The state of VNs on Steam

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#51 by trickzzter
2018-09-17 at 12:24
Holy sh*t O_o: Futanari PrincessLast modified on 2018-09-17 at 12:24
#52 by pendelhaven
2018-09-17 at 12:41
that's it. steam is dead. vn is dead. everything is dead.
#53 by encrypted12345
2018-09-17 at 13:52
@51 Does that have stolen art? It certainly looks stolen if nothing else.
#54 by pendelhaven
2018-09-17 at 14:10
probably reporting that.... nukige might be the best move
#55 by dk382
2018-09-17 at 14:17
Can't say if it's being listed with permission or not, but t's this game: link
#56 by pabloc
2018-09-17 at 14:21
It looks kinda suspicious. While it seems to be link indeed, Mofuland isn't credited anywhere on Steam and the game is labelled as "casual, adventure". The one from DLSite is a SRPG, and I wouldn't say it's particularly "casual" either. Maybe they removed the gameplay? They didn't show any gameplay screenshots on the store page, which is kinda weird.

EDIT: Yeah, it's almost definitely a scam. The opening on Steam shows a completely different story than the DLSite game.Last modified on 2018-09-17 at 14:51
#57 by dk382
2018-09-17 at 14:49
link

Looks like it's not an officially licensed release and the dev is petitioning for its removal. My guess is that it's a shitty puzzle game or non-game using stolen art.Last modified on 2018-09-17 at 14:50
#58 by ramaladni
2018-09-17 at 16:29
I left a comment on the blog and so did a few others, it seems. The dev replied and as Decay said, he's to contact Steam about it. It puts into question if this person's previous Steam releases are legit at all.
#59 by pabloc
2018-09-17 at 16:30
Seems like it's gone already. Screenshots go to "fukken saved" folder. XDLast modified on 2018-09-17 at 16:33
#60 by encrypted12345
2018-09-17 at 16:48
That's good. I don't care about loli or scat, but stolen assets are unforgivable.
#61 by kominarachromer
2018-09-17 at 17:08
Talking about stolen assets; it looks like StarNovel Studio is using stolen art, but I can't find any sources for it. Is there anybody that can confirm or deny this?
#62 by bakauchuujin
2018-09-17 at 17:19
Just checked out the steam page of one of the games from StarNovel Studio and it have 2259 achievments so it should be possible to get it banned even without proving that it is using stolen assets, which based on the difference between background and character art I would assume is pretty likely. Actually looking more closely at the pictures it is pretty clear that they just cut out the characters from somewhere and did a pretty poor job at it.Last modified on 2018-09-17 at 17:20
#63 by dk382
2018-09-17 at 18:54
Talking about stolen assets; it looks like StarNovel Studio is using stolen art, but I can't find any sources for it. Is there anybody that can confirm or deny this?
I wouldn't be surprised at all. These look like standard professional japanese sprites to me, though I don't know where from. One of the problems is that big VN publishers are ironically easier to steal from. You can notify a small doujin dev and they'll respond and act right away in most cases, even if you contact them in english or broken japanese. Trying to get a large company to notice you though can be an uphill battle. And then once they do, it has to go through a ton of corporate red tape before anyone acts on it.
#64 by tomtheerogeman
2018-09-18 at 16:11
Many Japanese websites that sell VNs have a character summary page where they cut out the character sprites and place them on white backgrounds, similar to what you see on this website. Perhaps it is possible to do a reverse Google image search for it and trace it to one of those webpages, thus telling us which game it came from.

Edit: Or you can also search for characters in this database and filter by body traits/clothes/etc. But that only works if someone has already added them to this website.Last modified on 2018-09-18 at 16:37
#65 by eacil
2018-09-18 at 16:42
I honestly doubt thieves use assets as is. If you steal a tachie and crop it, reverse image search doesn't work anymore. Same if you change the colors. For backgrounds, you put a filter on it and good luck to search for the source. Even with the source it can be tricky to recognize it behind modifications. I personally never found what I want inside "similar results" (it's more like recommendations).
Nothing even tells us that those tachie are from legit games and not stuff from pixiv.
Those guys usually have good skill in image editing. If not, it would be too easy to catch them. The best way is to have some drawing skills so you redraw the tachie and tweak it enough to not be recognizable.
Maybe the tachie are legit but the rest is not (way way easier to steal backgrounds).

Imo, those guys are usually caught when someone already know the source.
#66 by trickzzter
2018-09-21 at 06:05
All games by StarNovel Studio, BCH waves studio, Hanae Novels, Bee's Tower, Artlight Studio have been removed from Steam.
Good riddance.Last modified on 2018-09-21 at 06:06
#67 by tomtheerogeman
2018-09-21 at 16:30
Why are almost all of those producers Ukrainian? How are they related to one another?
#68 by encrypted12345
2018-09-21 at 17:11
@66 Seriously? That's great news.
#69 by ramaladni
2018-09-21 at 17:35
So, do all of those have stolen art? And if so, should they be kept in the database?
#70 by encrypted12345
2018-09-21 at 17:44
@69 I would say keep them in. Regardless of whether or not their art was stolen (which is probably the case), they were released officially at one point even if they are no longer available now.
#71 by trickzzter
2018-09-21 at 18:35
@67: I'm pretty sure that all these "companies" were led by the same 2 Russian-speaking students from Ukraine. But I don't have anough evidences to link them all together. The only evidence I have found is that Hanae Novels is in fact a BCH waves's sock puppet: linkLast modified on 2018-09-21 at 18:37
#72 by eacil
2018-09-21 at 21:36
I think we just had a live demonstration of:
Our review of something that may be "a troll game" is a deep assessment that actually begins with the developer. We investigate who this developer is, what they've done in the past, their behavior on Steam as a developer, as a customer, their banking information, developers they associate with, and more. All of this is done to answer the question "who are we partnering with and why do they want to sell this game?" We get as much context around the creation and creator of the game and then make an assessment. A trend we're seeing is that we often ban these people from Steam altogether instead of cherry-picking through their individual game submissions. In the words of someone here in the office: "it really does seem like bad games are made by bad people."
I doubt they had to find stolen assets for every one of those groups but one fell for whatever reason and the others fell by association. I guess it's too much to ask of steam to communicate on their decisions.
#73 by xero95
2018-09-21 at 23:44
Now if only SakuraGame could be removed, their the ones killing off official English releases. Yet casual(read most of the steam base) are gonna foam at the mouth and buy em anyways-_-
#74 by kominarachromer
2018-09-22 at 01:12
#73 Problem is that there's no real reason to remove them. Their translations are awful, sure, but Steam doesn't care about playability; there's a ton of low quality bullshit that's probably even worse (that actually hurt to type by the way). Besides, it's making Steam money either way, so why would they bother removing it?
#75 by kiru
2018-09-22 at 07:38
^Read up on the video game crash in the eighties. This very thing almost killed the American videogaming industry. It was restored because Nintendo made an effort with their "seal of quality", so games aren't so shit anymore.

If Steam doesn't want to lose all trust, they need to do something about very obvious awful quality, given how they accept more or less everything now. In the greater picture removing them will not lose them money. Keeping them will.

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