The people behind Haven talk about sex in the game

One of the most interesting video game releases of 2020 was Haven, a role-playing adventure set on an alien planet.

The game’s protagonists are Yu and Kay, a couple that has arrived on this alien world and has to adapt to its new surroundings.

Haven, like any other RPG game out there, has exploration and tactical combat, but that’s not what the game is really about according to its creators, indie developer The Game Bakers. This is because like several other games out there, Haven deals with the subject of sex too.

“There is an epic adventure story in Haven, but the real content is the mundane daily life of that young couple in love. And of course, sex is part of that”, Haven’s creative director Emeric Thoa told VICE earlier this year.

Unlike other games like Mass Effect, though, Haven does not require you to romance the other character with the right conversation choices. No, according to the game’s writer Pierre Corbinais “their love is already in full bloom”.

Of course, Kay and Yu being the young couple they are, engage in intimacy. But when it came to writing the game’s script one of the top dogs at indie developer The Game Bakers suggested that the couple had been making out “in every room of the Nest”, the Nest being the spaceship on which they arrived on the alien planet.

“The very first scene I wrote was what became the very first scene of the game and it already implied the characters’ active sex life. The ‘sticky sheets’ scene is also one of the first I wrote because I thought nothing could be more relatable than this”, writer Pierre Corbinais told VICE.

Said scene can be seen here (warning: NSFW content), and it clearly shows how the game approaches the subject of sex in a video game in a fun and relatable way.

If one thing is clear, though, is that video game sex has been often reviled. Back in 2017, BioWare was criticized when it said that is upcoming game Mass Effect Andromeda would be “totally softcore space porn”.

And while the truth is that the sex scenes in that BioWare game were more explicit than in the earlier Mass Effect games, they seemed a bit forced in the game, and simply the player’s reward for advancing a relationship with another character via the right conversation choices.

Actually, the sex in Mass Effect Andromeda (and in the earlier Mass Effect games too) might have even made some people question whether video game sex is a good idea at all.

But going back to Haven, the thing is that the game doesn’t have any sex scenes at all, with the game’s writer Pierre Corbinais telling VICE that “it makes me laugh that the only two scenes which explicitly presents [sic] the characters naked aren’t about sex at all”.

Meanwhile Haven’s creative director Emeric Thoa said that the developers’ goal wasn’t to make people horny, but to make the player see them as friends, and that “showing too much would have kinda broken their intimacy”.

The game does have some explicit lines, though, which had to be censored for the Japanese version of the game. This is because Japan’s stubborn CERO ratings agency refused to give the game an 18+ rating without changes to the dialogue.

Nonetheless, it’s clear that The Game Bakers should be commended for dealing with the subject of sex in a healthy way in their latest game, while also offering an RPG experience that’s actually pretty good according to most game critics.