Valve has removed the controversial Active Shooter game and its developer from Steam. According to the latest word from Valve, the developer had previously been removed from the platform for customer abuse, publishing copyrighted material, and user review manipulation.
Active Shooter, in case you were unaware, was a first-person shooter where players could choose to be members of an elite SWAT team or take on the role of the active shooter. Depending on what role they picked, players were tasked with either neutralizing the target or hunting down and killing as many civilians as possible. To make things even more cringe-worthy, the game’s only map was designed to look like a school. A counter in the corner of the shooter’s screen would tally the number of cops and civilians killed.
As Variety reports:
The game was scheduled to launch on Steam June 6, but widespread condemnation and anger from lawmakers, activists, and the parents of school shooting victims apparently caused Valve to investigate. In an email to Variety, a Valve spokesman said the person who made the game has a history of abusive behavior and it’s removed both developer Revived Games and publisher Acid from its digital storefront.
“This developer and publisher is, in fact, a person calling himself Ata Berdiyev, who had previously been removed last fall when he was operating as ‘[bc]Interactive’ and ‘Elusive Team,’” Valve said. “Ata is a troll, with a history of customer abuse, publishing copyrighted material, and user review manipulation. His subsequent return under new business names was a fact that came to light as we investigated the controversy around his upcoming title. We are not going to do business with people who act like this towards our customers or Valve.”
Valve added that a broader conversation about Steam’s content policies “is one that we’ll be addressing soon.”
While the Active Shooter condemnation was swift, and its good to see Valve actually enforce their community guidelines for once, the final statement is one we’ll want to be a bit leery of. Valve has reportedly already taken measures against developers of adult anime games. While I think we can all agree that Active Shooter was not a game that ever needed to be released, making Steam’s content policies even stricter gets us into the realm of serious art censorship. Which is rarely a good thing.