Paranautical Activity Pulled From Steam For Death Threats

An artist's representation of the threat.

Update: Mike Maulbeck has now left Code Avarice, the developer of Paranautical Activity. I’ve updated the story below at the end with his statement.

First-person shooter Paranautical Activity has been pulled from Steam after its creator tweeted a death threat about Valve founder Gabe Newell. Mike Maulbeck’s tweet – since deleted – followed an all-caps rant in response to the game being incorrectly labelled as being in Early Access. Because I guess this is the world we live in now.

The first tweet from Maulbeck read, “ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME STEAM? WE JUST RELEASED OUT OF EARLY ACCESS AND THIS IS OUR FRONT PAGE BANNER?”, alongside the image embedded below, which states “Now Available in Early Access” underneath. He followed that up with more complaints.

The deleted death threat tweet has been deleted , but was captured by the website Player Attack. It reads simply, “I am going to kill gabe newell. He is going to die.”

Later that day, Valve got in touch with Maulbeck to tell him that they were removing the game from sale. The developer forwarded those emails to Eurogamer:

“On your Twitter account today there were a series of messages where you expressed your frustration with Steam. We are 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. We have therefore decided to end our business relationship with you and Code Avarice.”

“We’ve closed down your Steam admin accounts and we’re removing the game from purchase on Steam. We will leave make Community Hub available so that existing customers will continue to have a place to discuss the game. Our understanding is that you’re done developing the game, but if you need to ship an update to Steam customers, get in touch with us and we can help ship the update out for you.”

Maulbeck has since tweeted a number of follow-ups, stating that he’s “done making videogames now. It sucked while it lasted.” and that there was no way “to make a living in this industry without steam.”

Paranautical Activity was successfully funded via Kickstarter last year, but has had previous difficulties with Steam when Valve said that the game couldn’t be added directly to digital storefront by publishers Adult Swim after it had previously been submitted to the user-voted Greenlight process. The game’s publishing deal with Adult Swim consequently fell through.

The game was and still is available to buy through other services like the Humble Store and direct from the developer himself. It eventually garnered enough interested players to pass Greenlight, and launched into Early Access. liked the early build he played last May. The game launched its final version just yesterday.

In speaking to Eurogamer, Maulbeck states that he had reached out to Valve about the incorrect labeling “a few hours” before he started tweeting, and that he was frustrated when he received messages from people accusing him of deliberately marking the game as Early Access “to try and avoid criticism of the final version.”

On Twitter and in discussion with Eurogamer, Maulbeck seems mostly contrite for his threat, though he does downplay his comments, arguing that he “obviously didn’t mean” what he said, and tweeting “Mike blows up at valve on twitter. Valve wins because valve.”

A better summary might be, “Person threatens to kill other human being. Human being no longer wants to help person make money.”

Of course, it’s always possible Valve simply invented this whole scenario. It wouldn’t be the first time that the developer has gone too far in order to gain attention from gamers, having previously orchestrated a worldwide conspiracy to disseminate the number “3” in order to increase hype for “Half-Life 3”, a game which they then never even made.

Update: Late on the 21st, Mike Maulbeck announced that he was leaving Code Avarice, had sold his share of the company to his partners, and would no longer have anything to do with their future games or profits from Paranautical Activity.

As a result of my actions, Paranautical Activity, a game made by 4 or 5 people depending on who you count as team members, was removed from steam. I feel is it my responsibility to step down from Code Avarice completely so that Steam has no reason to harbor any more ill will towards the company, and maybe even if we can’t see Paranautical Activity restored, at least future Code Avarice games may be allowed onto the platform.

He goes on to state that this is the end of the road for him and indie game development.

My temper and tendency to use twitter to vent has been a consistent problem since I entered the games industry, and I just can’t do it. I don’t have the willpower necessary to be the “face” of a company. If I do continue to work in games it’ll be as an anonymous 1 of 1000 at some shitty corporation, not the most public figure of a single digit sized team.

286 Comments

  1. Aninhumer says:

    Come at the king, you best not miss.

  2. ahac says:

    But… GabeN isn’t female. Now I’m soooo confused…

    • Smoky_the_Bear says:

      Maybe it’s the man boobs?

    • Distec says:

      I’ve long thought that most issues of harassment and threats recently have been unfairly blamed on gamers and game culture. I’m more inclined to believe they have more to do with modern online communication in general.

      • JFS says:

        A point for you.

      • KDR_11k says:

        Twitter truly is the megaphone that will destroy you.

        Maybe Twitter should introduce some sort of rage detection that automatically keeps your post hidden/limited to friends for 24 hours if it looks like it’s insulting so you get that time to take it back before it goes public.

        Thinking about it, Twitter really seems like the worst case for people like this: Always accessible, easy to yell things to the whole planet and a restriction on post length that precludes you from explaining anything in depth. If people weren’t so easily able to yell abuse at each other maybe the internet would be a slightly nicer place?

        • Flopper says:

          Twitter only has that negative effect on immature babies with terrible manners… Just sayin.

      • dsch says:

        Twitter: feels like you’re talking in private, actually broadcast to the entire world.

    • Lusketrollet says:

      Ouch. I was nearly blinded by your shiny, white armour, there.

  3. Nevard says:

    I can’t really help but wonder what else he was expecting to happen, really.
    I think this is basically what he deserved.

    • ahac says:

      This was a 2 man team. The other guy certainly didn’t deserve this.

      And what if it was a 10 or 100 man team and one of them tweeted this? Stupid tweets of 1 guy shouldn’t screw over other people involved, no matter if it’s just 2 guys or Activision.

      • Nevard says:

        It is a big shame to that guy and definitely unfortunate that there is collateral damage, I wasn’t aware of that.
        I’m still glad they’re taking a hard stance on this though, death threats aren’t a joking matter and I still can’t fault their response.

        Especially now, it needs to be made clear that death threats are not something to just toss around idly. It isn’t something that should need to be explained to anyone, but this is the unfortunate climate we are living under.

        • Asami says:

          “Death threats aren’t a joking matter.”

          I’LL FUCKING KILL YOU.

          See how that’s a completely baseless threat? Impossible to carry out?
          Yeah, that’s called sarcasm. Occasionally humor. So yeah, it kinda is.

          Or better, the episode of Family Guy where Meg has a boyfriend, and Peter is loading a shotgun saying “i just wanna talk to him. I just wanna talk to him. I just wanna shoot him.”

          It’s humorous by virtue of exaggeration. Obviously nobody is actually going to kill anyone. Very few people, if any, actually carry out online death threats.

          It’s become such an established thing that people generally, for a very, very, very, very, very large part don’t kill other people that it’s become a way of expressing frustration, or being funny. Words can’t hurt you, weren’t most of us raised believing that? Sticks and stones, and all. For Valve to basically ruin this man financially over a tweet is ridiculous, especially with another member of the team involved. Taking away someone’s source of income CAN hurt them. People need to simmer down about this shit. It’s the internet for fuck sake. He didn’t find Gabe’s address and carve the threat into his door. He posted an electronic message from most likely hundreds, possibly thousands of miles away.

          • Hex says:

            “Very few” is not the same as “nobody.” And while you may not be able to find Nevard and carry out your threat, Maulbeck knows who Gabe Newell is, and threatened him by name. He could very well confront his target in person, and kill him.

            It may be unlikely, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay to say.

          • Ny24 says:

            Well no. It’s not sarcasm. At worst it’s a threat to kill somebody, at best it’s intimidation or absolutely unfunny.

          • Emeraude says:

            Words can’t hurt you, weren’t most of us raised believing that?

            But they do. More insidiously, but also more durably and often without you even realizing.

          • SanguineAngel says:

            Hrm,

            I do think words can hurt you. Some people more than others. Some words more than others. You never really know how the mean things you say may affect someone else.

            I also think that everything is a joking matter. However, I do not think that means people can go around threatening to kill other people without consequence. In some circumstances, such as a comedy show or joking around with a group of close friends, joking about death threats is obvious. In this context, that is not the case. If anything, it seems likely it was not a joke because the guy was clearly angry. Although it may have been hyperbole, that is not necessarily the case because the subject matter clearly matters a lot to him – being his livelihood – and people would certainly kill over such a thing. And at best, it was violent and intimidating.

          • JustOneWay says:

            “Words can’t hurt you, weren’t most of us raised believing that?”

            Maybe, but most of us grew up to understand that it was a lie told to us by our parents or whoever, to make us feel better about some bullying or other we were suffering. A little maturity lends us the perspective to forgive our parents the lie, well intentioned as it was, and come to terms with the truth, that words can indeed cause a lot of emotional pain and distress and should be used carefully as a result.

          • Kaeoschassis says:

            “Words can’t hurt you, weren’t most of us raised believing that?”

            Perhaps “we” were. But the only people who still believe that now are the people who throw words around however they please without ever considering what they might do to other people.
            Take responsibility for everything you add to the world, and that includes words, and CERTAINLY includes death threats, however jovial you try to make them out to be.

          • Dorchadas says:

            Words can’t hurt you, weren’t most of us raised believing that? Sticks and stones, and all.

            Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can scar your soul.

          • gnodab says:

            Wow, the sense of entitlement is through the roof!
            Valve aren’t allowed to respond to people harassing them and posting death threats, because they earn money through Steam?!?! Last I checked being on Steam wasn’t a basic human right. And if someone provides an imprtant service to you, well maybe, don’t threaten to kill them?
            Sure you can always backpedal and say it was a joke, but it doesn’t matter. This kind of behavior might be expected of a 12 year old venting, that he has the worst parents EVAR. But IRL and especially in the business world no one is going to put up with childish behavior like this.
            I really don’t understand how people can defend someone like this, or even go a step further and blame Valve for reacting. Do we really have to bow to all the immature temper tantrums of some narcissistic “Indie Devs”?

