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Steam makes Rape Day unavailable

08 March 2019

This week we received a number of complaints from the public regarding the possibility of the online game Rape Day being made available in NZ via the gaming platform Steam. We were concerned too. While we do have the power to call in material like this for classification, as a first step we got in touch with Steam and raised the public concerns directly.

Steam representatives responded quickly to assure us of their decision not to allow the game on their platform. We think that’s the right thing to do. Their full statement can be found here, and reads:

Over the past week you may have heard about a game called 'Rape Day' coming soon to Steam. Today we've decided not to distribute this game on Steam. Given our previous communication around Who Gets To Be On The Steam Store? we think this decision warrants further explanation.

Much of our policy around what we distribute is, and must be, reactionary - we simply have to wait and see what comes to us via Steam Direct. We then have to make a judgement call about any risk it puts to Valve, our developer partners, or our customers. After significant fact-finding and discussion, we think 'Rape Day' poses unknown costs and risks and therefore won't be on Steam.

We respect developers’ desire to express themselves, and the purpose 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 difficult for us to help them do that.

Thank you to all those who contacted us to voice concern – we’ll also be in touch with you directly.

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