Nutaku Confirms Early Censorship, Never for Downloadable Games

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

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While surfing the Fuwanovel forums today I came across a curious post. This post was from user Sanahtlig claiming that Nutaku was using a DMCA complaint to hide their censorship. This took me by surprise since Nutaku had just announced funding for adult game projects for their store front that wanted to be the Steam for adult games, so I decided to reach to their PR for some answers.

On the DMCA claim I was told one of their reviewers came across the copyrighted images from a DMM game, and they sent a polite take down notice, since these files are to be used for reviews purposes only. They issued this statement to me via email on this issue:

“Nutaku recognizes the importance of “fair use” and will never misuse DMCA to silence critics – those tactics are completely contrary to our mission as a company. That said, we are obliged to attempt to protect the artwork of our Japanese partners from commercial reuse as part of our localization agreement.”

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I was much more interested in if the censorship claims were true, and in fact they confirmed that they are. They actually did this in a Reddit post a while ago. These changes stemmed from working with  payment processors on certain early browser games. They also made a blog post that went into some more detail about this a short time back. Needless to say community was not happy with these changes and I was told by PR that Nutaku has since worked hard to keep their current browser titles free from censorship and the previous Reddit post says most of the changes to the older titles have been reverted. Here is a quote directly from my email response from PR:

“Fan reaction to censorship is abysmal – which is why we made the commitment that we would never host a censored game on our downloadable store, nor ask a developer to change their work for it. We’re sticking with that.” He went on to say about the browser titles, “I’m happy to say that there hasn’t been any censorship in the last several months of browser game releases and we’re hoping to keep it that way.”

While I think it is great they are working hard to keep the censorship out of the browser games now, and have vowed no censorship whatsoever on the downloadable titles. I feel they should let users know which titles on the site currently still have censored content. If someone is going to spend time and money to play one of their browser games they should know if that experience has been altered or not. I think they have a bright future if they stick to their guns and the adult gaming market will vastly benefit from them being a part of it.

 

About Steve Baltimore

Steve started with oprainfall not long after the campaign moved from the IGN forums to Facebook. Ever since, he has been fighting to give all non-mainstream RPGs a fair voice. As the site admin, he will continue to do this and even show there is value in what some would deem "pure ecchi." He loves niche games and anime more than anything... well, except maybe Neptune.




  • Nin

    Yeah, I tolerated their censorship of browser games for a while, but I eventually gave up and decided not to play Aigis any more. I’ve got enough on my backlog as is.

    As of right now, I have no qualms with using the Nutaku store in the future, but I’ll be watching and making sure they don’t censor anything before I decide to use it as a shopping place.

  • Melody

    It’s important for them to realize that if they wish to be to hentai what “steam” is to games that they don’t censor the games they host. Otherwise they may end up discouraging adult gamers from buying from them and instead buying from sites like dlsite or pirating. There really isn’t any excuse for censorship, unless some government violence or threat thereof is involved, but people know that 99% of the time that excuse is bullshit. And since some previously censored games are getting released on steam uncensored it’s showing that even in non adult games that excuse is bullshit. Nutaku would have even less of an excuse since they aren’t trying to achieve some rating with the esrb, nor are they trying to sell games on console/handheld which would need to be given the green light by the big three, they’re not even trying to get the greenlight from steam. Basically, the customers are adults and should not be treated like children. So if Nutaku wishes, they could release censored games, but they need to allow the customer the choice to play with censored assets or not. Some people may object to a topic or feature and it’s fine to give them the choice to opt out. But others may not be offended by it or even prefers it and they shouldn’t have the choice made for them. I guarantee that they would probably take their money elsewhere.

    • Toady

      Show me a Steam game where a character has explicit sex (with cumshot, please) and we can talk about the bold new age of Steam freedom.

    • DDD-kun

      While I share your pessimism, it’s also worth remembering Rome was not built in a day. This is going to take time and effort on developer & consumer alike. Support the great examples, critique the less-than-sublime.

    • Melody

      Steam isn’t perfect, however they have been allowing more and more things to be allowed on steam. There are actually several games that have patches to uncensor, and several of these games had their uncensor patches actually released by the developers. For instance, the Nekopara games all feature graphic sex and enabling them is only a matter of using a patch. Hunie pop is another game that had a patch to uncensor it.

      Now, what I was actually referring to when I said games being released uncensored compared to their console/handheld counterpart was not games having sex scenes. I’m referring to how these games on console had even simple artwork changed and everybody said that they had to in order to not get banned.

      Steam on the other hand has been lenient. Even if something is not allowed to be sold directly on the steam store, they have done nothing to stop developers and fans from releasing patches to remove censorship. This is actually fine. Those that want a cleaner experience are required to do nothing while those that want the full experience are only required to download a file and usually to just drag and drop it into the game folder.

