Steam has dropped Paranautical Activity, one of the numerous indie games on the platform after one of the developers, Mike Maulbeck tweeted a death threat to Gabe Newell. It seems that Maulbeck was furious that Paranautical Activity was still listed as an Early Access title when it fact it had been reclassified as a full release.
He has since posted a statement on the Code Avarice website stating that he has sold off his half of the company and won’t earn anything from the sales of the game.
Maulbeck wrote in his resignation announcement:
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.
“I’m really, deeply sorry that my short sighted, hot tempered actions resulted in not only my own dreams and aspirations being destroyed, but those of the entire team I worked with. I’m sorry that my statements made Valve and/or Gabe uncomfortable and upset (rightfully so),” he continued. “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.”
Travis Pfenning, who now owns Code Avarice, called the situation “ludicrous and did not agree with the situation. He posted this tweet:
My partner, has left the company I do not agree with this. We all make mistakes. This whole thing is ludicrous. http://t.co/jewxsal1cr
— Master Vallisca (@Vallisca3x3x3) October 21, 2014
Considering that Twitter was the reason this mess started in my opinion nobody should voice complaints (or worse, threats) on social media as that will just air your dirty laundry in public.
The studio has had no further contact with Valve. It is unknown if the decision of Mike Maulbeck to resign will do anything to get the game back on Steam. To save this game from failure, the studio will now focus their efforts on a console release. Paranautical Activity is still available on other platforms, like IndieGameStand and Desura, though without the exposure from Steam one can only wonder how many copies they can sell.