          • ceponatia says:

            All of the responses like this are redundant because it isn’t about what’s right or wrong it’s about a guy attacking someone who was providing him a service and that person deciding to say “well f- you then”

          • PedroTheHutt says:

            Except, you know, it’s very possible to kill Gabe Newell, after all it can’t be all that hard to find where Valve’s Seattle office is, and then you just need to wait for him to get out of his car in the morning and shoot him before he can get into the office, or inversely shoot him in the evening before he gets back into his car. Or you could send a bomb letter to Valve’s HQ addressed to him, or use Anthrax, or any variety of other ways to kill the guy with or without actually having to be near him when it happens.

            So if someone threatens to kill someone whose place of residence or work is known, it damn well be taken seriously.

          • LacSlyer says:

            Except that since the internet’s primary form of communication is text-based, misinterpretation of a phrase can easily happen, and does often. So simply saying “I’ll kill you” and expecting people to presume that you’re being sarcastic is just ignorant, no matter what your intent.

          • Flopper says:

            “Impossible to carry out”

            Yes because you said it to some nameless person on a forum.

            It’s very easy to get a well known persons address and personal information so I’d say it would be fairly easy to carry out in a situation involving Gabe Newell.

          • Bassen_Hjertelos says:

            If words did not hurt, there would be no such thing as bullying. There would be no need for rules in sports and other arenas that prohibit derogatory and hateful insults. Do you really believe that words cannot hurt you? It seems a tad naive to me.

        • Archonsod says:

          “it needs to be made clear that death threats are not something to just toss around idly”

          Of course. No point letting the bastards know you’re coming.

        • bonuswavepilot says:

          On sticks and stones, I always liked Phil Dick’s quote “There exists, for everyone, a sentence – a series of words – that has the power to destroy you.” from Valis. Not sure that it is true (or maybe it is if you add the condition of being said by the right person), but an agreeably whacky take on it. Poor old Phil.

      • Smoky_the_Bear says:

        Honestly if it was one guy in a team that big they would most likely just be able to fire him and then smooth things over with Valve saying “the problem has been dealt with”. When it’s one of two developers that’s not exactly so easy.

        • Nevard says:

          Yeah, in a team of 100 then that individual can take the fall alone, if it’s half of your development team and owner of the game it’s not like you can separate from them.

          • killias2 says:

            They’re still going this route. The offending party has left the team and sold his portion to his partner. I hope Valve accepts this, as one guy’s screw-up shouldn’t hurt other people involved.

            That said, I’m glad the dude has had to pay this price. We’re -finally- realizing that there are red lines for internet communication. I hope this is a lesson that others take to heart.

      • LacSlyer says:

        You’d have a point if they were just “stupid tweets” instead of a death threat, whether serious or not. And like it or not, this can happen to hundreds of people if someone decides to be an idiot. It sucks for them because their work gets taken down due to one person, but that’s how it is. They can’t simply let someone get away with a death threat regardless of how serious it is.

      • killias2 says:

        “But what about…”
        Death threat
        “Yeah, but”
        Death threat
        “But think about-”
        Death threat
        “I understand, but you’re not.. ”
        Death threat

        • Flying Penguin says:

          Misses the Point
          Death threat
          Red Herring
          Death threat
          Irrational Hatred of Valve
          Death threat
          Ad Hominem Argument
          Death threat

          FTFY ;-)

      • Bobka says:

        If it was a 100 man team, the solution is simple: fire the guy who made the threats. At that point Steam would probably be happy to put the game back on its service. The smaller the team, the more ownership over the project that one guy has, and the less likely Valve is willing to deal with the company even if it disowns the words of the individual employee.

      • eggy toast says:

        The other guy is a real dick too, if that helps.

        • AXAXAXAS MLO II: MLO HARDER says:

          “Welcome to Internetland”, said the hatter. “We’re all dicks in here.”

      • Beard_Arthur says:

        >This was a 2 man team. The other guy certainly didn’t deserve this.

        If I was one of two people at my company, I’d know what I was getting into with the other person. Something tells me this isn’t a one-off tantrum from this guy. Regardless, it’s the fault of the person who made the threats, and the only person the other person should be mad at is him.

        At any rate, if I came out and made threats against my sole distribution channel, especially after the ink was dry, you can damn well expect that they would have no desire to keep the relationship going. Why should they?

        • KDR_11k says:

          It’s not the sole distribution channel, the game was on Desura long before Steam. However as every indie dev can tell you these channels sell very little compared to Steam.

          IMO that’s a reason for antitrust laws to be applied to Steam. Steam is so powerful that it refusing to carry a game when other stores carry it hurts the game more than it does Steam, I think that’s the threshold for applying antitrust laws. So far Steam has been very laid back about allowing games on the service though its treatment of consumers might not be as spotless.

          • Reefpirate says:

            So you think Antitrust should step in and force Gabe to carry a game made by a person who threatened to kill him. Yeah, antitrust is fun.

            What Steam has doesn’t even vaguely resemble a monopoly (iTunes, Desura, Amazon, Paypal on dev website, etc., etc.) There’s plenty of other options out there besides Steam, and if Steam starts getting too picky or impulsive with picking and choosing games available on its service then it’ll start losing market share to competitors. For now they’re doing everything well enough to capture the market share that they have. No need to step in and force them to do anything.

            Antitrust is often a cleverly disguised way of punishing companies that do too many things right, and it certainly would be the case if Antitrust ever took a run at Steam for what they have done so far.

          • LacSlyer says:

            Steam doesn’t have nearly as much power as people claim it does. Is it the easiest way to get your game easy marketing? Of course, but there are various other options in the industry that are as viable. As well, indie games get a lot more marketing via word of mouth rather than simply being on Steam.

            You shouldn’t attribute success for an indie game not because of Steam, but because that game is worthy of success.

      • kalirion says:

        Mike (the GabeN death threat guy) has now resigned from Code Averace and apologized: link to codeavarice.com

        Travis, now the sole owner of Code Averace, has issued a formal apology as well on behalf of the company: link to codeavarice.com

    • MrThingy says:

      There used to be a saying that one should not let the sun go down on one’s anger… but I wonder if in the world of social media that the reverse should be endorsed as the best option. Rather than mashing the keyboard with your primate fists, go sleep on it.

      • Nevard says:

        Hell if you need to vent, do it somewhere that’s actually private. Scream at a friend over Skype or something, or keep a diary, but for God’s sake don’t make threats on someone’s life on your blog.

        • derbefrier says:

          Yeah really what ever happened to grabing a bottle of whiskey and a few buddies and bitching about how life isn’t fair. Always settles me down after a bad day.

          • eggy toast says:

            I agree, I love how people never think of actual human interaction as a thing you can do instead of being online.

            “don’t tweet it, just go on skype”

      • Pixelicious says:

        @MrThingy

        Your comment strongly implies that the saying means to express your anger before the end of the day (especially since you ask if in the age of social media the reverse should be endorsed). The saying implores the aggrieved individuals not to remain cross and at odds with each other, but to seek out the other party to mend the damage done.

        That is to say that the core concept the saying endorses is unaffected by modern technology’s easy facilitation in helping an angry person make public accusations and threats that is to their own detriment.

        • TechnicalBen says:

          Thanks for mentioning that. “Venting” has not been shown to help. Especially here.

          Perhaps the dev needed to meet and talk about whatever anger/injustice/problems there were before today, as said “before the sun sets”. Now it’s been all bottled up over countless sleepless nights, and suddenly let out in a n argument, instead of a simple discussion.

    • KDR_11k says:

      I doubt he was thinking about anything at that point, he seems very prone to anger and it doesn’t help that an error on the store was ruining his game’s crucial chance at a first impression. If he hadn’t ruined it completely the game would have lost sales from that mistake.

      • Kaeoschassis says:

        Losing a few sales beats losing an entire distribution option.
        Losing a few sales beats being an ass and threatening somebody’s life infront of a considerable portion of the planet.
        But he wasn’t thinking, I guess you’re right.

  4. jrodman says:

    The SURVIVAL of this game studio is in jeopardy.

    • SquidgyB says:

      They’re going to have to be very crafty to get out of this one…

      • yan spaceman says:

        … yeah, the developer was acting somewhat like a rogue …

        • pepperfez says:

          ABSOLUTELY NOT TRUE.
          This is in no way like a rogue’s behavior: Do you see him backstabbing, or lockpicking, or hiding in the shadows? No. Rogues have been around for a long time and saying someone behaves like a rogue means something.

    • mrbright01 says:

      Then maybe the person speaking for the game studio needs to remember to keep to the most basic standards of human decency when talking to a business partner, especially one that does not, in any way, really need you or your studio to survive themselves. It’s one thing to blow up at the perceived slight, but to threaten the life of a single specific person that may or may not be directly related to the problem is frankly a terrible idea.

      • jrodman says:

        I was trying to keep this on-theme.

      • Goodtwist says:

        PALMFACE

        • JFS says:

          PALM-A-FACIAL ACTIVITY

        • Baines says:

          Because a thread about a death threat really needs a set of pun comments, particularly starting with a pun about the survival of the studio being in jeopardy when the survival of the studio is in jeopardy.

          Not that pun threads are ever necessary.

          • Goodtwist says:

            Because a stick in ones rectum might prevent the fluidity of thoughts.

          • Bassen_Hjertelos says:

            The Stick of Truth, mayhap? Oh, sorry. Wrong game. I’ll go hide in the corner of shame while munching Paranauts to stiffle the stream of tears running from my eyes.

  5. Mezmorki says:

    Can’t we all just get along?

  6. Premium User Badge

    yhancik says:

    *rolls eyes*

  7. gnodab says:

    Was waiting for the game to come out of Early Access to maybe get a hold of it. Now I am very glad I didn’t throw any money at the guy.
    Well, the first time I have to say something positive about Early Access! Who would have thought.

