It’s pretty crazy that it’s been over two years since the last time we did an interview with DEVGRU-P, because it really feels like it was just yesterday that I did our latest interview with them (we did one interview with DEVGRU-P in August of 2017, and one in November of 2017).
Well, the long wait is finally over. You see, just recently I got a hold of DEVGRU-P for a brand-new interview.
So I sat down with Wittmann (the lead producer at DEVGRU-P) and talked about everything from the waifu holocaust, censorship, lewd games, “Mein Waifu is the Fuhrer” and DEVGRU-P’s plans for the future.
So without further ado, please enjoy our interview with DEVGRU-P 😉
Time sure flies you by when you’re having fun huh? Because it’s been almost two years since the last time we talk to you guys.
Anyways, since not everyone might be aware of who you are, would you be so kind as to introduce yourself to our readers?
Sure Robin, I’m Wittmann, the lead producer at DEVGRU-P and the mind behind both Panzermadels: Tank Dating Simulator and Stay! Stay! Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
I know that I asked this question almost two years ago, but since not everyone might be familiar with your company and your games, could you perhaps give us a brief history recap of how DEVGRU-P came to be? (how it all started, the story behind the name and so on).
Well, the name itself is actually a pun on DEVGRU (The Naval Special Warfare Development Group or Seal Team 6). Since the team behind games is often called the dev group, we thought it’d be funny to re-write it as DEVGRU-P, pronounced (devgroup).
We actually constantly get tagged on Twitter and Facebook in military things since obviously a secret US Navy special warfare team isn’t running a Twitter account and when you type in, “Devgru” it suggests us instead.
Just recently a huge waifu holocaust shit storm kicked-off over at Steam. Well, since you just happen to be a game dev that also makes lewd/ waifu games, what’s your take on the matter?
And why do you think it’s such a huge thing in the West when it comes to nudity, sex and lewd content in general?
It’s definitely caused by some legal issues over here, I think it’s pretty lame but the underlying problem runs deeper than just Valve being anti-visual novel.
And speaking of which, “Rape Day” even ended up being banned on steam. What are your thoughts on that?
And do you think that there should be a limit to what Valve should allow on Steam? If so, where should the line be drawn?
I’m not a lawyer, of course, but I did take a number of law classes and think this has more to do with obscenity laws in Washington state. In the US as a whole, obscenity laws are extremely narrow because of the supreme court’s ruling in Miller v. California.
That established the Miller Test which essentially says something is only obscene in the legal sense if it:
1. The average person would see it as appealing only to those with an interest in sex.
2. That it describes or shows sexual or bodily functions that are expressly illegal under the law.
3. That it lacks any literary, artistic, or scientific value.
It’s that last one that saves most things since the bar for “any artistic value” is quite low (even Panzermadels is spared).
Washington state, on the other hand, focuses far more specifically on content that “appeals to minors interested in sex” and “lacks any redeeming social value”.
That’s a far more narrow standard because the bar for social value is a lot higher than artistic value, and it criminalizes not only content that depicts illegal acts (rape, scatalogical content, etc.), but also content that appeals to minors.
Unfortunately, that would cover visual novels and anime content in general due to the scenarios depicted, with many visual novels taking place in high school.
I haven’t heard of any state raids on anime conventions where visual novels or hentai are sold, so I think it’s more of Valve being cautious due to the value of their platform.
I don’t really blame Valve for the removal of most of this content, because I think it comes down to their lawyers’ interpretation of state law, and therefore, the law in Washington state itself.
A follow-up question on the same subject would be what you think of the fact that both Sony and Epic games are very anti-lewd and politically incorrect on their platforms? (the Epic games store and PS4/PSN).
For example, Sony is already censoring games with lewd content in it, and some games won’t even come to the West at all (games such as “Omega Labyrinth Z”, for example).
I mean, that puts quite a few game developers in a bad place in terms of creative freedom and freedom of speech.
Especially those who make erotic and more “controversial” games (I hardly doubt that the Postal series will ever see the day of light on the Epic games store, for example)…
Honestly, Epic Games Store can sit on an 88mm shell. Valve’s platform has been amazing for us as a company so I’m not going to jump ship. Of course, there’s no way they’d ever accept our games. So it’s not like I have much of a choice in that anyway, haha!
I think their goal is to build a specifically curated store, which is fine, but I doubt it will be able to compete with Valve. It’s sort of like EA’s platform, I basically only used it to play Battlefield back in the day, and that’s it.
What do you think game developers, publishers and gamers could and should do in-order to fight back against censorship in video games in the West?
Just getting out there and making high-quality games is half of it I think. Though the adult industry as a whole is huge (and reached a certain level of mainstream acceptance), the amount of money in adult games as a whole is pretty limited.
So the best thing we can do now is to show that 1: adult games can be profitable, and 2: adult games can be more than just porn with a tacked-on plot.
How have things gone for “Stay! Stay! Democratic People’s Republic of Korea!”, “Panzermadels: Tank Dating Simulator” and “Attack Helicopter Dating Simulator” since the games originally launched?
And are there any plans for any follow-up titles for any of those games?
We’re actually working on an extended edition of Panzermadels right now. It was our first game and the budget was extremely limited so we had to cut a lot of content we wanted to include.
