Not Even Gabe Newell Death Threats Can Keep This Game Off Steam

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You might remember that roguelike FPS Paranautical Activity was yanked—with a large cane of plus 12 unceremoniousness—from Steam after its developer threatened to kill Valve head Gabe Newell. Now, amazingly, it's back. I imagine it helps that the dev in question is no longer involved.


It all went down after Valve accidentally mis-classified the finished game as an Early Access product, leading developer Mike Maulbeck to go on a Twitter tirade. After some prodding from others on the service, he angrily wrote (and quickly deleted) a tweet that read, "I am going to kill Gabe Newell. He is going to die." Obviously not the smartest thing to do when you're an indie dev scrambling for any crumb that might be jostled loose from Newell's beard. Maulbeck immediately regretted his flippant comment, but the damage was already done.

Late last year Maulbeck quit his company, Code Avarice, in penance... only to rejoin it weeks later. This time, however, Maulbeck and Paranautical Activity have finally parted ways for real. The game has been purchased wholesale by another company called Digerati Distribution, and they're now selling it on Steam as Paranautical Activity: Deluxe Atonement Edition.

Eurogamer got in touch with Digerati to find out if Valve was hesitant to accept the game back into Steam's mighty embrace—the endless game expanse, the Gabefinity—after all that's happened, and it doesn't sound like there was much trouble. A Digerati rep said, "No, [there wasn't resistance on Valve's end] at all. It involved a number of discussions but they were really responsive." They added that it only took about four weeks to get everything settled.

So that's that, then. The moral of the story? Don't bite and/or shoot off death threats at the hand that feeds unless you're willing to sell your game and start from scratch. Or something. Now there's only one question left: is Paranautical Activity any good?


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