Chatting to us recently about the difficulty in getting her erotic strategy title Seduce Me to market, No Reply Games' Miriam Bellard suggested that the only way negative and prudish perceptions of the erotic market will change in this industry is by more "brave souls" making controversial content, arguing that "too much sex is better than too much violence".
"Large companies are by their very nature conservative," Bellard stated, when we asked her about Seduce Me's explusion from Valve's Greenlight programme. "There used to be Western erotic games back in the 80s, but, as development studios and publishers have become larger erotic games have dried up. "I am hoping that the current rise of the Indie developer will mean a rise in controversial content."
"The only way to change the perception of games is to change the games," she added, when we pointed out the hysteria that this industry was faced with because of a little blue side-boob in Mass Effect. "The more incidents we have - like the Mass Effect one - where a development studio intentionally and maturely adds sexual content in their games, the more normal it will become, and the less of a fuss will be made."
Bellard's view is that the paucity of aspirational erotic games has made things difficult, but that the only way this can change is by "brave souls" creating content, and "other brave souls" supporting it.
"The very presence of books like Fifty Shades of Grey makes the idea of erotica more acceptable," she said. "We need more erotic video games though. It’s hard for a genre to be made acceptable when it’s non-existent.
"Personally I think too much sex is much better than too much violence. To change the industry brave souls need to make controversial content, and other brave souls need to support the same content. In many ways this is what happened with extreme violence. People made games and films with extreme violence and supporters of free speech defended those works and demanded that they not be censored. Now those works are much more normal and cause far less controversy."
Of course, with the American media and ratings bodies proving fairly apoplectic over accidental nipple slips let alone erotic entertainment, Bellard is aware that such change will take some doing.
"Judging by European vs American ratings guidelines America is more concerned over sexual content than Europe," she said. "Almost every development studio has to interact with America in some way - they might be owned by an American company, or have an American publisher, or, at the very least, have a lot of American players. This makes America a very important demographic to not annoy."
You can read our full interview with Bellard here.