Paranautical Activity developer steps down after threatening Gabe Newell

Paranautical Activity

Death threats are a pretty terrible way to blow off some steam, especially during a time when people are being chased out of the industry by them. But with Code Avarice’s Mike Maulbeck, who threatened Gabe Newell after his game, Paranautical Activity, was mislabeled as Early Access on Steam, the inverse has happened. 

Maulbeck’s outburst led to Paranautical Activity being removed from Steam, and in an apology written on the Code Avarice blog, the developer explains that he’s stepped down and will no longer have anything to do with either the game or the company. 

“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, and maybe even if we can’t see Paranautical Activity restored, at least future Code Avarice games may be allowed onto the platform,” writes Maulbeck. 

This is obviously the right thing to do, hopefully saving the team and anyone hoping to purchase the game on Steam from suffering from his mistake, but it does not look like Maulbeck has learned much from the experience. 

He says he’s “deeply sorry” about the dreams and aspirations of both his colleagues and himself being destroyed, and follows up with: “If I do continue to work in games it’ll be as an anonymous 1 of 1000 at some shitty corporation, not the most public figure of a single digit sized team.”

I’d suggest that a “shitty corporation” would be as enthusiastic about working with him as Valve was when he threatened Newell. 

If you’ve ever thought that PR training was a bit silly, remember that some people desperately need it. 

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Mountain_Man avatarFraser Brown avatarboniek83 avatarRowan the Roman avatarDog Pants avatar
Mountain_Man Avatar
729
3 Years ago

Seriously, you don't need PR training to know that you shouldn't make public death threats, or even private death threats. That's just good ol' fashioned common sense.

4
Fraser Brown Avatar
960
3 Years ago

That's really who PR training helps the most, then. People with no sense.

2
Rowan the Roman Avatar
70
3 Years ago

True but I would suggest that there is a line between not having common sense and throwing death threats at the CEO of the company running the service you are using to sell your game.

1
Mountain_Man Avatar
729
3 Years ago

If someone has no sense then I'm not sure what good training would do.

1
boniek83 Avatar
110
3 Years ago

Good lesson to be had here - never work with social rejects because they may very well destroy years of hard work. Assuming game is good imagine how much money they have just lost by not being on Steam. I would be so pissed if I was working for that guy. Pissed at myself of course for trusting this POS.

1
Rowan the Roman Avatar
70
3 Years ago

Depends on why they are a social reject. If it is because they are unusual that's no reason to push them away. If they are psychotic when corrected about anything probably should steer clear :P

1
Dog Pants Avatar
1388
3 Years ago

I think everyone's in agreement that this was stupid and inappropriate, but does treating the comment as a death threat not reduce the impact of the actual death threats that have been bandied about recently? I might be wrong, but I suspect Gabe didn't leave his house and go into hiding off the back of this. If he ever even read it I expect he, like the rest of us, just thought the guy was an arsehole.

1
Fraser Brown Avatar
960
3 Years ago

It's worth noting that Gabe is also one of the most influential figures in gaming and the head of a massive company, not an indie developer who gets harassed day in, day out.

So no, Gabe probably didn't leave his house and hide. But when you threaten to kill someone, even if you don't mean it, it's a death threat. You are saying "I am going to kill this person". And even though it clearly wasn't sincere, it was not a jovial "Oh man, I am going to kill you" said between friends.

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