takumi.

Now, however, Spike Chunsoft has announced that Chaos;Head Noah will, in fact, be released on Steam. The studio points to a statement by Valve, which you can read here in full.

Valve's content review team, the group that made the original decision, has re-examined Chaos;Head Noah and decided to reverse course and allow the game to ship on Steam, as is. We've also examined the process that led to the previous decision about Chaos;Head Noah, and made some changes to avoid situations like this in the future.

It sounds like this situation has prompted Valve to think about its screening process for Steam games, which makes some kind of sense. After all, the Chaos;Head Noah Switch release is still going ahead, and Nintendo is pretty strict when it comes to suggestive content in Switch games.

Chaos;Head Noah may have to contend with more than Steam bans

Although the Chaos;Head Noah Steam release may be going ahead, the game has drawn the ire of some fans due to what they perceive to be disrespectful translation work. Over on Twitter, translator Jeff posted a thread detailing translation tips that he sees as "ignorant and disrespectful" to the game's "original intent".

According to Jeff, the game's translators, when faced with the task of translating certain outmoded Japanese internet lingo, simply decided not to do so, rationalizing that it would be "embarrassing for everybody" to use "2000s-era l33tspeak" or "long-forgotten memes" in the translation. Jeff disagrees; he says this constitutes the destruction of part of Chaos;Head Noah's identity in relation to its time period "because it's 'cringe'".

An image showing the translation of Chaos;Head Noah and the translators' decision not to translate the slang "God", which was written in a certain way in 2000s-era Japanese forums
This decision hasn't gone down well with everyone. Image courtesy of @ChrisGLink on Twitter.

Chaos;Head Noah will be available on Steam today, and it's also available on Nintendo Switch.

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