On May 19th 2021, several sources reported that a Visual Novel based on the hit manga Kaguya-Saga: Love is War was announced by Shueisa and would be releasing on Steam later this month. However after some research it becomes clear that this Steam page is a bootleg caused by Steam’s complete lack of quality control.
The Bootleg Evidence
The first bit of proof that this game is fake that I saw came from a tweet thread by Twitter user @Harushiga
In this thread they point out that several of the assets used for the game are stolen from various fan artists;
Observant viewers of the game’s screenshots would also see the options at the bottom of the textboxes; these options are a default feature of free visual novel development software Renpy. While Renpy is a legitimate development tool, it is not something you would expect a professional company to use. Keep in mind that Shueisha is one of the largest comic publishers in the world, and absolutely has the resources to back these kinds of projects. They licence out manga to make games all the time!
The discovery that the game used stolen assets led me to check out the Steam page itself to dig deeper, and needless to say it’s very shady.
The Publisher and Developer are both credited as Shueisha. Shueisha has never published a game before, they’re just not a game publisher and have no other games listed on their Steam profolio. They are also, for obvious reasons, not a game developer. They publish manga.
The page itself is full of a description of the Kaguya anime but next to nothing about the game itself other than saying that you will be able to name the protagonist, who will be president of the student council (Shirogane’s role in the anime). With these descriptions of the anime are various reviews copied and pasted from Myanimelist and credited to “Fan”
The trailer for the game is composed mostly of clips from the anime with subtitles allegedly taken from a fansub. The few clips of gameplay shown still have the audio of the anime playing over them, giving the impression the game is voiced. While the page itself makes it clear the game isn’t voiced, this is still a very deceptive trailer.
This game’s nature as a bootleg became obvious upon the discovery of the assets being stolen, however the overall shadiness of the Steam page itself would have eventually caused people to catch on.
It is unclear whether or not Steam or the real Shueisha will take action against this game, at the time of writing this none has been taken. In fact they just updated the screenshots to have more shaded backgrounds.
If neither company takes action, something that wouldn’t be surprising for Steam, I would highly advise against purchasing this bootleg if it releases on May 31st, because of the very real risk that it could contain malware in disguise – something that has affected other Steam releases of games, such several of the Touhou games (something that has since been fixed, only for the games to now give false positives). Steam is notoriously lax with what is allowed on it’s store, and it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Until then, watch the saga unfold with the rest of us.
This isn’t the first time we’ve talked about some weird, unreal game from the shadow realm over here on story arc – and please feel free to read about that first time, with the first and second parts of our coverage of the latest entry in the Cooking Mama franchise.
2 thoughts on “No, there isn’t a Kaguya VN coming to Steam”
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