Active Shooter, a video game that simulates a school shooting, has been pulled from Steam’s online store ahead of its June 6 release following condemnation from parents of children killed in the Parkland, Florida mass shooting in February.
Developer Revived Games and publisher Acid have also been banned from the platform by Steam owner Valve Corporation, which commented, “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.”
The first-person shooter allowed users to assume the role of a SWAT member trying to prevent the shooting, a civilian trying to escape, or the actual shooter. Its release provoked a wave of criticism – Parkland gun control activist Emma Gonzalez called for Valve to “shut down this shovelware,” and parents of the victims followed suit, condemning the game as “disgusting.”
Ryan Petty, whose 14-year-old daughter Alaina died in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, called the game “despicable” and asked for people to petition against Valve.
In a Facebook statement, Petty wrote, “It’s disgusting that Valve Corp. is trying to profit from the glamorization of tragedies affecting our schools across the country […] Keeping our kids safe is a real issue affecting our communities and is in no way a ‘game.’”
Another parent, Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime also died in the shooting, urged users to boycott the game.
Acid shared a clarification on the Steam Community forum, writing “this game does not promote any sort of violence, especially any soft of a mass shooting,” adding, “After receiving such high amount of critics and hate, I will more likely remove the shooter’s role in this game by the release, unless if it can be kept as it is right now.”
An online petition for Valve to ban the game has reached 196,000 signatures at time of publication.
Elsewhere, the studio behind ‘PUBG’ is suing ‘Fortnite’ maker Epic Games for copyright infringement. More on that here.