Pickup artist game Super Seducer 3 will not be allowed on Steam, with Valve refusing to allow its release there. The game’s Steam listing has been removed. One of the game’s developers, Richard La Ruina, has posted the news to Twitter alongside screenshots of Valve’s response to the game.
Super Seducer 3 is a full-motion video game that uses multiple-choice dialogue to have the protagonist succeed on dates with women. It’s the third entry in the series, which advertises itself as an educational tool to help men learn “how to talk to girls.” The player character in the game is portrayed in the scenes by La Ruina, a self-styled “dating guru.”
La Ruina is an advocate of pickup artist culture, a community of men whose purpose is to help each other seduce and have sex with women. A wide-ranging array of commentators consider pickup artist culture to be sexist and misogynist.
Valve’s reason for refusing the game was that “Steam does not ship sexually explicit images of real people,” per screenshots of La Ruina’s back-and-forth with Valve. Per the screenshots, Ruina’s back-and-forth with Valve was relatively extensive and ongoing prior to this decision, and in them Ruina claims to have sought the advice of a lawyer in order to get Super Seducer 3 released on Steam. Much of La Ruina’s concern both to Valve and in public is focused around the game’s 61,000 Steam Wishlists, which many developers rely on for sales when a game releases.
In his response to Valve after their decision, La Ruina says that he is “ready to take a butcher knife to the game” and that it would be “easy enough” to edit the game to be as “safe” as “other FMV games that you have recently shipped, totally focused on the ‘sexually explicit images of real people’ which as a first step would be removing totally all the uncensored feedback clips, but also things like the gym introductions. Please give us another chance.”
In response, the Valve representative reiterated their decision to neither “sell the game or re-review it.” Valve has offered a refund of the money used to list the game on Steam in 2018. The first and second games in the Super Seducer series remain available on Steam.
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