MangaGamer’s Bokuten: Why I Became an Angel was quietly pulled from Valve’s Steam Store last week after claims that its publisher distributed the game with “adult content with underage characters.” MangaGamer insists these claims are “false” and “invalid.” However, Bokuten has returned to Steam this week after Valve and MangaGamer corrected “a valid issue” with the adult visual novel’s Steam build.
On Tuesday, MangaGamer penned a blog post announcing Bokuten’s return along with a 50% off sale on both Steam and MangaGamer. In the post, MangaGamer states Valve met with the publisher to discuss Bokuten’s removal after public backlash against the adult title’s ban.
“After further investigation from both sides, a valid issue with the previous Steam build of Bokuten was discovered and corrected, so now the title is back on Steam for everyone to enjoy!” MangaGamer wrote in the post.
Bokuten was removed from Steam on July 28. At the time, Doug Lombardi, Valve’s vice president of marketing, told the Daily Dot that the game was removed due to “missed content hidden in the game’s depot” depicting illustrated adult material with minors. This content, Lombardi said, was only accessible via an external patch but was still distributed with the game’s Steam files, leading to its removal.
Last week, MangaGamer’s public relations director John Pickett denied the claim, stating all adult material within the game was only accessible via an external patch. He also said Bokuten does not have any explicit depictions of minors. Pickett’s claim is reinforced by a disclaimer within Bokuten that states all characters are above 18, as one German article on the controversy reports.
However, one Reddit user discovered a small number of explicit images depicting adult characters left in the Steam version’s files. This material was quickly patched by MangaGamer, which Pickett claims was unintentionally left behind.
“Possibly missing the removal of two CGs out of hundreds does not make the fact that we took painstaking care to remove all adult content from the All-Ages build any less true,” Pickett wrote in response to the Reddit discovery. “The adult patch for Bokuten is 1.2GB due to all the content that was successfully removed from the All-Ages version […] It also says something about Valve when we were not notified or informed of potentially overlooked content until we read about it in a statement to the press.”
It remains unclear if this patch led to Bokuten’s reinstatement on Steam. The Daily Dot reached out to MangaGamer and Valve for comment.
Bokuten’s removal remains contentious across the adult visual novel community. Controversial adult games site Lewd Gamer criticized MangaGamer by claiming Bokuten was removed for “either an invalid and false reason or it [wasn’t].” Visual novel games journalist Pete Davidson of MoeGamer, meanwhile, celebrated Bokuten’s return while denouncing Steam’s behavior.
“The fact that there supposedly was a valid issue doesn’t excuse Steam’s behavior with regard to this incident, though,” MoeGamer tweeted. “VN devs/pubs/localisers are still treated like crap on the platform, and there’s no excuse for delisting without warning.”