ShareThis Page
Technology

School-shooter video game pulled from sale amid national outrage

Jacob Tierney
| Wednesday, May 30, 2018, 11:36 a.m.
A screenshot from 'Active Shooter,' a controversial video game that promised to pit player-controlled SWAT officers against a player-controlled school shooter. The game was pulled from sale by Steam, a large online retailer.
A screenshot from 'Active Shooter,' a controversial video game that promised to pit player-controlled SWAT officers against a player-controlled school shooter. The game was pulled from sale by Steam, a large online retailer.

A video game that promised to put players in the role of a school shooter has been pulled from sale before its release.

"Active Shooter" generated national controversy since it was announced by Acid Publishing Group last week.

The multiplayer game pitted player-controlled SWAT team members against a player-controlled school shooter, who is tasked with gunning down their opponents and computer-controlled civilians.

It was set to be released June 6 on Steam, the largest online platform for downloadable PC games.

Valve Corporation, which owns Steam, announced Tuesday the game would be pulled from its store.While investigating the game, Valve said one of its creators had been banned from Steam before.

"This developer and publisher is, in fact, a person calling himself Ata Berdiyev, who had previously been removed last fall," the company said in a statement to the New York Times , USA Today and other media outlets. "Ata is a troll, with a history of customer abuse, publishing copyrighted material, and user review manipulation."

Berdiyev did not respond to requests for comment from the New York Times or other outlets, but on Twitter he disputed Valve's accusation. He tweeted the Seattle Times to say he is the developer's friend, but did not make the game.

In a blog post on Steam last week, before the game was yanked, Acid Publishing Group said it was considering removing the school-shooting aspect from the game, focusing instead on creating a "dynamic SWAT simulator."

"This game does not promote any sort of violence, especially any sort of mass shooting," the post said.

It is unknown whether Acid will publish the game on its own, without going through Steam.

Many were outraged by the game, including Fred Guttenberg, the father of Jaime Guttenberg, killed in February's school shooting in Parkland, Florida. Guttenberg said on Twitter the game "may be one of the worst" things he's seen in response to the shooting.

Florida Sen. Bill Nelson took to Twitter to call the game "inexcusable."

More than 200,000 people supported a change.org petition calling for Valve to ban the game.

In its statement to media outlets, Valve said it may update the way it evaluates games like "Active Shooter."

"The broader conversation about Steam's content policies is one we'll be addressing soon," the company said.

Jacob Tierney is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-836-6646, jtierney@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Soolseem.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me