The extended edition will include more dateable tank girls, more plotlines, a boatload (tankload?) more jokes, and a whole bunch of new endings that don’t involve your death.
I recall that you mentioned something about publishing two new ecchi games in a very near future.
So what could you tell us about those titles? And is “Mein Waifu is the Fuhrer” one of those games? (I’ve been told that a Kickstarter campaign is to be launched very soon for “Mein Waifu is the Fuhrer”).
Mein Waifu is the Fuhrer is going to feel like a throwback to Panzermadels. It’s not an ecchi game per se, but we do have some ecchi content and an adult patch in the works.
We’re not really an adult game developer in my opinion, we make military and war stories, that sometimes contain romance and adult themes. Mein Waifu is the Fuhrer though is just an absolute comedy-fest the entire way through.
I’m almost guaranteed to get permanently banned from half of Europe for making it, but that’s just how we roll as a company.
If my memory doesn’t fail me know, you got a hentai game called “She Wolves of the Reich” in the making. So is there anything that you could share with us about that particular title?
Okay, maybe I lied we do make adult games. She Wolves of the Reich is a straight hentai game.
A young German soldier in World War II finds himself thrown onto the Eastern Front as a junior officer for the first all-female combat unit… shenanigans ensue.
I don’t know if you heard it, but article 13 (aka “the controversial copyright law”) just got voted through in the EU union. Well, how do you think that’s going to affect game developers, creative freedom and freedom of speech in the long run?
Because by the looks of it, tough times await Youtubers and Streamers from Europe. It’s also worth pointing out that article 11 (it’s more or less a link tax for links on websites in Europe) could cause a lot of problems for website owners in Europe…
Honestly, I don’t know a ton about the law, my plan was to just ignore it and let the EU try and extradite me.
But seriously, I imagine it will drive a lot of companies out of the EU, maybe the U.K. will get a big economic boost with Brexit when all these European server farms move to England?
I don’t really believe the EU will stay united after Brexit, the promise of a united Europe has been far more beneficial to the big three (France, Germany, UK) than most Central and Eastern European states (Poland, Lithuania, etc).
I expect we’ll see the EU divide into a Western and Eastern half, simply because you can’t fairly make laws for a rich country like Belgium and expect it to be a good law somewhere like Romania (no offense to our Codreanuists in the room). I’m an American though so my opinion doesn’t really count here.
Whatever happened to the romantic visual novel “Chemically Bonded”? Because I haven’t heard a word about the game since September of 2017.
It’s funny you should ask that, because our partner-developer DS-Sans actually just put out a new trailer for the game.
There’s been a lot of progress on the game and we’re really excited to be a part of the project as the publisher. DS-Sans has worked with us as the programmer on Stay! Stay! DPRK, and he did an amazing job. Chemically Bonded will be a great game!
Do you have any plans at all to release any of your games to other platforms than just PC? (mobile, Xbox One, Switch and so on).
I don’t think they’ll ever let us on the Switch hah! I can’t really go into any details yet but we are working with our programmer to see about doing mobile versions of our future and past games.
In which direction do you think lewd games will go in the near future? (for example, will VR play a bigger role when it comes to erotic games in the future?)
And do you think that the popularity of erotic games will continue to grow over time?
That’s a tricky one since the development cost for VR and any 3D content is a lot higher than for visual novels and other such games.
I think we may see a few studios out of Japan working on lewd VR games, but I can’t picture a plausible future where many Western lewd devs pick up the software outside of the occasional passion project.
This might sound like a rather dull question, but…Why do you make the games that you do? And where do you get your inspiration from? And is there anything more that you could tell us about “Mein Waifu is the Fuhrer”?
I’ve always had an interest in anime. When I was younger it was Pokémon and Sailor Moon, when I was older it became more Legend of the Galactic Heroes and Ghost in the Shell.
But anime and manga have always been a part of my life. I’m obviously not Japanese but I grew up with so much Japanese entertainment (beyond just anime and manga) so it gives me an odd perspective on both my own culture and the Japanese one.
My games are really a synthesis of both, with military themes and humor, placed in a Japanese setting. It’s the contrast between the two worlds that creates so much comedy to me. My visual inspiration comes more from movies though, from Kubrick to Herzog.
I always try and think of my games as visual experiences, and try to create as much drama and visual excitement I can, in a relatively “motionless” medium.
Mein Waifu is the Führer takes it one step further and starts to parody historical periods by mixing them with modern Japanese pop culture and my own background.
And as you might have noticed, most of the protagonists in our games are soldiers, and always act as the voice of reason. I see a bit of myself in that.
What’ are your plans, hopes and expectations for the rest of the year? And is there anything else that you would like to say to our readers?
Personally? For the rest of the year? I’m just hoping we don’t start any shenanigans in Iran. Give me another year and I’ll be out of the draft system, the government can go do whatever they want then.
As DEVGRU-P, we were on hiatus for a bit after Stay! Stay! DPRK, and I’m trying to wind the company back up again as we work on more games like the Panzermadels extended edition and Mein Waifu is the Fuhrer!
I’d like to grow us to a point where we can do the anime convention circuit regularly, and start doing more localization work!
Robin “V-Act” Ek
Editor in chief
The Gaming Ground
More by Robin Ek: