Yandere Simulator, an in-development PC action game, has joined Twitch's gaming blacklist. Its developer broke the news himself on his Twitter account with a series of frustrated messages.
YandereDev — the only name the developer is known by — further shared his thoughts regarding the Twitch ban with Polygon in an email. We've included his message in full, below.
It's also been about 16 hours since I sent an e-mail to Twitch directly, asking for more information. They haven't responded yet, but to be fair, I don't know the average turnaround time for a response from Twitch. They might get so many e-mails that it takes them weeks to reply to someone.
It frustrates me greatly to hear about games getting censored. I've always been strongly against censorship, even when the subject being censored was unimportant to me. First they'll censor things that you don't care about, then they'll censor things that you do care about, and then they'll censor you. You have to protect all things from censorship, even the things you don't care about, to protect yourself and the things you care about.
If Twitch's problem with Yandere Simulator is something innocuous, like the easter egg that turns schoolchildren into naked giants (similar to the creatures from the popular anime Attack on Titan) then I would have no problem covering up the characters' nudity with "skinless" textures to resemble the skinless Titans from the show. However, if Twitch has a problem with one of the game's core mechanics, such as panty shots or bullying, then we'll be at an impasse, because I don't want to remove entire features from the game.
In other words: I would be willing to modify minor, innocuous things that were never meant to be the focus of the game, but I would not be willing to remove gameplay mechanics, remove core features, or change the focus of the game.
It's possible that Twitch might have a problem with the game's school setting, and a school-aged character killing other school-aged characters. This isn't going to change, so if that's the problem, Yandere Simulator might remain banned forever. I would be willing to set the character's ages to "???" and I would be willing to set the game in an ambiguous "academy" rather than an outright "high school" but I doubt that this would change Twitch's mind if they simply don't like the idea of a game that allows slaughtering students in a school setting.
If nudity bothers them, I wonder why they allow Outlast to be streamed. If torture bothers them, I wonder why they allow Grand Theft Auto 5 to be streamed. If bullying bothers them, I wonder why they allow Bully to be streamed. If graphic violence bothers them, I wonder why they allow Mortal Kombat X to be streamed.
It is, indeed, very frustrating that Twitch is not clear about exactly what makes a game inappropriate for their service. Some of the games on their "prohibited games list" are undisputedly pornographic in nature, but a few of them are almost harmless compared to the content visible in GTA5 or The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. It would be very nice if Twitch clearly stated why each of the games on their "banned game list" is prohibited.
I'm not sure whether or not there is currently any precedent for a game getting removed from Twitch's ban list, but I'm holding onto hope that Twitch will be willing to reverse their decision.
When reached for comment, a representative for Twitch referred us to its Rules of Conduct. The page details the various reasons for which a game would be blacklisted; these include "self-destructive behavior," harassment, gore and sexually explicit content. The streaming platform wouldn't elaborate as to which of these rules Yandere Simulator violated in particular.
Contrary to its name, Yandere Simulator is a stealth game. It involves high school girls stalking their male crushes, brutally eliminating other girls who express their interest. Its closest comparison, according to the developer, is the Hitman series; players take out other girls in sometimes brutal ways. It also features detailed killing animations and "panty shots."
If you have never heard of this game, there's a key reason why: Yandere Simulator hasn't been officially released. Despite that, it's already gained traction online. YandereDev's personal development blog, which tracks the game's progress, attracts a large number of comments with each post.
The developer also shares footage on both the blog and YouTube, and regularly involves the fanbase in his decision-making. Most recently, YandereDev polled the blog's readers on whether the name should be changed or not.
It also is a Reddit mainstay, frequently featured on the popular Games subreddit. A thread about the ban is currently on the community's front page, with nearly 2000 comments at time of writing.
The developer also has a Patreon account, which has more than 850 supporters helping to sustain the project. His page indicates a potential income of $4,359 a month made through the service.
Currently, a debug build — but not a demo — of the game is available as a free PC download. YandereDev estimates that the game is about 5% done; the developer has been working on it since 2014, and suggests it will be ready sometime in 2018, funding and time permitting.