Gabe Newell, Owner of Steam

This article is meant to encourage discussion below in the comments. 

See this sexy fella over to the left? Yeah, the one with the confident fist pump and motivational speaker action going on? That’s Gabe Newell, co-founder of Steam. Over all Newell is a highly successful business man, just tipping half a century old and also has a few BAFTA’s under his belt.

Yet this story isn’t really about Gabe Newell. This story is about the Indie Developer Mike Maulbeck and as many instances in social media has taught us, it only takes one tweet to destroy someone. So what happened is Mike Maulbeck’s game, Paranautical Activity was released on Steam. It had a front page highlight spot and everything along with other Halloween themed indie-titles but there was a mistake in how it was listed. It was marked as Early Access, thus leading players to potentially believe it was not completed when in fact it was. I’ll let you decide if you feel the actions that were taken by Steam were justified or not given how Maulbeck expressed his concern about this error.

I mean, Maulbeck has a point right? You only get that first impression to thousands of gamers once, and it was an incorrect one. Thousands of eyeballs could have glanced over it because of that Early Access stamp. It really is a big deal that few of us can really appreciate; putting all that hard work in and those few minutes where your game is going to get the most spotlight ruined by mislabeling. …However, does it justify threatening to murder the creator of steam?


Boom. The game was removed from steam by Value and the rest of the games team appear to have kicked Maulbeck out in a last-ditch ever to salvage their reputation. Also known as damage control in the PR world. Personally I’m leaning towards the opinion that everyone in this case has over reacted, and that a few tweets shouldn’t crucify the entire project due to the words of one member of the team. Having your game banned from Steam is a death sentence in its own right. There are other venues, but none that will give you the same exposure that Steam will. On the other hand, a death threat is nothing to joke about and should never be made light of either.

Code Avarice is the name of the developer team behind the game, and the usually quiet co-founder has spoken up concerning this incident…

I want to issue a formal apology from Code Avarice to all of you, and the teams at Valve. Especially to Gabe Newell. I am the other Dev of Paranautical Activity and co owner of the Code Avarice studio. Most don’t know that I exist. I have been recently affected by my now (ex) partners lack of civil control and inability to understand that words have consequences. I do not condone what he said. I do not believe he was in anyway justified or entitled to represent our company in this way. I extend my hand to all of you in hopes that you can understand, that to err is human. We have all done it, at one time or another. This is not to say that what Mike said is acceptable. It most certainly is not… (Read More)

Do you think the game should remain removed from steam? Do you think Steam over reacted by removing it or that the poor PR decisions Maulbeck made justified the action? Please let us know below! If you feel the game should be reinstated on Steam, you can pop over and sign this petition and follow their new twitter account @CodeAvarice.