A dating sim visual novel designed to file your taxes, Tax Heaven 3000, has been removed from Steam, unsurprisingly.
Visual novels are a pretty broad genre, covering a range of topics, sometimes heavy, sometimes light. The general public probably mostly just sees them as dating sims, but most of the time they offer very personal and complex stories. Tax Heaven 3000 appears to not be one of those kinds of visual novels. Instead, it is a game that quite literally helps you file your taxes (if you’re from the US, that is). And to the surprise of no one, it has been removed from Steam.
Tax Heaven 3000 stars Iris (get it?), the typically cute anime woman who helps you to “actually prepare your 2022 federal income tax return,” as noted on the game’s itch.io page, which is still up and running. Looking at the trailer, it has all the callings of the stereotypical dating sim, like going on dates, and sharing your social security number. You know, the usual stuff.
The game comes from MSCHF, an art collective based out in the states that does a whole lot of things, honestly. They’ve worked with big names like Mr Beast and Lil Nas X, and you might have recently seen people sporting their red boots that make you look like a cartoon character.
According to a statement provided to The Verge, MSCHF founder Daniel Greenberg said that the game went through Steam’s “standard verification process,” and was set to launch April 4, but “out of nowhere it was de-verified and removed from the platform without explanation.”
The obvious reason that this game could be concerning is that you shouldn’t share incredibly important personal details like a social security number with a game, though Greenberg says that the game “does not connect to the internet,” noting, “in some sense, it is probably safer than most big box tax software.”
Look, if you’re American and you don’t like doing things normally, it’ll be available for you to try out on April 4 through itch.io, but do maybe reconsider it.