Removing Active Shooter Isn’t The Victory Many Think
Developers are always dreaming up new game concepts, sometimes these concepts are great other times they cross a line. Active Shooter is the perfect example of a game concept that crosses the line. In fact, an argument could be made that the premise of Active Shooter didn’t just cross the line it left the line behind. As the game was getting ready to release on Steam, fate intervened and ensured that the game wouldn’t be released.
Valve pulled Active Shooter from Steam, but not for the reason you think
When news of the impending release of Active Shooter surface, there was understandable outrage. For those of you that don’t know the game allows you to take on the role of either a shooter or S.W.A.T. team member, at the scene of a mass shooting.
The game naturally drew ire from advocate groups and victim families from real-life mass shootings. This outrage even led to the creation of a petition on change.org. Amid this outcry, the games store page on Steam was taken down. While critics cheer for the game’s removal and tout their victory, they’re all missing a little important detail. Which you can see the statement from Valve below.
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”. 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.
In short what the above quote means is that Active Shooter wasn’t removed from Steam because of the insensitive nature of the game’s content. It was instead removed because the developer was on Steam’s naughty list. Meaning this isn’t the moral victory that many are claiming it to be. That said the above quote states that the content policies of Steam will be addressed.
Sadly, if people feel these types of games can make money, then more titles like Active Shooter will be developed. In the future, they may find a platform friendlier then Steam to release them on. In truth as we video games move closer to an all-digital future, it will one day become impossible to prevent a title like this from being released.
While it’s easy to say that the game is in poor taste, there’s a bigger problem here. Steam has made it clear why the game was taken down. Despite that many groups are taking credit for the takedown touting it as a moral victory. Which means the proverbial can has been kicked down the road on this issue.
Which means when this happens again one side is going to be sorely disappointed if the game isn’t taken down. Hopefully by then, Steam will have outlined a new content policy. I can’t help but feel that this isn’t a victory for anyone, which will only spell trouble down the road.
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