Paranuatical Activity developer Mike Maulbeck went on a Twitter rant about Steam, and has since found himself kicked off the service.
The drama first began when Paranautical Activity was featured on Steam’s promotional carousel. These advertising slots are highly sought after, but Maulbeck was greatly distressed to see the banner posted by Steam showed an Early Access label.
As it happens, the game had just reached full release that very day, having been delayed in line with Steam’s release policies, which had also upset Maulbeck.
Somewhere among all this anger, Maulbeck issued a death threat against Gabe Newell. The tweet has since been deleted, but Player Attack grabbed a screenshot. Additionally, Maulbeck has openly admitted to making the comment:
To nobody’s surprise, Paranautical Activity has since been removed from Steam.
“We have removed the game’s sales page and ceased relations with the developer after he threatened to kill one of our employees,” a spokesperson told Kotaku.
Maulbeck told Polygon that he reached out to Valve to try and smooth things over, but was unsuccessful. He described his threat as “a statement I obviously didn’t mean, but nonetheless was totally unacceptable and driven entirely by the heat of frustration I was feeling at the time”.
“I have since obviously replied to them saying that I didn’t mean what I said and pleaded that they consider the monopoly they have on the PC market before totally writing us off, but let’s be real. If they took the game off the store, they’re fuckin sure about their decision. There’s probably nothing to be done.”
Maulbeck is now in despair, as he says he can’t make a living without Steam.
Maulbeck has had a pretty rough history with Valve. His game was first submitted via Steam Greenlight, and when Adult Swim offered a publishing contract, Valve refused to allow it. Maulbeck ended up taking the game to Kickstarter to raise the necessary.
There are certainly some questions to be asked about Steam’s hold on the PC indie market, promotional methods and developer support. But as should be obvious to everyone, there are no situations where it threatening violence against someone on the Internet is a good idea.
Source: Polygon and Kotaku.