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Dev who threatened to kill Gabe Newell returns to his studio

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Paranautical Activity

Mike Maulbeck drew the worst possible kind of attention to himself and his game, Paranautical Activity, when he threatened to kill Gabe Newell last month followed a botched launch on Steam. That, naturally, led to the game being dropped from Steam entirely—serious or not, you can't be threatening to murder the Gaben—and shortly thereafter, Maulbeck resigned from Code Avarice, the studio he'd co-founded with Travis Pfenning. But now he's back.

"First off, Mike is back. This is probably not hugely surprising to some of you, but Mike couldn't commit to his decision to leave Code Avarice," the studio revealed last week. "Travis publicly denounced his departure, and in the weeks following his official stepping down Mike had second thoughts. Looking for a new source of income was extremely overwhelming and when it finally came time to put pen to paper, Mike and Travis agreed the best thing to do would be to have Mike return to Code Avarice."

The studio also announced that it's "taking steps to make Code Avarice more about the games and less about the people making them." To that end, an official Code Avarice Twitter account has been created (previously, tweets came from either Maulbeck's or Pfenning's personal accounts) and all blog posts will be attributed to the studio, rather than an individual developer. It also confirmed the development of its next project, Spinal Destination, which it described as "Left 4 Dead meets Timesplitters meets Painkiller."

Maulbeck said when he announced his resignation that he hoped it would open the door for Paranautical Activity's return to Steam. Unfortunately for Code Avarice, it's still not there.

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.