Active Shooter, a school shooting first-person shooter, has been removed from Steam by Valve.
The game triggered protests when it appeared on Steam last week, and Valve has now removed from the platform not just the game but its developer and publisher, Revived Games and Acid, respectively.
It turns out that Valve had another reason to remove Active Shooter from Steam, beyond its controversial subject matter. Speaking to PC Gamer, a Valve spokesperson said: “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’. 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.”
Previously, the BBC had reported that a charity called Infer Trust had called on Valve to remove Active Shooter from Steam due to its subject matter, with a spokesperson for the charity saying: “It’s in very bad taste. There have been 22 school shootings in the US since the beginning of this year. It is horrendous. Why would anybody think it’s a good idea to market something violent like that, and be completely insensitive to the deaths of so many children? We’re appalled that the game is being marketed.”
One suspects that the furore surrounding Active Shooter will persuade Valve to scrutinise the subject matter of games that go up on Steam with more rigour in future. The company is clearly keen to avoid accusations of censorship, but lines must be drawn somewhere.