  8. shinygerbil says:

    Moral of the story: Learn to control your temper. Things you say on the Internet hold just as much water as things you say elsewhere.

    • RedViv says:

      Why is that even? If people were to print out such words and plaster them on a physical board for everybody to see, or when they call people and threaten them, of course threats would be taken seriously. But the internet is apparently not real.

      • Premium User Badge

        Harlander says:

        It’s so people who want to be jerks online can feel better about themselves. Sure you ridiculed that person, but it’s just online, it’s not real!

      • Consumatopia says:

        The usual cognitive dissonance on these issues is that speaking and writing tend to have different consequences (in that writing is more permanent and people tend to judge you more harshly for something you’ve written than something you’ve said), and communicating on the Internet tends to feel like speaking in it’s informality and ease, but in terms of consequences its more like writing in it’s permanence and potential dissemination.

        So the issue isn’t whether the Internet is real life, it is. The question is which sets of real life norms and standards should apply to it. And in that sense, I think society currently errs in taking the Internet too seriously–e.g. someone becoming unemployable because they made the wrong joke to their Twitter friends. There should be a common understanding that making mistakes is human, it’s only a problem if a person is persists in a mistake and refuses to apologize..

        But none of that has to do with this particular case–spoken and written death threats both get you into trouble in the real world, and they should on the Internet as well.

        • JFS says:

          Cognitive dissonance really doesn’t mean what you think it does. Please don’t use it anymore. By the way, schizophrenia is not “multiple personality disorder”. Actually, a thing by that name doesn’t even exist. This was a public educational announcement, thank you for your time.

          • Consumatopia says:

            It does, actually. Why don’t you tell me what you think it means and what you think I meant, and I’ll let you know which of those is mistaken? Because, public service announcement, you are mistaken about one of those.

      • TechnicalBen says:

        I do feel for people. We have been told/trained for decades to shout at tvs. Now some did not realise they are interactive, and someone is on the other side.

        For years some have felt when distanced or in a crowd, it’s ok to shout angry things at each other. See competitive or violent sports teams/crowds. :(

    • iyokus says:

      Exactly. It’s strange how slowly people are learning that social media isn’t a diary, or a private message to sympathetic friends. It’s a public forum, Maulbeck tweeting these comments is no different than him picking up the phone to Valve and bellowing down the line:

      ARE YOU F****** KIDDING ME STEAM? WE JUST RELEASED OUT OF EARLY ACCESS AND THIS IS OUR FRONT PAGE BANNER?”

      “First they force me to delay the game because I can’t release on weekends, now this. Steam is the most incompetent piece of f****** s***,” and “I am so F****** DONE DEALING WITH F****** INCOMPETENT S***s.”

      “I am going to kill Gabe Newell. He is going to die.”

      What did he think would happen?

      • Pockets says:

        I’ve worked in jobs where that would be considered fairly polite

        • Malibu Stacey says:

          Try talking to other businesses in that manner, not just people in your own place of employment & see how far it gets you.

          Hint: Clues lie in the article above.

          • Emeraude says:

            To be fair, acting just like that made Steve Ballmer the pillar of the community he is today.

            And *he* got to put his threats into motion (I remember his “I’m going to destroy you and your company” rage fueled antics). Granted he was less public about it.

          • Pockets says:

            I wouldn’t, because it’s far in excess of my arseholeish behaviour threshold. This kind of behaviour is accepted in a lot of industries if you’re the customer. This idiot just forgot he’s the product and if you’re the product you’re the one who has to take it

      • Smoky_the_Bear says:

        Honestly, if he’d have done that entire rant without the death threat a simple apology would have probably rectified the situation. Just don’t threaten to kill people you are in business with.

  9. Zanchito says:

    Stupid and arseholeish even for my standards.

  10. Gap Gen says:

    You could argue that the comment was probably hyperbolic rather than a specific threat (although obviously threats should be taken seriously, and not be made to strangers in a context where there’s any ambiguity) but yes, unprofessional on the dev’s part and reasonable of Valve to pull the plug.

    • fco says:

      dude chose a bad month to be hyperbolic

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      Have a look through his twitter history. That (now deleted) comment is the icing on the shitposting cake.
      He’s a manchild acting like a manchild while simultaneously trying to have a business relationship with the people he’s being a whiny manchild towards. That shit just doesn’t fly amongst mature adults.

      • sinister agent says:

        Yeah, I’ve been looking at his twitter feed and it certainly looks like he’s trying his hardest to blame everyone and learn nothing. It’s really quite pitiful, and has probably sealed the fate of his career.

      • Gap Gen says:

        Ah, I haven’t chased up the twitter feed, I was just going by the tweet quoted. From the rest of the article, though, yeah, it sounds like he’s quite an angry person.

        • jrodman says:

          I’m a kind of childishly angry person.

          However, *even still*, I do not act like that.

          • Kaeoschassis says:

            As someone with very real anger issues, I at least still understand that threatening to kill somebody is way, way out of line in any situation.
            Not the rest of his comments on the matter with very nice, but yeah.

      • Geebs says:

        “Shitposting” and “manchild” in the same post? Take your own advice and grow up.

        I sincerely hope that from this point on, RPS finds a way to block any post in this thread made by somebody who has conveniently forgotten that time they made a total tit of themselves in public, and thinks it’s big to moralise about some schlub who has just ruined his own life. It’s distasteful.

        (yes death threats should not be tolerated when they are specific and credible. This was neither and clearly a stupid use of stupid metaphor. Get that beam out of your eye)

        • pepperfez says:

          I think the point many people accept and you reject is that name-calling and death threats are qualitatively different and that we shouldn’t try to erase that difference.

          • Geebs says:

            I think a better point is that figures of speech don’t translate and it’s very easy to make yourself look like a dick in writing.

            Somebody shitting the bed in public isn’t worth condemning, and the whiff of moral superiority is grossing me out.

            (Yes, I have both been physically assaulted and received death threats at work. Sometimes people go nuts. You learn to duck and then carry on with your job. Sometimes they’re even decent people when they calm down.)

        • Klatu says:

          Where the hell did you work? A prison? Maybe a police officer or a bouncer? If you worked on a counter or in the service industry, forget about it.

          I too have had people swear, poke and generally be a dick towards me when I was customer facing. I decided that I wasn’t paid enough to take this shit so I hung up the phone or if it was F2F told them that if they didn’t stop being a dick they would have to leave. I’ve physically removed a customer who was harassing one of our female staff members to the point of tears.

          If anyone issued a death threat (FFS!) towards me or my (then) staff they would be banned for life, no discussion.

        • qrter says:

          I would say the “death threat” was just the final straw. If you look at his other messages before that one, he really goes off on one. It may not have been the smartest move towards someone you’re doing business with.

        • reggiep says:

          Law enforcement would be very interested in this magical algorithm you have to determine when a specific threat is credible.

          Also, public embarrassment is one thing. Publicly threatening the life of your business partner? Yeah, that’s call for dismissal and possibly criminal charges.

    • Henson says:

      Yeah, I’m assuming that this is the case. I’m sure most of us have done the same in talking to friends or in private; the ‘kill’ is figurative, not literal. It seems this situation is due to two main factors:

      (1) We still haven’t quite wrapped our heads around how communication on the internet differs from communication in person (see: Adam Orth tweeting to Manveer Heir). Everyone can see our tweets, and what you say online is seen not just as representative of yourself, but of your company. I may use the figurative ‘I’m gonna kill him’, but I rarely do so in front of the person I’m talking about.

      (2) On the internet, we are all Elcor. Without vocal inflections, it’s hard to tell what’s serious and what isn’t.

      • benkc says:

        No. No, I really don’t think that “most of us” have made death threats to people, even in jest. That crosses a line, period.

  11. morbiusnl says:

    everything for some internet attention.

  12. Jac says:

    Whilst I can understand the guy must have been annoyed there really is no excuse for his behaviour. Hopefully valve stick to it and the guy might learn that freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom from the consequences.

  13. Meat Circus says:

    Death threats on the Internet, an FAQ.

    Q: Should I make death threats on the internet?

    A: No, you should not.

    • SanguineAngel says:

      This should be stickied to the top of the internet

      • Klatu says:

        Every internet capable device should have Wheaton’s Rule engraved on the screen.

    • Shazbut says:

      Or off the internet.

      I mean, if there is really any circumstance where someone should be killed, I don’t think a threat is necessary.

      • fish99 says:

        If anything it’s counterproductive because they’re probably going to be much harder to find.

        • El_Emmental says:

          What if you and your enemy have a code of honour, or enjoy the thrill of duels?

          Not making a threat first would be impolite and improper in that case, true gentlemen or ladies challenge their foes before striking.

    • Smoky_the_Bear says:

      It shows though that there is a generation or two now that have grown up with the internet ingrained in their culture believing that this sort of behaviour is acceptable. It’s only when they get out into the real world that they realise this sort of behaviour actually does have consequences, having seen it said on the internet over and over without consequence.

  14. Tyrmot says:

    O brave new world, That has such people in’t!

  15. equatorian says:

    Hopefully this would remind the internet that most normal people really, really take a dim view of death threats, made in hyperbole or trolling or whatever. Sometimes I swear that people think casual death threats are just part of another day on the internet.

    The guy certainly makes Phil Fish look like the most amicable, well-adjusted young man, though. Maybe it’s a good thing that he gets to quit while he hasn’t dug himself a complete grave yet.

  16. Premium User Badge

    Bluerps says:

    Hoo boy. I understand his frustration at Steam’s mistake, but I understand Valve too. Death threats are no joke, even ones like this.

