Dungeon Travelers 2 is now cancelled on Steam – it’s time to start preserving the media we love

Unfortunate news for Dungeon Travelers fans today: the Steam releases of Dungeon Travelers 2: The Royal Library & the Monster Seal and Dungeon Travelers 2-2: The Fallen Maidens & the Book of Beginnings have both been cancelled.

Shiravune announced the cancellation with a tweet that stated that the games could not pass Steam’s review without being fundamentally changed, claiming that to do so would be to lose the “core appeal” of the titles. We don’t know what exactly held the titles back from coming to Steam, and due to Valve’s unconventional “anything goes, but not really” policy, we likely never will.

Dungeon Travelers - PS Vita
These two titles were set to make the journey from the PS Vita (which of course is as popular as it’s ever been) to Steam.

Both Dungeon Travelers 2 and Dungeon Travelers 2-2 are still available to purchase on Johren, which at least gives PC gamers a chance to play the games through. Unfortunately, though, this platform is a lot more inconvenient than using Steam, and requires you to use a weird roundabout credit system to buy anything. It also doesn’t have a search bar, and looks like a dodgy gambling site. I sincerely doubt that Johren will do much to provide consolation for the potential Steam sales that the games are missing out on.

It’s no secret that the Dungeon Travelers series contains fan-service, but it’s not exactly like they invented ecchi – and even if they did, it’s not illegal for a Steam game to be horny. As Digitally Downloaded have already pointed out, Steam is presently happy to host a wealth of explicit titles that must surely surpass the par-for-the-course lewdness of Dungeon Travelers – but as Valve is a private company, they reserve the right to platform, or not platform, whatever the hell they want. There’s no changing that, unfortunately, for any media host, no matter how contradictory their policies are.

Dungeon Travelers - lewdity
I’ve seen worse in a Katy Perry music video.

This news may bring to mind the exaggerated drama of the Skullgirls update, but with the key difference being that you can still play Skullgirls on Steam – it’s still a fully functional (and fantastic) fighting game. Maybe it’s not the exact same game, but the changes in content do not majorly affect the game’s mechanics, or story, or functionality. It’s better than not having it at all.

One of the amended scenes from Skullgirls – shock, horror, etc.

It seems that developers are facing the difficult choice to adapt their game to suit various and sundry increasingly complex third-party policies, or forgo certain platforms altogether. This process will naturally suit some titles better than others, and if continued will surely lead to countless games being erased with no coming back, ever. Even regarding the titles that deserve to be deplatformed, we are hamstringing future generations by not saving them (in a safe and responsible manner) for posterity. These are historical sources we’re destroying.

Dungeon Travelers
That’s right – one day this might be illegal for you to play.

Just recently, the Video Game History Foundation reported that 87 percent of classic games released in the United States are no longer accessible without the use of piracy, and that the problem is only going to get worse. We’ve also seen streaming services like Netflix and HBO Max remove exclusive content from their platforms to duck licensing agreements, with no alternative to fairly and legally continue to enjoy it. Physical media (which can actually ensure that you keep the content you paid for) is getting thinner on the ground every day.

It’s well-documented at this point that pirating and emulating is the most effective way – perhaps even the only way – to preserve video game media without having to rely on increasingly outdated hardware (sorry, PS Vita, but that is what you are). We’ve seen all too well that digital platforms like Steam and Johren cannot guarantee indefinite access to any of their content. We live on an unending row of digital Blockbusters, renting out but never letting us own the media we love.

Dungeon Travelers
Hang in there, gals.

So – in the most delicate terms possible – make sure your affairs are in order when it comes to the media that you want to keep. Buy physical media where possible (I really can’t stress that enough). Share and share alike.

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