When sex comedy game House Party launched on Steam last month, seemingly uncensored, people were surprised. Steam doesn’t have a blanket ban on nudity, but it often requires brazenly naughty games to pocket their packages and obscure their unmentionables. In House Party, you can just whip your dick out. Because it’s not a party until somebody’s dick is out, right?
Yesterday, the game was removed from Steam. In a blog post, the game’s developer Eek claimed it got taken down due to “a number of complaints that were sent to Steam about the game.” Apparently “pornography” was the main culprit, but Eek said Valve neglected to go into further detail.
House Party, which came out in early access on platforms like Game Jolt before making its way to Steam late last month, is about attending a booze-infused get-together at the home of a woman named Madison and debauching like you’ve never debauched. You’re given a series of objectives—for example, introducing yourself to the party’s host and helping a woman retrieve her phone—but many of them lead to risque outcomes. One involves parading a party-goer’s sister around naked as a means of humiliating her. Another is about convincing a woman to let you take topless pics of her to give to your friend. Also, you can remove one character’s top as you please (much to her surprise and outrage), and of course, there’s the whole dick thing, which—as you might expect—provokes a variety of responses.
The game is not, however, entirely about sex and nudity. You can also start fights with people and generally make a mess of the place. Or you can do your best to just work your way through dialogues and help people out. There are even party games. It’s a sandbox where you can do some extremely messed up stuff to people. Eek says the focus of House Party isn’t titillation, but rather “comedy” in the style of raunchy old-school games like Leisure Suit Larry.
As a result of all the potential for shenanigans, House Party became popular on YouTube, with heavy hitters like jacksepticeye, NerdCubed, and MattShea featuring it on their channels. Over the past few months, it’s gained widespread popularity and infamy, which only increased when it hit Steam and sold upwards of 30,000 copies, according to both the game’s developer and SteamSpy.
Valve, said Eek, wasn’t very clear on which specific elements of the game it found to be bannable offenses.
“I know there are many games with nudity, and there are also games with sex scenes as well, including really popular titles, so it’s all rather confusing and I don’t know exactly where the line is or what in particular I should be censoring,” Eek wrote. In a follow-up comment to Kotaku, Eek added that House Party plays host to a number of player-created stories, claiming that there have been “many complaints of things that aren’t actually in the official game, but were instead player created content.” I reached out to Valve for clarification on the exact nature of the complaints that caused it to take the game down, but as of this writing, it had yet to get back to me.
For now, Eek plans to tone down the Steam version of House Party and try again. “I don’t want to censor anything if I don’t have to,” the developer wrote, “and I am also looking into ways to allow Steam users to convert or mod their version of the game to the original version. However, it won’t be delivered that way from Steam moving forward.”
Dan Starkey contributed reporting to this story.
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