  17. derbefrier says:

    Eventually people are going to figure out social media is not a place to vent your profesional frustrations.

    • eggy toast says:

      Sadly you are most likely correct. Until then, tho, we will have these idiots to dance about for our entertainment.

    • Gap Gen says:

      Social media is a great way to turn eminent public figures into idiots in the public’s eye by giving them an instantaneous soapbox.

    • Chalky says:

      At the very least I hope they will figure out that threatening to kill someone isn’t an appropriate way to express professional frustration in the first place, regardless of where it is vented.

    • Freud says:

      I don’t have same optimism that there is some sort of self-correcting mechanism that eliminates bad behavior in humanity.

  18. ehi11 says:

    dude went full Phil Fish…
    never go full Phil Fish.

    • c-Row says:

      You never go full Phil Fish

    • Premium User Badge

      Ninja Dodo says:

      I don’t know Phil Fish but from what I’ve seen of his more inflammatory comments that seems incredibly unfair to Fish. The fact that he (Fish) was essentially bullied out of the industry should be considered a shameful low point in the history of the games community, not an occasion for jokes.

      This guy, though: wow. Valve responded appropriately.

      • Nevard says:

        Phil’s a tricky issue, I’d say it’s definitely true that he was unduly harassed (especially recently when he returned solely to help defend a friend from libel) but he’s not really a nice person either. Actually told a journalist to commit suicide himself, if I recall correctly, which isn’t terribly different to issuing death threats.

        I think “both sides are bad” is an overused and usually incorrect way to judge situations but in this case… perhaps true.

        • Premium User Badge

          Ninja Dodo says:

          That was certainly an unacceptable thing to say, but Fish was subjected to sustained non-stop abuse for years. I can’t think of many people who wouldn’t have a short fuse under those circumstances.

          • Echo_Hotel says:

            Non-stop harassment? He could make it stop with the click of a few buttons! There are Political web feeds that are guaranteed to raise just about anybody’s blood pressure, DON’T SUBSCRIBE. There are thousands of celebrities who have Facebook, Twitter and other social media accounts they utilize in private, PF didn’t NEED to have a big public profile in social media to survive. He chose to remain in those accounts thinking somehow he could “WIN” against people who didn’t like him as a principal how crazy is that? Imagine if Gabe Newell had a twitter account and read and took personally every single moan and whine from every TF2, L4D, CS, HL and DOTA2 player. He would collapse into a black hole of self hatred within seconds, but he doesn’t he comes out when the head of the company needs to come out makes some announcements tells everybody how much he loves them and heads back into his den, not to be heard from until the next time he is needed. In short He knows his place, PF did not, I’m not sure what he thought he could accomplish but it ended in one of the only two ways it could have, him giving up public social or him quitting making games.

        • KevinLew says:

          Phil Fish’s biggest problem is that he continues to use social media when he flat-out shouldn’t. He’s a giant target and when he fights back, it only makes the hate on him stronger. Having said that, sending to death threats to anybody is never justified, period.

          =====

          I want to add to these comments since they are being misinterpreted.

          First, I think that most of Phil Fish’s hate is due to one-sided reporting on most of his controversies. If you look at the full conversation, most of the time he’s often goaded into it or his message is taken out of context.

          My comments about him leaving social media meant that since Fish is a quick and easy target for hate on the Internet, then he should simply get away from it. Seriously, social media is not doing him any favors, and it just becomes a perpetual motion hate machine for him. The haters attack him, he attacks the haters, etc.

          • Premium User Badge

            Ninja Dodo says:

            Agreed.

            [edit: or agreed in so far as the way he chose to respond made it worse, but not agreed on the idea that a victim of attacks should have to refrain from having a public presence… the onus is not on them]

          • jrodman says:

            I feel like most people shouldn’t use social media.

        • Philomelle says:

          He said “Compare your life to mine, then kill yourself”. That is a Futurama quote. A Futurama quote used as a counter-quip against someone who arrogantly judges you and your life choices despite being considerably less successful.

          The journalist in question randomly attacked Fish in the middle of a stream in order to generate clicks from the Phil Fish hate brigade, despite Fish having very little to do with the topic of discussion. The guy abused the “Let’s hate on Phil Fish.” meme for publicity and fully deserved being told to fuck off. Maybe not with that particular quote, but still.

          • newprince says:

            A death threat couched in an obscure reference, then.

          • El_Emmental says:

            Phil Fish also called the journalist a media leech, a middle-aged parasite, and acted like if his tweet containing a death threat (within an obscure Futurama reference) was perfectly normal and acceptable, while publicly asking his target to apologize for offending him.

          • Philomelle says:

            Once again, I’m not defending that particular Futurama reference. It’s a fairly harshly worded one and Fish shouldn’t have said that.

            That said, the streamer in question used Fish’s infamy in order to generate publicity for himself despite knowing that it wouldn’t bring Fish anything good. That is a parasitic action by the very definition of the word, given that it’s. You know. Living off someone’s expense while giving nothing back.

        • Bobka says:

          Yeah, I think “both sides” applies in the Phil Fish case. He seems to get an unusually big kick out of being shitty towards people he disagrees with or who have different interests (that PC gaming shittalking he engaged in was just pointlessly hostile and condescending), but then there are the trolls who strike back ten times harder than anything he said and try to destroy him. Pretty much everybody involved in those interactions is behaving terribly on one level or another.

          • Echo_Hotel says:

            Rules of the internet
            14 Don’t argue with trolls – it means they win.
            15 The harder you try the harder you will fail.
            18 Everything that can be labeled can be hated.
            If only Phill was even the least bit aware of how the internet actually worked maybe he could have been saved
            33 Lurk moar — it’s never enough.
            But unfortunately for him
            5 Anonymous does not forgive, Anonymous does not forget.
            6 Anonymous can be a horrible, senseless, uncaring monster.
            and now it is too late.

        • Consumatopia says:

          Eh, one of the things I resent most about recent events is that they’ve made me like Phil Fish.

          The dude has the right enemies. He can’t be all bad.

        • TechnicalBen says:

          Phil Fish certainly never deserves any back lash, two wrongs don’t make a right. But it is hard to tell if he decides to make things worse, or has some lack of ability socially (I know family and friends who have to work hard to not make mistakes in social interactions) that makes him an easy or misunderstood target.

          Either way, as said even those with actual social problems can learn not to make death threats to other people.

      • Premium User Badge

        Wisq says:

        To me, at least, the joke is that Phil Fish has repeatedly said he’s quitting the industry and never really seems to do it.

        I can absolutely see wanting to quit after threats and doxxing. So, the second time was legit, and more sad than funny. Those aren’t really laughing matters, and it wouldn’t be remotely funny if it happened to anyone else (and I can find it funny without condoning it etc etc.).

        But the first time … quitting because one relatively unknown journo calls you some mild name, because you lash out at people for asking your opinion after you’ve been repeatedly trying to offer your opinion on everything? That was pretty entertainingly silly.

        (Standard post-GG flame-retardant disclaimer: This is all from memory and from what I heard about these incidents at the time, so if I’m missing key points that make this less funny, sorry, I don’t mean to be a jerk.)

  19. Premium User Badge

    DantronLesotho says:

    I will never understand why anyone would bite the hand that feeds them for such a petty thing. This is why I think most indie devs should wait a long time before going full time because when they put so much at stake over one game’s storefront, accidents like this happen and then it becomes too serious.

    • Chalky says:

      Dumb people gonna dumb.

      Anyone who posts something like that about their most important business partner on the eve of their product launch is far far too stupid to be taking anyone’s money.

      • jonahcutter says:

        Hell, intelligent people gonna dumb too.

        I’ve seen plenty of really smart people say, do or believe in really foolish things.

        Intelligence doesn’t confer maturity, rationality or compassion.

        • jezcentral says:

          “Intelligence doesn’t confer maturity, rationality or compassion.”

          I know. Why can’t more people be like me. eh?

      • Darth Gangrel says:

        I agree with you. I have no sympathy what so ever for this person, he acted completely unprofessional and has to pay the price for it. That other people might suffer for his mistake might make the lesson more painful and unforgettable.

        What he should have done was to contact Valve before spewing hate where everyone could read it. If he had to attack valve for their blunder, then simply point out their mistake. Be sarcastic, complain about it in a whiny way, but don’t threaten anyone who works at Valve.

        • Premium User Badge

          Wisq says:

          Yeah, “complain on Twitter” seems to have completely replaced “complain to the offending party” in terms of dealing with merchants, service providers, etc. It used to be only a recourse, if complaining to them didn’t produce results, but now it seems like people skip that middle step entirely.

          The sad thing is, it works. Companies actually monitor these things, and some will offer help or even deals and discounts to complainers. I say “sad” because they’re just rewarding this sort of behaviour, which I would go so far as to call cowardly (even though I used to do it, and probably sometimes forget and still do, albeit only for minor annoyances rather than real grievances).

          Mind you, some go the opposite direction — I vaguely recall one story where someone at my company had a hotel room paid for by the company, and I think they complained on Twitter about the internet service or something, and our CEO got an unhappy call from the hotel. But, being a cool sort of guy, I’m guessing he just laughed and told them off; it definitely never resulted in any sort of trouble with that employee.

          • Emeraude says:

            Which goes to show how inefficient the alternative was. Now, whether it was because it produced no reliable results, or because it had a higher cost in doing so (talking things through with people is harder than making a twit) I won’t wager.

            But I notice that we have adopted communication forms in which sociopathy happens to be rewarded to an extent.

  20. melnificent says:

    Well after recent personal events I think any death threats from people that are vague acquaintances should be taken seriously.
    If steam know such information as address, etc then they should be passing it on to the police.

  21. BurningPet says:

    Well, that was a very expensive mistake. i can understand his reaction of wanting to quit developing games altogether, since yeah, Steam is too important.