      You really can’t do that on consoles. You can try, but it requires you to hack your system, dump your game usually and this all gets considered taboo because it creates possible piracy.

      Steam is taking baby steps though, and they have been improving day by day. And they’ve already done far more than consoles would have allowed. There’s already an AO rated game on there. And releasing a game on steam doesn’t require that the game get rated by the ESRB. So while steam isn’t allowing outright sexually explicit adult games to be released on steam’s marketplace, they’ve been okay with games that can be patched to add that adult content.

    • “There really isn’t any excuse for censorship, unless some government violence or threat thereof is involved, but people know that 99% of the time that excuse is bullshit.”

      That’s why SJWs/feminists are going the way of the law / government to try and make censorship mandatory.

      If they can’t fuck us over by screaming at the culture and consumer, they’ll go cry-bullying to the ones in charge with the power. In this case, it is the ratings boards, and furthermore, the government.

      This is why in the France and UK, they’re trying to get ‘sexism’ label ratings (sexism against women only of course) applied to video games in order to make it harder for developers and companies to sell products that depict women in a “negative” manner. Which basically means that it’s indirect censorship.

      If that law passes, expect other countries to follow. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt about the leftist Western governments is that they can get SJW-advocated laws passed very easily and quickly, it virtually goes through unchecked. And when people do realize, it’s usually too late. Therefore this proposal needs to be burnt to the ground and be pissed all over, otherwise it sets a very grim precedent for gamers who are into the ‘fan-service’ category.

      As for Nutaku, this is most definitely a black mark on their card. We’ll have to see what they do in the future. But it just goes to show that any company/organisation that makes money need to be kept an eye on to ensure that they practice what they preach.

  • DDD-kun

    They can talk a good game, but I’d need to see action being displayed louder than words at this stage.

  • “On the DMCA claim I was told one of their reviewers came across the copyrighted images from a DMM game, and they sent a polite take down notice, since these files are to be used for reviews purposes only.”

    Allow me to clarify. I did not review this game. I took 4 screenshots of H-scenes from Nutaku’s browser game Girls Kingdom and solicited 4 screenshots from the DMM (Japanese) version for comparison. The purposes of these screenshots was exposing Nutaku’s alteration of the CGs in this game. This game has hundreds of such CG and more than 50 H-scenes. The gallery was clearly labeled as being established for the purpose of documenting censorship, and as such constituted “Fair Use”.

    Nutaku did not “politely” ask me to take these images down. They coerced Imgur to do so. I was not notified which images were taken down or who demanded they be taken down.

    • Steve Baltimore

      In the earlier Reddit post they in fact do admit they censored titles due to payment processors, and that post was made 2 months ago.

    • “In the earlier Reddit post they in fact do admit they censored titles due to payment processors, and that post was made 2 months ago.”

      My point is that Nutaku’s browser game censorship wasn’t public knowledge until I exposed them in that Harem-Battle post, which months later was spotted and picked up by Kotaku in Action (where Nutaku was forced to respond). Nutaku apparently didn’t care about my image gallery (which they’d known about AT LEAST since that Kotaku in Action statement) until it started being linked around the web by censorship critics.

    • Steve Baltimore

      Right they should’ve been upfront about all this to start with. Let’s hope they learned something here and do better from here on out.

    • Smug

      This is why you have to archive your shit (archive(dot)is for instance) in case of any takedowns through DMCA/whatever

    • I have a local copy of the images, minus the descriptions in the original gallery. I could repost them, but getting caught reuploading images that had been DMCA’d could be viewed as an attempt to subvert the legal process, and I could be punished for this.

  • Visci

    Gee, it’s like that company that published porn F2P games has no integrity or something.

  • Mr0303

    If they truly want to be a platform for adult games there is no place for censorship. This could’ve been an older title, but as Steve said there should be a clear indication of what titles are censored. They obviously tried to hide that in a corporate move to preserve their reputation while launching the new platform. Very shady to say the least.

  • tBanzai

    This could just be PR speak, I think. They say “No censorship by NUTAKU” but it’s not like that will stop them from making the original publishers of the game censor the game via recommendations.

    Also, it’s kind of a pointless statement when they don’t bother translating anything that’s even somewhat more outlandish than your typical vanilla affair.

    The statement also pretty deliberately sets the scope that it’s only their DOWNLOADABLE games that they personally won’t be censoring, they’ll keep censoring their browser games, it seems to me.

    I feel that the entire quip about the payment processors is bullshit as well. DMM and DLSite use Mastercard. They are typically the source for both the doujin games and browser games that Nutaku butchers.