On January 22, 2016, Yandere Dev (the ongoing developer of the game Yandere Simulator) posted a video to his Youtube account titled “Yandere Simulator is Banned From Twitch“. In this video, he showed the list of games that Twitch has banned streamers from playing on their platform. To his surprise, Yandere Simulator was added to this list with no notice or warning. At the time, Yandere Dev tried to contact Twitch to negotiate the issue, but was met with silence.
Exactly a year later, on January 22, 2017, Yandere Dev released this video called “A Warning To All Game Developers”:
Here, Yandere Dev provides an update to the Twitch situation–that there’s no update at all. That’s right, after a year of trying to contact Twitch about his game, they have continued to persistently ignore him.
Looking at the facts, it might be easy to say why a game like Yandere Simulator might be banned–the game is filled with murder, torture, psychological sabotage and sexual themes. Companies have the right to ban anyone or anything from their websites that does not stand up to company policies or image. However, Yandere Dev points out some concerning facts about Twitch’s unprofessionalism and hypocrisy regarding the entire situation.
Yandere Dev, on multiple occasions, has offered to change certain aspects of his game if it meant getting it unbanned. Without Twitch responding to him, however, he cannot pinpoint the exact reason why it was banned, which leaves only speculation. With a year to contemplate it, he has indeed speculated many of the possible reasons for the ban, and lists them in his video.
One of the most concerning reasons he has pointed out, is that Twitch may be too concerned with money to stick with their policies. He stacks the evidence up against them as he lists games like God of War 3, GTA V and South Park: The Stick of Truth–all games that carry many of the same features Yandere Simulator does, but are all also allowed to be streamed on Twitch.
So, what makes these games so different than his? They all happen to be Triple A titles. Yandere Dev believes that Twitch is willing to make exceptions to their rules when it come to big title games if it results in more revenue and traffic to their site. If this is true, then this is extremely concerning news to smaller indie developers who want their games allowed on Twitch. If Twitch is willing to throw out their own policies for money and to appease larger corporations, then it begs the question–why do they bother to have these policies at all?
Their policy for streaming in-game nudity is vague in itself:
Sexually Explicit, Adults-Only, and Other Prohibited Games
Nudity can’t be a core focus or feature of the game in question, and modded nudity is disallowed in its entirety. Occurrences of in-game nudity are permitted, so long as you do not make them a primary focus of your content and only spend as much time as needed in the area to progress the game’s story. Games rated Adults Only (AO) by the ESRB are not permitted in content on Twitch.
It is hard to say what measures as a “primary focus” in content. Where do they draw the line, exactly? What forms of sexual themes are not allowed? What about games that are still in development like Yandere Simulator and do not have a rating yet?
One thing is for sure: Twitch has a lot of answering to do.