The Expression of Amrilato’s release on Steam was denied, and indefinitely postponed, due to Valve claiming that the game “sexualizes minors.”
UPDATE 6/21/2019: MangaGamer announced that The Expression of Amrilato was released on Steam with no changes to the content. The game will be on sale for 20% off until June 28th. You can read more about it MangaGamer's blog.
SukeraSparo’s educational yuri visual novel The Expression of Amrilato was set to release on Steam, MangaGamer, and GOG, but when the release day came, it never released to Steam. On June 14, the publisher, MangaGamer announced on their blog and an update on the game’s Steam page that The Expression Amrilato was rejected by Valve, but they did not know why or what content would cause them to reject the game.
Despite its high educational value, Valve has rejected The Expression Amrilato due to their vague and increasingly unpredictable approval process. Our staff is at a loss for what content Valve could have possibly objected to, as other storefronts, like GOG, have not taken issue with it.
According to MangaGamer’s PR Director, John Prickett, Valve claims that the The Expression Amrilato “sexualizes minors” even though it is an educational title with no sexual content at all. He also worries that Valve might believe a romantic relationship between two young women would be seen as sexual, but he hopes that is not the case. MangaGamer has tried to contact Valve for an explanation, but they have refused to comply.
Special thanks to Noisy Pixel for the quote.
When asked for comment on the decision, MangaGamer’s PR Director, John Pickett, had this to say, “Valve’s claim that this title ‘sexualizes minors’ is quite frankly absurd and discriminatory. The Expression: Amrilato is an educational title and it has no sexual content. Period.”
John continues, “While we sincerely hope this isn’t the case, the only conclusion we can draw from the feedback we’ve been provided with is that Valve now considers chaste romance between two women inherently ‘sexual’ and thus inappropriate for all audiences outside an adult context. Despite our many attempts to reach out to them for clarity on their “anything that isn’t illegal or trolling” policy––neither of which apply to this title––Valve has resoundingly refused to provide any, so all we can do is express our concern over what this could mean for freedom of expression and the LGBT gaming community.”
The Expression Amrilato is about Takato Rin, a high school girl who went out to buy snacks in her hometown when she suddenly realized that she was in a parallel world. To make things more confusing, everyone speaks a language and uses an alphabet that she doesn’t understand. Ruka, a cute girl who can speak a little bit of Japanese offers to help her. This begins Rin’s efforts to learn this world’s language to communicate with Ruka.
This visual novel is depicts an innocent romance between a high school girl, Rin, and a possible middle school girl, Ruka, which is stated in the character bios on MangaGamer. However, none of the ages are certain and Ruka is not completely confirmed to be a middle schooler. Even if these were true, according to VNDB, has the game labelled as all ages and none of the tags are anything sexually explicit.
As of right now, the status of whether The Expression Amrilato will be released on Steam has yet to be determined. However, you can still purchase the game on sale from MangaGamer for $19.96 and GOG for $19.99. After the sales end, the prices will increase to $24.95 for MangaGamer and $24.99 for GOG.