Ghostlight Explains Mugen Souls Steam Censorship

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.

Mugen Souls Steam censored

An actual Mugen Souls screenshot for illustration.

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.

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5 thoughts on “Ghostlight Explains Mugen Souls Steam Censorship

  1. Literally the dumbest thing I ever heard. I never played the original game but I’ve played countless Eroge and read various manga. In almost every case the girls are covered by a mosaic so you can’t see anything to begin with. Secondly we are talking about 2D fantasy images which has absolutely nothing to do with reality. If you are confusing fantasy and reality then the problem is on a personal level and has nothing to do with the game itself. I equate this to people saying video games like GTA makes you steal cars and murder and rape. If you murder steal and rape you were f’d up in the head to being with and games are the least of your worries. Much in the same way games don’t make people rape and murder they don’t make people hurt children either.

    • Depiction of children pornography (even in drawing/anime/fantasy form) is illegal in a lot of countries around the world. If you don’t agree you first need to convince your respective government to change/adapt the law without ending on some registered sex offender database. Or migrate to Japan, I think it’s the easiest solution :p

      • Actually Depiction of children pornography in Anime is legal, so long as no child was harmed in real life in the making of the product, and that’s what is important, studies show that when a product such as this gets released it can lower those types of crimes rates as well, not increase them. So anything “loli” even if the loli’s are put in sexual situations is still legal even in america.

      • @Clone
        Not 100% true. In many states, it is illegal no matter what “federal law” states. Each state can (to some extent) decide what is, and isn’t child/illegal pornographically content. Two such examples are in the Carolinas. There, Loli/shota are seen as child sex. Doesn’t matter if completely fictional, or half, or no where near photo realistic. However, North and south have a bit of difference. In north caro, even viewing loli on a website, without downloading, buying or distributing is illegal. In south caro, Viewing of “fictional materials” is legal, so long as its not bought, owned, a physical copy, or “downloaded” (outside of page loading”. of the 50 US states, I think close to 21 or 22 states currently have similar laws passed. It’s better to find out through your states general assembly and listed laws before you take too many risks with it.

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