Valve has removed a controversial title that tasks players with killing as many civilians and cops as possible in a school environment.
Active Shooter was released on Steam last week and quickly provoked an outcry due to the insensitive content - particularly given that it arrived during the aftermath of the recent school shooting in Texas. Anti-gun violent charity The Infer Trust demanded its removal.
Valve has investigated the title and has indeed removed it from the Steam Store, along with every other title by its developer Revived Games and publisher Acid, Kotaku reports. However, the reasons for this purge are not quite what you would hope.
A Valve representative told Kotaku the developer behind Active Shooter had been identified as Ata Berdiyev, a creator described as a "troll" with "a history of customer abuse, publishing copyrighted material, and user review manipulation."
In fact, Berdiyev previously had his work removed from Steam late last year, when he was operating under the guise of [bc]Interactive and Elusive Team.
"We are not going to do business with people who act like this towards our customers or Valve," the spokesperson said.
The implication here is that it's Berdiyev's abuse of Steam that has prompted his latest ban rather than the controversial nature of Active Shooter. We've previously written about how little attention Valve appears to be paying to the content of both its store and its community, and it sounds like that isn't about to change any time soon.
The spokesperon was more optimistic, promising: "The broader conversation about Steam's content policies is one that we'll be addressing soon."
Active Shooter is the latest in a worryingly long line of controversial titles to be made available through Steam. Its users can still purchase Hatred, another titles that glorifies mass shootings, and House Party, a game that reportedly enables players to rape characters - despite the fact that the latter was reportedly removed.
Hopefully, the "broader conversation" happens soon, although given the low barriers to self-publishing content on Steam, it's unlikely to have any significant impact on the store in the short term.