Steam removes game due to threats on Gabe Newell

Paranautical Activity

Valve has taken down the first-person shooter Paranautical Activity from Stream because the creator, Michael Maulbeck, seemed to be threatening Valve co-founder Gabe Newell with his life.

It all started when the final version for Paranautical Activity was released yesterday. Steam had a selection for Halloween-themed games, which the game was a part of. Due to an error, the game was still being promoted as an Early Access title, and this had Maulbeck worried that the game’s commercial success would be in jeopardy.

“I knew this would greatly cripple sales and confuse customers,” Maulbeck said to Eurogamer. “I in fact had already begun getting tweets and emails from people claiming I marked it as Early Access myself to try and avoid criticism of the final version.”

The developer contacted Valve about the error, and then started to post some angry tweets about Valve messing up.

“Steam is the most incompetent piece of fucking shit.” He continued by saying Valve has an “awful fucking monopoly” on PC developers who are dependent on Steam running smoothly for their games to be successful.

Things get a bit more intense, as he then posted a violent tweet. (It has since been deleted but was captured by Player Attack.)


Valve then pulled the game and deactivated Maulbeck’s admin accounts. The company sent the developer an email, saying that it is “generally comfortable with partners expressing this type of frustration or any other viewpoint directly with us or publicly through social media and the press.”

“But one of your tweets this morning was a threat to kill one of our colleagues. Death threats cross a line.”

What about users who have already bought Paranautical Activity? The community page will still be up to help support existing players. Maulbeck said that he didn’t really mean what he said, but he was understanding of the repercussions, since it was “totally unacceptable and driven entirely by the heat of frustration I was feeling at the time.”

If Maulbeck wanted the game to succeed…well…that’s not going to happen now. The game has sold 12 copies on “non-Steam platforms” yesterday, according to the developer, and that amount would be every minute on Steam.

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