    I can also understand valve. you can never really know who is the guy behind the threats and the world is full enough of people who have killed for less. (Although, while it might had a financial impact, i believe it wasn’t critical to the game success. he could have politely asked valve for extra featuring time due to that mistake and they might have complied)

  22. CandyAcid says:

    The guys that continuously flamed him should be more to blame really (not more than the dev, more than they are), I personally am sick and tired of certain individuals throwing insulting comments to game developers for releasing things as early access (which this guy wasn’t even doing) So many games I was looking forward to have been cancelled due to commenters like that.

    • Fitzmogwai says:

      Yes, but no.

    • Granath says:

      No. He is responsible for his own behavior.

    • Philomelle says:

      Mike Maulbeck is an insufferable shitstain. Long before the game’s Kickstarter, he would visit the Groupees chatroom entirely so he could brag in front of other indie devs about how he nailed a publishing deal with Adult Swim and can bypass Greenlight as a result, he actively harassed the developers of Guncraft and tried to sabotage their game’s sales by convincing his fans to leave negative reviews on Desura, and he once bragged about beating his ex to the point where she ended up in the hospital.

      He is a thoroughly awful human being and deserves every single flame he gets.

      • Okiemurse says:

        And on top of all that, his game is derivative garbage.

        • Philomelle says:

          Yeah, it’s basically a first-person Binding of Isaac with combat that is like a very half-assed Quake. He can’t even deliver on his own game’s name; putting a fireball-totting demon, a robot shark and a flying turtle into your game doesn’t really make it naval-themed or paranormal.

      • Polifemo says:

        Philomelle you certainly seem to investigate thoroughly all these videogame scene scandals.

        • Philomelle says:

          I actually didn’t need to investigate anything in the case of Paranautical. I’ve spent many weeks hanging out in Groupees chatroom, which have been frequented by a lot of people from the industry. I made a lot of friends there and heard plenty of anecdotes.

          Every single developer I know hates Mike Maulbeck. I’ve missed his foray into the Groupees chatroom (thank goodness for that), but I’ve seen the screenshots whenever people gathered around the internet campfire to share their horror stories.

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      I can actually see where you’re coming from here – you make a very good point. You just make it at an unfortunate moment.
      The treatment of a huge number of game devs, especially smaller teams or lone developers, by their customers, even by their ‘fans’ is absolutely appalling. Actually, I see a lot of that in other areas, not just games. And it’s ridiculous, I mean come on people, these are things for entertainment, they are not worth flipping out over like that. They are not worth harassing and bullying people over.
      But you kind of come across as defending the guy, which is probably why other responses to your comment have been fairly negative.

  23. Dale Winton says:

    Boy is a fool and has learned a harsh lesson
    ToTotally deserved

    • Tuor says:

      You think he actually learned his lesson? I doubt it.

      • Flying Penguin says:

        He’ll have plenty of time to think it over whilst working at Radio Shack….

  24. Lanfranc says:

    1. Sell game in store
    2. Threaten to kill boss of store that sells your game
    3. ???
    4. PROFIT!!!

  25. Borsook says:

    I guess, it all comes down to culture. Where I come from, a lot of people say “If I don’t find my glasses I’m going to kill you” or “He was late again, I’m going to kill him”… Nobody takes that as a threat obviously. But, the dev in question should have known the American culture is not like that.

    • Nevard says:

      It’s a lot different to say such a thing to a friend or colleague who knows you, than to someone you have never met or spoken to in person.

      • Borsook says:

        Yes, it all depends how we see twitter. is it just a person shouting it aloud, or going to Mr. Newel, looking deep into his eyes and then saying that…

        • Premium User Badge

          Harlander says:

          Twitter is pretty much the equivalent of yelling something in a busy shopping centre.

          • Consumatopia says:

            It’s like a really noisy party in which you’re yelling so that your friends can hear you because everyone else at the party is yelling, and the moment when the music stops and everyone else stops talking coincides with you saying something really offensive. Only the party is the entire Western world.

          • jrodman says:

            Twitter is not available in some countries?

    • Premium User Badge

      JiminyJickers says:

      In this case he didn’t say, if they don’t sort this out…

      He just said, I’m going to kill him. It is so much different from a offhand comment to your friend or colleagues.

      This is more like receiving a letter stating that I’m going to kill you, instead of a light-hearted comment at work.

  26. wu wei says:

    If Valve had cost me a publishing deal and mishandled the launch of my game, I could see myself getting quite hyperbolic on Twitter too.

    • jonahcutter says:

      Get hyperbolic in voice chat with your friends, or down at the pub over a couple of pints.

      Don’t do it on Twitter. It’s the town square.

    • Premium User Badge

      JiminyJickers says:

      There was a small mistake on the front page which they rectified soon after. No need to go full idiot on Twitter.

      I wouldn’t rant and rave about a business partner in a public way even if I was fuming. You tell this to your friends and family, not to the whole world.

  27. Flying Penguin says:

    If there was an internet Darwin Awards* this guy would be the grand master…

    *As in shooting yourself in the foot online, not the Darwin Awards on the internet

  28. Brtt says:

    I’m actually seriously thinking of buying this game (DRM-free of course), just because I have to support hatred of Steam…
    The wording could use some work, though.

    • Distec says:

      That’s a bit feckin’ wierd, mate.

      • Brtt says:

        Because I don’t want to be part of the Steam-zealotry ?
        “Be part of the flow or die alone” ?
        Well, I’d rather be alone that giving any money to that fat giant octopus that is on the verge of hegemony (which is *never* good, whatever your take may be).

        But hey, I’m still open-minded, I sometime buy stuff on the Humble Store, which is riddled with Steam-exclusive games.
        There’s still some DRM-free versions to enjoy, though, and so I do.

        • Premium User Badge

          Rublore says:

          Being anti-Steam is perfectly acceptable; There are plenty of reasons to dislike it. But I’m not sure that supporting someone so willing to throw a public tantrum and determined to blame everyone else for his own poor behaviour is necessarily the best way to stick it to The Man.

          EDIT: I should also note that being happy with Steam does not automatically equate or lead to zealotry.

    • Somerled says:

      Please do not “support hatred” of anything. Please do support intelligent discourse and alternative options. <3

  29. Baines says:

    I can’t remember, but was Paranautical Activity one of the games where the devs ‘quit’ the Steam forums because they felt too many people said negative things about their game?

    Paranautical Activity was also the game that wasn’t allowed to skip the Greenlight process via a publisher. Code Avarice put the game on Greenlight, then made a deal with Adult Swim, only for Valve to tell them that the game wouldn’t be allowed on Steam unless it passed through Greenlight. (Because Valve didn’t want to set a precedent of devs picking up publishers mid-Greenlight to skip the process.)

    • derbefrier says:

      To be fair no Dev should have to endure the steam forums. That place is not very friendly and full of trolls.

      • Baines says:

        You can say that about anywhere. Reddit is toxic. RPS is toxic. The pub down the street is toxic. Any place with people is a place that can, and will at some point, go off about something.

        The distinction is how you respond to it, and what you are responding to. There are some pretty bad Steam forums. There are some pretty good ones.

        And there are some devs that will go off at the slightest complaint or issue voiced. Things tend to go downhill fast in those cases.

  30. MadTinkerer says:

    Soooo… A game I bought four months ago has been pulled from Steam because the creator publicly flipped out because…

    But, no, I already bought the game on Steam, why would he even be angry?

    Too much coffee?

  31. frymaster says:

    Angry man on the internet forgets he isn’t actually anonymous, posts bile at key business partner.

    Best response:

    link to twitter.com

    • Janichsan says:

      Imagine that tweet read in Nelson Muntz’s voice.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      That was The Ultimate Burn of All Time Forever™.

    • BurningPet says:

      This is not a good response.

      I wanna see Notch publish a PC game outside steam, under a different, anonymous name and succeed to sell well enough. he will even have the advantage of pouring millions into marketing which other indies doesn’t have.

      Minecraft was a totally unique occurrence that can not be reproduced. a rare speck of luck. gloating at someone who had just had his dream and career pretty much crushed by trying to refute his claims only because the fortune was smiling on you is not a good response.

      If notch had multiple titles outside steam that succeeded, then yeah, sure, he could argue that Steam is not vital for a game’s success. but he doesn’t. Scrolls, having the magnitude of a title like Minecraft and the benefits it brings behind it (Huge fan base. vast exposure on every media outlet, a marketing budget etc..) sold what, 150K units? that’s not success considering where it came from.

      • BurningPet says:

        Not to say Notch isn’t a talented developer, he clearly is, but being talented is not the only factor that determine if you succeed or not. in the case of Minecraft, it was talent, and innovation, sure, but it is also A LOT of luck and timing.

        • pepperfez says:

          but being talented is not the only factor that determine if you succeed or not
          Not being an aggressively hateful jackass also helps.

      • Klatu says:

        Maybe I picked you up wrong, but Minecraft was never on Steam and as far as I know it still isn’t.

        • BurningPet says:

          Minecraft succeeded without steam, but Minecraft is an exception. you can’t point at it to try and prove steam is not critical for an Indie PC game success.

          • Nevard says:

            Well I mean you literally can, Minecraft is proof that Steam is not necessary for indie success.
            What it doesn’t prove is that it isn’t massively, incredibly helpful.

  32. karrotman says:

    I’m wondering if the comments section even read the article, or is it just the blind Valve/Gabe love? Comments section is just “OMG DEATH THREAT”. Why not have a discussion on how all this happened because Valve has way too much power in this industry, and they directly cost these developers a publishing deal because of the whole greenlight thing, as well as lost sales from marking it early access even after release? The fact that the only way indie devs can make it big is by relying on a distribution service as bad as steam is really sad. But then, this entire industry is really sad and badly managed. I’d be a happier person if i didn’t play video games.

