Publisher Ghostlight is ready for tomorrow’s Steam release of Mugen Souls, a roleplaying game (RPG) that originally released on Playstation 3 in 2012. It will, however, be the censored version of the game, which the company states is Valve’s request. Ross from Ghostlight told us the following, when we reached out for comment:
Regarding the issue of censorship in Mugen Souls, we did ask Steam if we could ship the uncensored Japanese version of the game via their service and they told us unfortunately not. For that reason, we decided to convert and release the US/European PlayStation 3 port of the game which has the bathhouse mini-games removed.
The same is also repeated in a forum comment on Steam. This thread is populated with hundreds of replies, as the censorship topic is of vital importance to certain fans of games from developer and publisher combo Compile Heart and Idea Factory. The companies frequently focus on sexualized imagery. In the case of Mugen Souls, this goes as far as material that actively encourages the fondling of children. Obviously, pedophilia is a sensitive subject that isn’t easily marketed, if at all. Publisher NIS America from the PS3 version of Mugen Souls already had an elaborate explanation for the editing in 2012, stating:
The Japanese version of the game contained a mini-game in which the player had to scrub/grope 2D depictions of female characters in a variety of bath scenes. The characters and surrounding audio/visual elements were extremely sexualized, and a number of the characters were depicted as potentially being pubescent or pre-pubescent. We decided to remove this content out of concern for the potential of receiving an AO rating from the ESRB, which would prevent us from releasing the game. In addition, as a company, we did not want NISA to release or be known for content that could be seen as sexualizing or objectifying children in this way.
Mugen Souls comes to PC on Steam fairly quickly after Way of the Samurai 4, which also handles some sexual content. That game took a lot longer for the company to get to market and put quite the gap between previous localizations of the Record of Agarest War franchise. In further comment, Ross from Ghostlight attributes this speedy release to experience, saying:
While we were working on [Mugen Souls] prior to the announcement, it was quite a bit faster. This was because the Laughing Jackal team have ported enough Idea factory games now that they’ve got the process down.
Mugen Souls will be available on Steam on October 22, 2015 for $19.99 with a sizable launch discount of %40. Additionally, a purchase of the base game comes with 30 free downloadable content packs.