Doja Cat is set to appear in an upcoming DLC pack for the popular point-and-click adventure game ‘House Party,’ but she won’t be able to stream it after Twitch decided to ban the title.
Grammy-award winner Doja Cat will be joining House Party later this year – a controversial sandbox game where players interact with party attendees. Unfortunately, she won’t be able to play it, at least on stream.
House Party was originally banned on Twitch in 2018 and has undergone a series of changes since to secure an ‘M’ rating by the ESRB. Sadly, that wasn’t enough to change Twitch’s mind when the studio, Eek! Games, resubmitted their unban request.
Dexerto spoke to the CEO of Eek! Games, Bobby Ricci, to discuss the ban, his relationship with Twitch and double standards on the platform in terms of allowed content.
Twitch bans updated version of House Party
According to Ricci, House Party has undergone a series of changes since being banned back in 2018.
“We had to replace some scenes that were a bit too spicey with new ones that are more along the lines of what you’d find in games like The Witcher 3 and Cyberpunk 2077,” he said, noting how both titles are allowed on Twitch. “It is a double-standard that House Party is not allowed on Twitch in its current state.”
Ricci also doesn’t believe the game should have been banned in the first place, with the sexual scenes that Twitch has an issue with accounting “for less than 5% of the game’s content.”
“We worked hard to bring our game into compliance with the ESRB ‘M’ rating guidelines, and we have the same rating as many other games that are currently being streamed on Twitch without issue,” he added, citing scenes from Grand Theft Auto 5 and South Park: Stick of Truth as examples.
Eek! Games CEO blasts Twitch hot tub stream “double standards”
“The game was allegedly banned because of the game’s romance scenes, which because of, they interpret the game as being too ‘sexually focused’. Note, the scenes in question do not contain an explicit depiction of nudity or sexual content,” Ricci explained.
“Twitch, meanwhile, has a whole section of their website dedicated to ‘Pools, Hot Tubs, and Beaches’, which is mostly women hanging out in inflatable hot tubs in bikinis in their living rooms soliciting donations from viewers.
The infamous ‘hot tub meta’ on Twitch was a big deal in 2021 with many streamers benefitting significantly from the content with their channels growing significantly.
“Twitch is fine showcasing this content in its very own category on the site, but a video game, (which is supposed to be Twitch’s primary focus) that contains sexual themes cannot be streamed. It is a double standard. Sex and nudity make up less than 5% of House Party’s gameplay. The game is a comedy adventure, and most of the gameplay does not involve nudity or sexual situations, yet these ‘Hot Tub streams’ on Twitch are literally focused on these women’s bodies as the primary content.”
Despite his criticisms, the CEO clarified that he has no quarrels with hot tub streams, but just wants House Party treated fairly.
Doja Cat banned from streaming House Party
Finally, Ricci touched on the fact that Doja Cat won’t even be able to stream her own game on Twitch.
“Even though we have communicated to Twitch that Doja Cat herself has expressed interest in playing the game on Twitch, they have made it clear that they will not allow her or others to,” he explained.
The singer’s Twitch streams have been quite successful in the past, so the fact she can’t play House Party has left the Eek! Games CEO quite flustered.
“The game has sold over one million copies to date, we’ve got an official ‘M’ rating from the ESRB, and we have a Grammy award-winning artist joining the cast of our game.
“What more does Twitch want?” he blasted. “Times are changing, and Twitch is still living in the stone age with their prudish attitude. On top of that, as I’ve demonstrated above, they are wildly inconsistent with enforcement, which makes all of this even more embarrassing for them. We just want to be treated fairly, and we don’t think it’s too much to ask.”
House Party’s Doja Cat DLC will still launch in fall 2022, but given its ban, fans may be hard-pressed to find content creators willing to play it.