Cheaply made low-effort games using stolen or modified assets for a quick profit are on the rise. In order to expose them and their creators while informing readers, we have decided to create a new feature titled “Fuckin’ Stop It – Displaying Dirty Devs”, in which we highlight the worst offenders creating games with sexual content plaguing the adult gaming industry.
The focus of our first feature is solely on a new Steam developer going by the name of Artlight Studio, producing cheap, short erotic visual novels. The developer first appeared on the platform in late October of this year with their debut title Train Journey, a very short, kinetic visual novel that quickly turned out to contain real-life images taken from several places on the Internet. Not too long after, on the 15th of November, the developer released a new game called University Life, and that is where even more of his misdeeds came to our attention.
Apart from just providing barely functional visual novel experiences made in Unity laden with text wrapping issues, the developer’s games contain hundreds, if not thousands of Steam achievements, making all of them achievement farms. While a lot of low-quality issues could potentially be dismissed by some parties, the other fact that all of Artlight Studio’s games include stolen and modified art is a different can of worms that just begs to be opened.
Artlight Studio’s methods of “hiding” the origins of other people’s art pieces in order to hamfistedly fit them into the narrative of their titles include changing angles, cropping, recoloring, airbrushing, and applying several different filters to whole images. We have managed to trace the sources of several of these modified images and aligned the modifications along with the originals below, using University Life as an example.
Art by 天琊悲鸣
Art by Yuuki Hagure
Art by gabiran (我美蘭)
OfficialKiss x Sis anime promotion art by Kawashima Masaru
Art by mdk (m-kuri)
Art by RPG-No-Zero
Befitting their name, Artlight Studio certainly is light in the art department, as not a single art asset in their games seems to actually belong to them. We have taken measures into our own hands and contacted most the artists responsible for the works we successfully sourced and provided them with information on how their art is being used. Artlight Studio has another game in the pipeline scheduled to be released on the 22nd of November, with exactly the same modus operandi of using stolen and altered artwork.
The search for any contact information to Artlight Studio has proven fruitless, and the only unverified piece of information on the company exists on VNDB where they are listed as an “Amateur Ukrainian group”. Due to the lack of means with which to contact the developer we are unable to receive any direct statement from them regarding the situation; however, we believe that we have shown enough evidence to convince anyone that the developer’s only goal in putting up any games on Steam is to make a quick profit, without putting any effort into creating a quality product. We encourage everyone from casual visual novel fans to erotic game enthusiasts to stay away from any of their future titles and to spread the information in this article not only to other Steam users and gamers, but also to Valve itself, so they can hopefully take appropriate action and remove any trace of this lazy copyright-infringing developer from the face of the platform.
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