    • Flying Penguin says:

      Yep, read the article. Didn’t feel the history was particularly relevant (except as context and back story) to the general thread of “bloke makes stupid threats and seems surprised when said stupid threats come back to bite him.”

      Unless you have anything to demonstrate that Valve treated him unfairly in this case as a result of the history, rather than just because he threatened to kill GabeN?

      • karrotman says:

        How about looking at it from the angle that he still relied so heavily on Steam even though him and every other indie dev would much much rather they didn’t have to? Imagine losing a publishing deal because of Steam, still having to rely on Steam anyway, and then they go and mislabel your game as early access, which would cost more sales. Not saying that death threats are a joke, but that the entire situation is one that shouldn’t exist in this industry.

        • Flying Penguin says:

          How about the angle that this could all have been fixed amicably and with suitable recompense from Valve if necessary (such as being featured)?

          Instead he demonstrated a complete lack of professional skills and jumped straight to Rage Factor 11 and got his ass handed to him.

          This is little to nothing to do with excessive power (that Valve may or may not have) and everything to do with a massive case of being a monumental cock.

          • gi_ty says:

            That is the absolute truth. They were perfectly willing to provide a place to sell his game even up to the point of a long and very childish rant in an open forum. Death threats are too far by a mile and he was already allowed much more leniency than would be considered in almost any other professional relationship. To try and blame Valve for this guy acting like a complete unprofessional fool is really grasping at straws for some Valve hate.

        • Premium User Badge

          DantronLesotho says:

          It’s not Valve’s fault for the developer placing so many eggs into Steam’s basket. There are plenty of other outlets out there to release your game, and there have been success stories to prove it. Also, Maulbeck blew up at Steam something like 6-8 hours after submitting a ticket without a response. Hardly a long enough period of time to throw a shitfit rationally comparable to sales lost.

    • Keymonk says:

      Because death threats are unacceptable no matter what. This is why.

      • karrotman says:

        I think it’s also unacceptable that one company should have so much power over what games people buy.

        • jezcentral says:

          While I can sympathise with that point-of-view, the fact is Valve earned their current place in the market, by being so much better than everyone else. They didn’t buy their way to the top. Rather than blame Valve (not that you did, but Maulbeck did), blame the others that let this happen.

          • subedii says:

            You would say that. It’s because of you BLIND fanboys that we’re all forced to game on Steam instead of… GFWL.

            It’s people like you that forced Microsoft to drop the $60 subscription fee to play online. Do you ever even think of the consequences for people trying to get rid of money?

            *Sigh*

            Steam got to the top because nobody else was willing to step up, and since they did people cry foul? Crikey, Valve actually went around other companies trying to convince them that this is way the way to go, and were flatly turned down each time, before deciding to just go ahead and do it themselves. Steam came to prominence in a time when “conventional industry wisdom” dictated that the PC market was worthless and dying, crappy port jobs were king (assuming any kind of port came at all), and most major publishers didn’t have any real first party PC titles.

            THAT’S why nobody else bothered. That Valve did differently is a credit to them, they didn’t rough up people to do it.

            The indie market wasn’t even a fraction of what it is today. I remember the indie market from back then. It was mostly completely crap half-made games and innumerable knock-offs of Breakout / Arkanoid.

        • Tuor says:

          Even if that’s true, it still doesn’t justify anyone making death threats to anyone else. This guy got what he deserved due to his own actions. *If* he had simply complained that Valve had screwed him over, matters would be different. Now, instead of it being about Valve’s actions, it is about *his* actions, and very few people feel any sort of sympathy towards him as a result.

        • ResonanceCascade says:

          How would you propose we spread that power around? Valve has been cultivating Steam since 2003, and while they’ve made plenty of mistakes, they’ve been remarkably good at evolving and staying three steps ahead of the competition. I’m a big fan of GOG, but their service isn’t even close to what Steam offers. Neither is Origin. And Steam is far more open for indie developers than either of those stores.

          Conversely, a PC gamer could give themselves nightmares contemplating what the space would look like today if Steam had never come around or if Valve had gone out of business a decade ago.

          • Baines says:

            I don’t know that you can spread that power around.

            Some of the issues that people have with Steam are tied to features that people like.

            Steam controls the majority of the digital PC market. That has several bad and/or potentially dangerous effects, so people do like it. But people also like the convenience of Steam. They like having one login, with all their games in one place, with all their friends, with one store, etc. The first argument against other such systems is the requirement for a new account, a new password, and a new service to log into.

            Similar goes for other issues. (Not all issues, of course. One could do a better return policy than Valve, or offer better support, or better communication between company and customer, or any of those issues without being forced to sacrifice features that people like. Valve doesn’t have to do those things with Steam simply because they control the majority of the market and aren’t likely to lose that hold.)

          • Klatu says:

            I concur. Although I have 80%ish of my games on Steam I don’t always buy them from Steam. I have ‘Enhanced Steam’ on my browser which directs me to cheaper alternatives and I always search for cheaper alternative game key sites, particularly for new or AAA games.

          • Dances to Podcasts says:

            You can spread that power around by making Steam a truly open platform. By allowing competitors to feed into your friends list, activity feeds, achievements, etc. If they did that, suddenly the field would be evened immensely.

    • Distec says:

      Ignoring concerns about Steam and the death threat, I don’t know where people get the idea that indie devs deserve to “make it big”, or even be successful.

      These days it seems like indie devs are popping out quicker than rabbits can procreate; there’s a lot. And most of them are going to fail, be ignored, or otherwise get chewed up by the industry. I won’t deny that’s sad, but I don’t see how that’s too different from most indie ventures in any other medium, or how the situation would effectively different if Steam didn’t exist.

      You don’t get money just from making the game.

      • karrotman says:

        But it IS different. Indie moviemakers don’t have to rely on Paramount for recognition, Indie Musicians don’t have to rely on Universal for recognition, they can make a living without a major distributor. Indie devs for the most part, can’t. Good indie music and movies will be appreciated a lot more in their industries than good indie games in this industry.

        • newprince says:

          Eh… except, that’s exactly how it was for music and movies a generation ago. “Indie” music and movies have been appropriated and mainstreamed long ago to the point of the term being worthless. Asking for games to get there faster seems unpleasant.

          • karrotman says:

            The problems aren’t just about indies, its the way the industry is as a whole. It cant even seem to keep with the rest of the world, let alone other forms of entertainment. Where else can someone sell you an incomplete product marketed as complete and still expect to get away with it?

        • Distec says:

          I think there’s room for debate on what can be considered a “good” indie game. The impression I get is that every indie dev thinks their product is worthwhile, and then they blame something else for their game’s lack of success. They complain the market is too crowded, or that there isn’t enough discoverability, or they blame price discounts, or they blame Steam in general.

          Maybe they are being legitimately overlooked and shafted by the system. It’s also possible that there is just no consumer interest in your product because there is nothing that makes it truly special or desirable.

        • Muzman says:

          Indie filmmakers don’t have to rely on Paramount. They mostly do have to rely on Miramax or Lionsgate or a dozen other smaller distributors. That or they are scraping along at festivals with expensive admissions with thousands of other entrants only to be bought out in bulk and their film shelved for years or fighting tooth and nail for every dollar and every screen, spending and spending and spending just to be noticed. Just to get enough credit that someone might invest next time and there’s some chance to cover that huge debt hole you and your friends are in.

          Indie musicians can make it? Since when? If you’re in a band you are constantly operating at barely break even, trying to get gigs and gigs and gigs while holding down a day job. If you’re solo, well, there’s only several hundred million of you. If you’re lucky you might get into a good youtube group, probably not big like Vevo or UKF, but they might bump up your track, you might get some hits, you might trend, the youtube staff might kick it up to the top. Maybe someone will buy a track for ad placement. Maybe. Until then dare to dream and count the few cents you get on spotify from sending your friends there.

          However exclusive it looks, a steam for film would be a goddamn gift. Indie games developers have no idea how good they’ve got it just by having that chance at all.

    • jalf says:

      Because death threats.

      If you want to discuss anything else, don’t issue fucking death threats.

      As long as people issue death threats, Valve’s power and dominance is not my primary concern. Any other day, it would be a discussion I would love to have, and one I consider long overdue.

      But death threats.

      Quite simply, and this is a lesson a lot of people on the internet apparently need to understand, some things are important.

      When death threats are involved, most grown-up people don’t give a single flying fuck about anything else. You lost a million dollars? Tough luck. You don’t like how journalists are reporting on X? Fuck off. You spilled hot tea down your shirt? So f’ing what? Your company just went bankrupt? Cry me a river.

      If you issue death threats, then death threats become the *only* relevant discussion to have.

      Some things are important. If you can’t understand that, please come back when you’ve grown up.

      • Distec says:

        I thought Penny Arcade was pretty succinct in regards to recent events:

        “You can’t threaten people with death… it has the power to obliterate everything else you say. In fact, it obliterates everything the people around you are trying to say. “

        If there are legitimate issues with Valve and Steam, guess what? Nobody will care when the “death threat” part becomes the headline. And you know it will.

        I am not really as concerned about the threat itself as some other people here might be. It struck me more as a particularly vulgar expression than anything serious. I work in an environment where people are regularly saying things like “I’M GONNA KILL SO-AND-SO FOR THAT LATE REPORT” or something. Of course it’s typically done with more privacy than a public Twitter page. Less seething rage too.

        But wow, I’m surprised so many people can’t grasp how their fucking words appear to others on the internet. You are not writing just for your friends, or your followers, or your site’s “audience”. You are pretty much writing to EVERYBODY. It seems like we can’t go a week without some half-cocked shit happening on Twitter which is inevitably deleted by the user eventually, probably because they realized what insufferable assholes they were being.

