Controversial "Rape Day" Video Game Pulled Before Release


Yesterday, Rape Day, a self-described "game where you can rape and murder during a zombie apocalypse", raised new questions about Steam's laissez-faire release policy.

The developer has vowed to find another platform to release the game. In its statement regarding the decision, it said the game poses "unknown costs and risks" and that the "chosen content matter and a way of representing it" render the distribution platform unable to work with the developer.

While no one is disputing that the contents of this game is inherently disturbing, quite a valid counterpoint was posted by the games developer, Desk Plant.

According to the website, which is mostly just an FAQ about whether or not the game will get banned, Rape Day is apparently a "dark comedy" inspired by "horror and psychological thrillers", and porn. Users were not able to pre-purchase the game, but they could add it to the wishlist while Steam completed their content review. Debbie Tohill, the group's executive director, said, "Making a game out of rape is never okay - it's outrageous, and it totally negates the impact that sexual violence has on its victims". Sally Rugg, an executive director for in Australia threw her weight behind a petition which gained 3,000 signatures, while another petition had nearly 8,000 signatures.

The decision to remove Rape Day comes after a furious reaction against it online.

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A sick video game where players commit sexual assaults against female characters has been pulled from Steam after a worldwide backlash. Both sides eventually met on the game's Steam community hub, where heated debates signaled a larger cultural clash forming around the game.

Steam caught a lot of flak last week when a preview page for Rape Day appeared on its PC digital storefront.

"We respect developers" desire to express themselves, and the objective 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 hard for us to help them do that'.

If the content of "Rape Day" was always too problematic for Steam, how did the game earn a listing in the first place?

Read Steam's full statement on "Rape Day" below. Still, he said that Valve is "trying to fix it in a way that makes Upcoming Releases more valuable without hurting games that wish to shift their release date", because the company does care about how Steam decides what titles to feature. Given our previous communication around Who Gets To Be On The Steam Store?, we think this decision warrants further explanation.

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