Valve Software removed a game that simulated school shootings, following a nationwide outcry to ban the title, and slammed the “troll” developer behind it.
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Developer Revived Games and publisher ACID were removed from its Steam platform after Valve found that “a person calling himself Ata Berdiyev” was behind the accounts. The company said in a statement that this person had been removed before and that he is “a troll, with a history of customer abuse, publishing copyrighted material, and user review manipulation.”
Valve found out that Berdiyev had returned to Steam as it looked into the controversy surrounding the game, which is called Active Shooter and lets players step into the shoes of SWAT team members or the shooters themselves, with another option coming to control civilians.
Here is the full statement from Valve:
This developer and publisher is, in fact, a person calling himself Ata Berdiyev, who had previously been removed last fall when he was operating as “[bc]Interactive” and “Elusive Team”. Ata is a troll, with a history of customer abuse, publishing copyrighted material, and user review manipulation. His subsequent return under new business names was a fact that came to light as we investigated the controversy around his upcoming title. We are not going to do business with people who act like this towards our customers or Valve.
The broader conversation about Steam’s content policies is one that we’ll be addressing soon.
As controversy over the game began to rise, the developer wrote a note on Steam saying “it has written to Valve and will likely remove the shooters role in this game by the release.” The developer wrote that the original plan for the game was to focus strictly on a SWAT simulator, and the decision to add the shooter and civilian roles was done to add more depth of play.
Valve’s Steam platform has become one of the biggest outlets for game publishers, with a reported 7,672 games released there in 2017 alone. Each game has its own storefront, and Valve reviews and approves those storefronts before developers can sell their games.