        • Lusketrollet says:

          If there are legitimate issues with Valve and Steam, guess what? Nobody will care when the “death threat” part becomes the headline.

          Because people are fucking morons.

          • Distec says:

            It’s the way of the world. You’d have to be an even bigger moron to think this shit can be spouted off consequence-free, or that those kinds of statements won’t drown out the rest of your concerns.

            It’s the same principle at work when you write to critique gaming culture and then boneheadedly declare that “gamers are dead”, left wondering why you’re getting flak. Your grievances will be overshadowed by the most inflammatory part of your statement, so it is up to you to modify your language accordingly. Especially when you are the head of your business.

            You cannot control the reactions of others, but you can control what you put up on Twitter.

          • pepperfez says:

            Absolute fucking morons thinking human lives are more important than video game distribution services…

          • Dances to Podcasts says:

            *looks at poster’s name* Hmmm…

      • karrotman says:

        How does pulling the game from Steam deal with a death threat in any way? Hey, you issued a death threat, so we’re going to take it very seriously by pissing you off even more so that you’d be even more likely to go through with it. Not to mention that the person issuing the threat isn’t the only one who suffers. You deal with death threats by notifying authorities. And again, tell me how taking the game off Steam deals with the death threat. That feels more like autocratic decision making than anything else.

        • Distec says:

          What business do you work in where you can threaten to kill the person selling your product and they should respect that relationship despite “personal differences?”

          A company like Valve (which is ultimately run by PEOPLE) is well within their rights to issue a punitive response. That Valve clearly has the power in this dynamic makes his outburst even more stupid. Not disturbing, alarming, or frightening. Just straight fucking stupid.

          I do sometimes roll my eyes at demands for professional etiquette, but can you imagine this scenario playing out the same way if it was addressed in a calm, collected manner? I can’t. And if Gabe Newell had his jimmies rustled by that tweet, so be it.

          I don’t see who else was hurt by this, except the developer’s other half. If I were him, I could be irritated with Valve. I’d be more pissed at my co-worker with the big mouth. Adults doing business don’t talk this way.

          • karrotman says:

            But then, he is PEOPLE too, and you cant expect everyone to be able to hold in their anger when Steam costs them a publishing deal and mislabels their product. All he wanted to do was make a game and sell it through Steam, and Steam made it difficult. Let me stress, i think the death threat was stupid, but i also feel strongly that he should not have had to go through so much trouble in releasing his game.

          • Distec says:

            I expect him to resolve his issue with Valve and Steam. An incredibly toxic and incredibly public rant in which you casually mention that you’ll kill somebody (regardless of serious intent or lack thereof) poisons that communication.

            I don’t make games and I haven’t tried to get any on Steam, so I can’t speak to its difficulties. He very well could have been justifiably irritated with them. But there’s a way to go around those things to get them resolved, and he really screwed the pooch on that front. If there’s a lesson to take from this, it’s not about how Steam needs to improve. It’s that retreating to social media so you can vent your anger unfiltered for everybody to see is a bad idea. If I went home and viciously, openly tweeted about how I hated one of my professional colleagues for “screwing me over”, I’d expect to be promptly fired or removed from that relationship if it was found.

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      Why not have a discussion on how all this happened because Valve has way too much power in this industry

      Explain how Microsoft just paid Notch twenty bajillion US dollars for Minecraft taking the above quoted sentence into account. After you’re done with that explain all the gazillions Blizzard are swimming in. And then when you’re finished with that have a go at explaining Riot Games.

      Look at all the fucks Notch gives.

      • Emeraude says:

        That kinda like saying that Radiohead existing means the plight of all small artists in dealing with the music industry doesn’t exist.

      • BurningPet says:

        While i don’t agree with the notion that all of this happened because of Valve dominance or importance, i also extremely disagree with claims that try to suggest it is reasonable to expect to succeed outside steam, especially for indies.

        Blizzard started when there wasn’t digital distribution. the equivalent comparison would be to try and imagine Blizzard succeeding without any of the major retail stores selling their games. now days they can sell via battle.net, but that’s just because they had major retailers featuring them in the first place and billions spent on marketing so far.

        Riot games are a talented bunch, extremely talented. but they managed to hit a very unique position by bringing the first F2P Dota like game into the market. anyone who followed Dota knew it had millions upon millions of players. the question is not how Riot succeeded, its how Blizzard didn’t make League of Legends before Riot. also, riot had secured a very early investment from tencent which allowed them to spend lots of money on development and marketing (tens to hundreds of millions). Riot are not indie, they have a company bigger than facebook behind them.

        Notch/Minecraft was an utterly unique phenomena that he himself couldn’t reproduce, even with all his money, huge fan base, marketing budgets and the gigantic exposure he got from the media. not to say he is not talented, but i don’t think that his success can be made an example.

        It is possible to succeed as an indie dev without Steam, its just extremely unlikely.

        • Distec says:

          “It is possible to succeed as an indie dev without Steam, its just extremely unlikely.”

          Isn’t this potentially true even in a world without Steam?

          • gi_ty says:

            Seriously, are indie authors all worried about the dominance of Amazon? No they’re fucking glad they have a convenient platform at all! Sure it sucks but it beats the hell out of fighting to get noticed by a publishing house. Quality may be lower for a lot as a result but prices are lower which has the effect of lowering expectations. Valve is in the same spot with their store. They earned their position to be the preferred outlet and they are solely responsible for more indie success stories than anyone else. There is a reason for Steams dominance and that is precisely because of the success they have had with game makers not in spite of it.

          • BurningPet says:

            Very much so. now imagine doing so in a world with steam, without selling your game on steam.

          • gi_ty says:

            I don’t follow the logic there. How can I be concerned about the dominance of a company that created the ecosystem almost by themselves, provided the best platform for such, and then proceeded to remove all barriers to entry on said platform other than don’t threaten to kill our employees. That seems like a pretty meritocratic system overall certainly more amicable and lenient than exists in any other industry.

          • Distec says:

            I just feel like it’s a world of tough shit for indies regardless. It’s a little trendy these days to blame Steam’s discoverability, bottlenecking, ubiquity, or “incompetence” for smaller titles not hitting it big. But not too long ago there wasn’t even an indie game market like the one you see today. There were virtually zero of these mythical indie success stories.

            I understand it can be challenging to obtain success when your game is not on Steam. I’d argue that it was moreso one when Steam didn’t even exist. The difficulties of being an indie are often inherent with that position; you’re small and it’s hard to get noticed unless you have something very special or are lucky. What could Steam, or the dissolution of such a system, possibly do to remedy that?

            Also (and this is not a response to anything in particular you’ve said) if we grant that being on Steam is a key requirement for success, all the more reason not to shit-talk it when your game is in the pipe. Also, maybe you need to plan your development around that reality. If your game is not financially viable without Steam, and you don’t think you can get it onto Valve’s platform, then maybe that’s just a game that’s not going to be made. That probably sucks far harder than I can imagine, but that’s true for so many mediums. Not everybody’s gonna be a winner.

          • BurningPet says:

            Distec – that’s interesting. if i get you right, you basically say that without a centralized platform like steam, people would have bought less indie games? or less people would have bought indie games? could very well be. i wonder if desura revenues went down after steam went heavy into indies. or even if it didn’t go down, a halt to growth could also indicate that steam might have just drawn costumers to it, not created new ones.

            Although, i tend to agree and think steam “created” more new costumers than drawn existing costumers from other services.

    • Shuck says:

      “how all this happened because Valve has way too much power in this industry”
      THAT’S not why it happened. It happened because the developer is an a-hole who thinks it’s acceptable to make death-threats against people online. The lack of maturity/mental stability demonstrated was going to torpedo his success at some point anyways (and from what I’m reading, I’m surprised it hadn’t already). Also, he seems to have been basing his model for how to succeed on a completely erroneous idea of how Steam works these days. Things have changed since the indie explosion. Getting on the front-page doesn’t guarantee anything because being on Steam isn’t the ticket to success it once was. You get sales by having a successful marketing effort that drives people to your Steam page. If he was counting on Steam doing the marketing for him, he was screwed anyways.

      • Emeraude says:

        Interestingly, that’s not why it happened, but it is how it happened. Valve has the power to do it and it did.

        Just change context: rewind a few years before digital games became a thing. The same idiot made a public recorded death threat to the head of Gamestop. His game is removed from the shelf of the company. Idiot game dev collapses.

        You wouldn’t say that it didn’t happen because Gamestop had the market on hold – that was true. Which doesn’t mean that it wouldn’t have been deserved.

        I wonder what the exact legal framing happens to be for that situation.

    • eggy toast says:

      “All this happened” because the guy who made the game is a petulant man child. He always has been and it hasn’t been a secret.

      In this case, instead of pouring his impotent nerd rage out on someone on the Steam message boards or online chat where he promotes the game, he did it on Twitter to the guy who owns the store he has a display window in.

      Blaming Valve for being the biggest store, or even talking about that aspect of things is a total red herring misdirection by a petulant child who wants to weasel his way back into getting money out of people he openly despises.

      • karrotman says:

        After the death threat, the issue that I’m seeing here is that the only way he can actually make money in this industry is by weaseling it out of people he openly despises.

        • subedii says:

          So what exactly is stopping him from selling his game on GOG.com? Or Origin (they do plenty of indie and 3rd party games)?

          Other than his reputation I mean?

          • Philomelle says:

            Mostly the parts where GOG actually has a review process and Paranautical Activity feels like it was made by foot.

          • Klatu says:

            Origin sells indie games now?

        • Shuck says:

          “the only way he can actually make money in this industry”
          Well a) that’s not true, there are certainly ways of successfully selling games online that don’t involve Steam at any point, as Notch can attest, but also b) being on Steam, and being on Steam’s front page are no longer the guarantees of success that this guy seems to think they are, anyways. Ironically the notoriety he gets from this could give him more sales than if he had been hidden away on Steam with no marketing plan.

