School-shooting FPS removed from Steam, but not because of its content

Active Shooter

Valve has removed controversial FPS Active Shooter from Steam, along with the entire catalogue of its developer and publisher. The game, which tasked players with killing civilians and police officers within a school environment, drew particular ire due to its release in the aftermath of the school shootings in Santa Fe, Texas and Parkland, Florida.

Valve has investigated and removed the game from sale, as well as every other title by its developer, Revived Games, and its publisher, Acid. However, despite pressure from anti-gun violence charities, Valve say the reason for their removal of the game is not directly tied to its content.

Active Shooter shares a similar setting with the US Army’s game designed to train teachers caught in school shootings, yet its intentions are in no way as noble. And indeed, Valve told Kotaku that it was the developer’s past action, not the game’s content itself, that saw Active Shooter removed from Steam. In fact, the dev had been previously banned from the platform in Autumn 2017, while operating under a different name.

The statement explains that the developer, who goes by the name of Ata Berdiyev, has “a history of customer abuse, publishing copyrighted material, and user review manipulation.” Valve also stated that “we are not going to do business with people who act like this towards our customers.”

Importantly, that means that Berdiyev and his games were not pulled as a direct result of the controversy around Active Shooter, though Valve did realise his identity while investigating the game. Valve’s statement to Kotaku, however, does state that it’s aware of the conversation around the games it allows on Steam, and plans to address it soon.