‘Active Shooter’ video game pulled after huge backlash

Posted at 6:08 AM, May 30, 2018

(FOX ) -- A game developer and digital distribution company has announced, after facing harsh criticism, that it will pull a video game that allows players to simulate a school shooter.

Valve Inc. announced Tuesday it would pull “Active Shooter” from its online gaming platform, Steam, after learning that the game’s publisher and developer has a “history of customer abuse” that was uncovered as a result of the controversy surrounding the game, Variety and other news outlets reported.

“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,'” Valve said. “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.”

Deadline reported that the publisher, Acid Publishing, is based out of Moscow.

The game, which originally was set to be released June 6, caused a wave of backlash because it allowed players to simulate a school shooting by taking the role of the shooter.

“Only in ‘Active Shooter’, you will be able to pick the role of an Elite S.W.A.T team member or the actual shooter,” the game description on the website read. “Depending on the role, your objective might be to protect and extract or hunt and destroy.”

Players would be given “game stats” where they could see how many civilians and police officers were killed.

The release of the game came just weeks after investigators said 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis entered Santa Fe High School in Texas, killing 10 people and wounding 10 others.

Infer Trust, an anti-gun violence organization, told the BBC the game is “in very bad taste.”

Ryan Petty, the father of Alaina Petty who was killed in the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, took to social media to slam the game crossing the line.

Valve said in its statement it would address the platform’s “content polices” soon.