        • Gargenville says:

          Soo basically what you’re saying is being an indie dev is just like any other job?

    • Premium User Badge

      Wisq says:

      I think there’s a time and a place for a discussion of Valve’s relative dominance in digital distribution of games. But I don’t think this is a reasonable instigator of that discussion. (Not unlike how I don’t think that, say, one jilted boyfriend’s patently false accusations are a reasonable instigator of a widespread investigation into, say, games journalism ethics.)

    • Premium User Badge

      JiminyJickers says:

      I’d be a happier person if i didn’t play video games.

      No offence, but the solution is staring you in the face.

    • LacSlyer says:

      The problem is too many developers think the way that you suggest is so necessary – that they need Steam. When what they really need is a good game. Word of mouth can easily do more for indie games than Steam ever will, it’s just a platform, one of many now, that provides that game. Thinking that Steam is so necessary for these indie developers is faulty logic, because successful games are successful because they’re good games, not because they’re on Steam.

  33. Darth Gangrel says:

    You can’t write Twitter without “twit”, but that doesn’t mean you can act like one on that platform. I expect this kind of behavior from angry anonymous internet nerds, but coming from a developer on Twitter is just recklessly stupid.

  34. Megazell says:

    So many better ways to handle this and instead he went “full retard.”

  35. LogicalDash says:

    For a similar game that’s still on Steam and whose developer is less shithead, consider Fancy Skulls (covered by RPS previously).

  36. lizzardborn says:

    I always get annoyed, when someone pretends to take threats made over the internet, as something else other than background noise.

    And while I think this is just an amusing muscle flexing from Valve, I wonder how the old media will spin something similar when they are digital ignoramuses.

    • Gargenville says:

      Yeah but this wasn’t a ‘we shut down five Ikeas for the weekend because someone twooted an anonymous bomb threat’ type overreaction. This was someone they were in business with publicly making a death threat and the reaction was ‘wow we’re done dealing with you good luck on Desura shitlord’.

  37. Blue Suede Moose says:

    Maybe he thought that by making a Death Threat, Gabe would have an increased chance of dropping an Epic Rune.

  38. dingbat91 says:

    The only time a death threat is a good idea in any way is if your doing it to an Uruk chieftain in Shadows of Mordor.

    • Emeraude says:

      No, the only time a death threat happens to be a good idea is when you’re so much more powerful than the victim that he or she can do nothing but cower at the threat.
      And in those cases don’t make it public – unless you happen to be a head of state, then the gloves are of, and you just need to be formal about it.

  39. WebFusion says:

    In the end, it all boils down to professionalism.

    Had he been professional, and contacted Valve to fix the problem (which they did, by the way, before he ranted those childish things), they no doubt would have made it right, and probably given him a featured spot for a time to make up for the mistake.

    Instead, he acted like the typical entitled 20 year old when things didn’t go exactly his way, and threw a very public temper tantrum. He more than earned what he got.

    The real tragedy here is how his mouth fucked over his partner – I’m sure he’s very sorry he ever met this stooge at this point.

    At any rate, we’ve all put our foot in our mouths when we were kids, and we’ve all had to live with the consequences. Take it as a life lesson, start a new company, and move on.

    • Lusketrollet says:

      Perhaps you shouldn’t use your own old age as something to brag about?

    • Premium User Badge

      JiminyJickers says:

      Exactly right, if he didn’t go ape on the internet, everything would be fine. He could have thrown a tantrum in his house and smashed all his furniture and he would be fine, albeit a bit nuts.

  40. Lusketrollet says:

    What a massive, fundamental display of incompetence on part of Valve. I ‘m almost tempted to buy the guy’s game from his website just to spite them.

    • subedii says:

      It’s not incompetence.

      I cannot think of ANY company I’ve EVER worked for where I could publicly threaten members of another company we’re working with (really, don’t care how supposedly aggravating, no matter how miserable I am) and still expect to have my job in the morning.

      And frankly, they would be fully justified in firing my arse for doing so, if only to satisfy the partner / client, even if, IF they somehow (via whatever crazy-moon logic) viewed my outburst as in any way justifiable or understandable (hint: they wouldn’t).

      HE is his own company, and his own PR, and HE needs to think things through before spouting this kind of crap. It sucks that his partner gets it as well, but that’s also something he should have understood when he undertook to say what he did in his capacity as the company head.

    • Premium User Badge

      JiminyJickers says:

      How about you tweet to your boss or a business partner that they are incompetent #$@$ and threaten to kill them. Doesn’t matter if you think you are using sarcasm or joking, I don’t think you would have a job/business relationship very long.

      This guy acted like a complete idiot and got what he deserved. I can’t see how Valve is anyway to blame for this. They made a small mistake, which they fixed soon afterwards, but they guy went nuts instead of acting with a hint of professionalism. So he lost his business deal with Valve.

  41. Michael Fogg says:

    Overreaction from Steam IMHO. Be demanding of self, lenient to others is what I go by (in matters of not-life-or-death), people who act out stupidly because of emotions should be forgiven. And everybody is going all Stern Daddy on him. I hope he apologises and Steam puts the game back up.

    • Chaoslord AJ says:

      Don’t agree with the emotion part. If someone beats me up on the street should he be more easily forgiven if he was angry? Same with say drinking alcohol.
      Business contracts were cancelled for less – if one party behaves less than professional as it was the case here.
      Game devs should meet the same standards as in other business (like finishing a EA product comes to mind) – they are not rockstars or spoiled teens.

      Alas it means for me spending 20 minutes to write a bad review was in vain…

    • vorador says:

      The point is, Valve is not his father/mother. If you have business partner and a slight screwup by the other part has you screaming madly at them and spewing death threats, the other part doesn’t have to smile and bend over. They’re perfectly entitled to cut off their business relationship, and even a court would agree with them.

    • Michael Fogg says:

      Yeah yeah, Unprofessional Behaviour is bad, Andrew Ryan would surely disapprove. But indie devs tend to be artsy, slightly narcisstic types who often have this sort of breakdowns, which can be safely ignored unless some actual harm is done.

      On the other hand it’s definitely right of Valve to take this opportunity to denounce online threats, which seem to fly around a lot lately.

      • Sleepymatt says:

        Michael:

        “Be demanding of self, lenient to others is what I go by (in matters of not-life-or-death)”

        Surely you should also expect this attitude from Maulfield if you are going to expect it from Valve? Just being an “artsy, slightly narcissistic type” doesn’t buy him a free pass. I agree, the chance of this being a real death threat was tiny, but regardless, there was a small chance this was actually “life-or-death” so why take the chance on ignoring it given the actual harm would potentially be so serious?

        Personally I think Valve were sick of dealing with his shit and I can’t blame them – while undeniably they had made mistakes of their own dealing with him, they shouldn’t have to put up with immature ranting, let alone death threats, ‘real’ or not. I can’t fault their reaction.

      • Ojetor says:

        Being an “artsy type” is no excuse for having public screaming meltdowns insulting business partners. The fact that people want to excuse this guy is mindboggling. There is no other industry where this would be considered even remotely close to acceptable.

      • Dances to Podcasts says:

        Is that’s what this is, then fully embrace it. If you want to be Van Gogh, then cut off that ear and follow your vision wherever it leads.

        (Don’t think that’s this guy, though.)

    • montorsi says:

      I’m sorry, why should Valve want to do business with this person?

      If you read his twitter history this is not exactly a shocking development. He should go crawl back under his rock until he’s ready to be a part of civilized society.

    • Premium User Badge

      JiminyJickers says:

      I don’t think ending a business relationship with someone that spewed that over Twitter is an overreaction. Valve could have called the police over this and got him arrested and charged, that could possibly be seen as an overreaction, but I wouldn’t think so even then.

  42. Chaoslord AJ says:

    Also this seems like a political statement regarding the issue “death threats in gaming” and on twitter.

    There is a line and it doesn’t matter if the target is a feminist or golden gabe.
    Threatening people from afar the cable and coercing them to certain behavior counts as talking to them in person and should be punished.

  43. vorador says:

    Welp. Got this from a Humble Bundle and thought it was nice. Didn’t know the dev was a shithead.

    I say good riddance. He acted like a spoiled brat and spelled both vitriol and death threats over a labeling mistake that was easily and promptly fixed.

  44. Malibu Stacey says:

    Now he’s trying to play the victim (and still failing, badly) -> link to codeavarice.com

  45. golem09 says:

    “there was no way “to make a living in this industry without steam.” ”

    correction: There is no way to make a living in this industry without common sense.

  46. tumbleworld says:

    This story pleases me.

  47. tridash says:

    #pearlygate

  48. Wedge says:

    The best solution for everyone is to turn off the Twitter. Forever.

  49. ImissCommonSense says:

    Another gamer out to prove that they are mature adults, capable of reason. How do they set out to prove it? They send out death threats.

    Yeah. That will prove how mature gamers are. Threatening to kill people is totally the mature way of doing things.

    I’m starting to think that Jack Thompson was right. Video games clearly damages the minds of some immature adult-children, and we need to figure out a way of finding these people, so we can remove them from the community.

    Weeding out the people who say “thank you for publishing our game” with the phrase “I’m going to kill you.” seems like a good place to start.

  50. PoLLeNSKi says:

    On the plus side he got his game onto the front page of RPS…

    No such thing as bad publicity?

    • epeternally says:

      No such thing as PC gamers who are going to buy the game not on Steam. If they get back to being able to sell it on the dominant platform then yeah, even this bad publicity may boost their sales, but assuming that they don’t it would be hard for it to help them since their product is, for all meaningful purposes, unavailable for sale.