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Tweeting death threat at Valve doesn't work out well for  Paranautical Activity  developer

Tweeting death threat at Valve doesn't work out well for Paranautical Activity developer

October 21, 2014 | By Mike Rose

October 21, 2014 | By Mike Rose
More: Console/PC, Indie, Business/Marketing

It turns out that tweeting death threats to the co-founder of Valve is really not the best idea for a PC game developer, would you believe.

Mike Maulbeck, the dev behind Paranautical Activity, found himself frustrated when his Steam Early Access game received a full release, yet still showed up on the store as Early Access.

In a moment of anger, Maulbeck tweeted a series of slights directed at Valve, reports Polygon, calling the company incompetent and describing the platform as an "awful fucking monopoly."

He finished up by allegedly tweeting that he was going to "kill Gabe Newell," although this tweet was later deleted -- but not before someone at Valve spotted it.

Now Valve has removed the game from Steam, and terminated Maulbeck's account with the company. Valve's Doug Lombardi confirmed to Polygon that Paranautical Activity was removed in response to the death threat.

"This being a project I spent years of my life on, I was very frustrated by this mistake [Valve] made, so I tweeted a series of tweets calling them incompetent that eventually ended in me saying 'I swear I'm gonna fucking kill gabe' or something," Maulbeck admitted. "A statement I obviously didn't mean, but nonetheless was totally unacceptable and driven entirely by the heat of frustration I was feeling at the time."

Maulbeck hopes that he can convince Valve to let him back on the store, although he admits that the chances are now rather slim.

Paranautical Activity has been in the news before, when the developer claimed that it was rejected from Steam because it had an old Greenlight page for the title, and Valve "didn't want to send the message that indies can seek out publishers to bypass Steam Greenlight."

Update: Maulbeck has published his letter of resignation to the Code Avarice website.

"As a result of my actions, Paranautical Activity, a game made by 4 or 5 people depending on who you count as team members, was removed from Steam," wrote Maulbeck. "I feel is it my responsibility to step down from Code Avarice completely so that Steam has no reason to harbor any more ill will towards the company."

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