Valve has removed the game Active Shooter from Steam, amidst a load of backlash. The game, where players can portray a school shooter, was facing a wave of criticism ahead of its release. According to reports, the developer behind the game had a history of controversy.
“We have removed the developer Revived Games and publisher ACID from Steam. 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.’”
However, it seems that the developer has more than just that in their history. A Reddit thread was created last year about the developer. In it, it’s noted that the developer has a history of creating shady games. Furthermore, he allegedly flipped a number of assets to create games; his game Space Journey is apparently an asset flip of Alien Sky.
While Space Journey gained some traction, others didn’t. Games such as Fidget Spinner Simulator were low effort asset flips. It should be noted that Mr. Berdiyev used a number of different aliases when releasing the games. That would explain why he got away with them for so long. He also “developed” games such as Zucc Simulator, Tyde Pod Challenge, and White Power: Pure Voltage.
However, this wouldn’t have come to light had Active Shooter not gained as much controversy. In their statement to Motherboard, Valve called the developer a ‘troll.’ They also said that he had a bad history on Steam. The company alleges that he had a history of manipulating reviews and abusing customers. In their words:
“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.”
School Shooting Sim
Active Shooter was set to launch on June 6. Players could play as either a SWAT Team member or a school shooter. The release received controversy due to a number of recent high-profile school shootings across America. It’s because of this controversy that Valve began looking into the game in the first place. However, that doesn’t explain why a game about school shootings was set to make it onto Steam in the first place.
The developer took to the games since deleted Steam page to try to defend the game. In it, he said that he didn’t want to promote any type of violence. According to the developer, adding the school shooter role was a natural progression of development. In his words, via Eurogamer:
“Originally when this game started its course of the development, I have planned on having SWAT only based gameplayer [sic]. Then I thought about adding more gameplay to it by adding additional roles: of the shooter and the civilian. While I can see people’s anger and why this might be a bad idea for the game, I still feel like this topic should be left alone.”
Hopefully, the developer won’t be back on Steam anytime soon. However, given his track record, that seems unlikely. So far, Active Shooter looks like it’ll be no more.