Paranautical Activity removed from Steam following developer outburst


Voxel-based rogue-like shooter Paranautical Activity has been removed from Steam, following an online outburst by its creator Mike Maulbeck. The developer reportedly made death threats to Gabe Newell after Steam failed to update Paranautical Activity from an Early Access title to a full game in a timely fashion.

The alleged death threat has since been deleted, though Maulbeck has since admitted that posting the deleted Tweet was wrong.

People telling me it's fucking stupid to say I wanna kill gabe. Can I set up a "no shit" autoresponse on twitter?

— Mike Murderbeck (@SpooderW) October 20, 2014

Other Tweets remain where Maulbeck describes Steam as an "incompetent piece of fucking shit" and a "monopoly", among other things. "It's just not possible to make a living in this industry without Steam," Maulbeck wrote, "so I'm just out."

Speaking to Polygon, Maulbeck reiterated that he regrets the outburst. "I have since obviously replied to them saying that I didn't mean what I said and pleaded that they consider the monopoly they have on the PC market before totally writing us off," he said, "but let's be real. If they took the game off the store, they're fuckin sure about their decision. There's probably nothing to be done."

Valve's Doug Lombardi confirmed the news to Polygon. "Yes, we have removed the game's sales page and ceased relations with the developer after he threatened to kill one of our employees."

Paranautical Activity is still available on Desura and the Humble Store, though neither come close to the effectiveness of Steam. "Don't worry guys, everything is gonna be OK, we sold TWELVE copies on non-steam platforms today," Maulbeck later Tweeted.

"We were selling more than that a minute on Steam."

Shaun Prescott

Shaun Prescott is the Australian editor of PC Gamer. With over ten years experience covering the games industry, his work has appeared on GamesRadar+, TechRadar, The Guardian, PLAY Magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald, and more. Specific interests include indie games, obscure Metroidvanias, speedrunning, experimental games and FPSs. He thinks Lulu by Metallica and Lou Reed is an all-time classic that will receive its due critical reappraisal one day.