(UPI) — A video game that allows a player to be a shooter or member of a SWAT team was pulled from a digital storefront, according to its distributor.
Valve Software announced the removal of “Active Shooter,” which was set to be released June 6, from its online platform, Steam, after backlash from survivors of recent school shootings.
Publisher ACID planned to charge between $5 and $10 for the game, which has gameplay features letting players to move through a school as an officer or a gunman. A digital counter keeps score of how many civilians or cops are killed.
Valve Software said in a statement Tuesday the developer, Revived Games, and ACID were removed from Steam.
“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 ‘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.”
Parents and student survivors of the fatal mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., this winter were disgusted with the video game.
The father of student Jaime Guttenberg, who was killed at the Parkland school, said he was horrified.
“I have seen and heard many horrific things over the past few months since my daughter was the victim of a school shooting and is now dead in real life. This game may be one of the worst,” Fred Guttenberg tweeted.
Student Austin Foote, a 15-year-old who survived the Feb. 14 massacre, agreed.
“When you make a game about something in real life that can happen to us, that actually happened to me, it’s not only offensive, it’s disgusting, why would you make a game about a school shooting, it’s so messed up,” Foote told CBS Miami.
A petition protesting the game on change.org garnered almost 200,000 signatures by Wednesday morning.
Last week, game publisher ACID wrote a blog entry on Steam, saying the game “does not promote any sort of violence, especially any (sort) of a mass shooting.”
“While I can see people’s anger and why this might be a bad idea for the game, I still feel like this topic should be left alone.”
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