Earlier this year, JAST USA localized and published Nitroplus and Mages’ hit visual novel Steins;Gate in the West. Then, last week, U.K. publisher PQube announced that they would release the game on PlayStation 3 and Vita in both North America and Europe, making it accessible to even more players.
There’s just one thing missing—a Steam release. Despite being one of the most well-known visual novels of the last few years, Steins;Gate isn’t available on Steam, which is surprising given that visual novels have been making headway on that platform, thanks to the efforts of Sekai Project, MangaGamer, and even indie developers that are working on their own visual novel games.
Siliconera got in touch with JAST USA founder Peter Payne to ask if he could share any insight as to why Steins;Gate hasn’t been made available for purchase on Steam. Here’s what he said:
Steins;Gate was developed by several companies, including Mages/5pb and Nitroplus, and the ownership of the title is very complex, to the point that we had to get permission for a lot of minute details on the game, including the official spelling of El Psy Kongroo (not El Psy Congroo, even though some merchandise was accidentally released with that spelling). The company is trying to do some interesting things with the IP in the West, since Steins;Gate is one of their major titles.
We have a license to sell the PC version, which we’re doing in shrink-wrapped package and download form, including the recently released “Steins;Gate The Best” reduce price version, and they’re trying to make a release on PS3 and Vita and do some other interesting things. Obviously we’d like to get permission to put the game on Steam, but we currently don’t have this from them currently.
So, in a nutshell, JAST USA have the license to sell Steins;Gate on PC in the West, but not to sell it on Steam, which counts as a separate platform.