School Shooting Simulator Pulled From Steam After Massive Backlash

Active Shooter

Some games just shouldn't exist. That's not an easy thing to say considering what they usually have to offer, but there are just some games that really don't seem to carry the right message or offer any comfort in playing.

Among them is Active Shooter, a new game from Acid Publishing that was originally set to release on the Steam service in early June but was available to some already. In the game the player is asked to kill police officers and civilians (including children) as they work their way through a school with an assault rifle. Why they're doing so isn't fully explained.

Just by reading the description alone, you can tell that Active Shooter doesn't sound appealing. In fact, with all the school shootings that have taken place over the past few months, it just doesn't feel right to be playing it. And apparently, Valve agrees.

Deadline has recently reported that, following heavy criticism of the game by the gaming community and various shooting survivors, Valve will be pulling Active Shooter from its service, assuring it never gets a full release.

The company made the following statement regarding the game:

"We have removed the developer Revived Games and publisher ACID from Steam.

This developer and publisher is, in fact, a person calling himself Ata Berdiyev, who had previously been removed last fall when he was operating as '[bc]Interactive' and 'Elusive Team'. Ata is a troll, with a history of customer abuse, publishing copyrighted material, and user review manipulation. His subsequent return under new business names was a fact that came to light as we investigated the controversy around his upcoming title. We are not going to do business with people who act like this towards our customers or Valve.

The broader conversation about Steam's content policies is one that we'll be addressing soon."

Stacie Armentrout, a parent whose family survived the Las Vegas shooting last October, noted, "We applaud Valve for acting so quickly to remove this game and to realize how wrong and irresponsible it was."

The game had received a heavy amount of controversy without a release, even though it carried a warning noting, "Please do not take any of this seriously. This is only meant to be the simulation and nothing else. If you feel like hurting someone or people around you, please seek help from local psychiatrists or dial 911 (or applicable). Thank you."

Before the game's removal, Armentrout noted, "As a parent, this so-called 'game' is disturbing and disgusting. Violence in TV shows, films, and in video games can affect our children. It is not just the violence in (TV, film, & gaming) that can affect our children it is also the behaviors and language they witness. With my own children I have seen behavioral changes after watching too many shows that allow disrespect of their elders, for example. Stop that show and the behavior disappears. While I understand free speech, it is also our duty to use that freedom properly and for the betterment of all. We need to teach our children respect, kindness, tolerance, and love for all. This so-called 'game' does nothing to promote good solid core values in our youth and society. It, in fact, promotes and glorifies killing your fellow human."

A Change.org petition for the game went up recently and garnered over 100,000 signatures before the game ended up being removed.

The publisher of the game hasn't said anything. And at this stage, they likely won't.

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We recently did a search for the game on the Steam storefront and found nothing, so chances are Valve has already removed it. Good on them.

(Hat tip to Deadline for the details!)