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A game developer, after venting their frustration with Steam, made a death threat targeting managing director at Valve, Gabe Newell. Paranautical Activity, a horror themed FPS, has had a rocky history with Steam already, clashing over the function of the Steam Greenlight system. Eventually, the game was greenlit and it continued on with that process. That is, until today.

Mike Maulbeck, the developer mentioned above, started complaining on Twitter about Steam claiming it was misinforming possible consumers and that the whole process was painful. But it wasn’t until this tweet came in (since deleted) that a problem arose:

paranautical-activity-mike-maulbeck

Obviously, that does not look to be in any sort of jesting manner. The tweets leading up to this one are still on his Twitter feed, which won’t be linked to here. Maulbeck claimed in those tweets though that Steam was hurting the release and potential media surrounding his game, Paranautical Activity. That the incompetence of Steam led to misinformation about the status of the game.

This is an understandable frustration (though venting/reacting the way Maulbeck did is inexcusable). Paranautical Activity is likely something Maulbeck has given hundreds of hours of his life to and many years of effort. Anything jeopardizing its exposure to others is something that would get a reaction from anyone. This was obviously one of Maulbecks darker moments, but how he reacts in the coming days should truly tell of his character. Again, this is not excusing his actions, but remind us all again that we make mistakes.

He’s already beginning to see the consequences of those mistakes as well. Maulbeck forward the email to Eurogamer Steam sent him in reply to the tweets:

On your Twitter account today there were a series of messages where you expressed your frustration with Steam. We are generally comfortable with partners expressing this type of frustration or any other viewpoint directly with us or publicly through social media and the press. But one of your tweets this morning was a threat to kill one of our colleagues. Death threats cross a line. We have therefore decided to end our business relationship with you and Code Avarice

We’ve closed down your Steam admin accounts and we’re removing the game from purchase on Steam. We will leave make Community Hub available so that existing customers will continue to have a place to discuss the game. Our understanding is that you’re done developing the game, but if you need to ship an update to Steam customers, get in touch with us and we can help ship the update out for you


Andrew Otton

Editor in Chief

Editor in Chief at TechRaptor. Lover of some things, a not so much lover of other things.



  • JackDandy

    That was kind of stupid thing of the guy to do.

  • JigSaw

    Sounds like the dev is a bit of a spud. On a related note twitter is fucking terrible place.

  • Doc Hammer

    This is what twitter does to people. The last thing we ever needed as a species was a platform to scream our crazy to every corner of the globe at once in a single click, 140 characters or less.

  • Andrew ‘Wolfie’ Woolford

    Should Gabe set up a patreon? But no seriously, that is how you handle the less credible death threats. The credible ones? Get Law Enforcement involved. Immediately. Then stay out of your home and keep your head down.

  • Reptile

    It is even more stupid that he was mad because his game got a 15% discount and he would receive 15% less for each game (albeit he would sell more copies).
    Now he won’t receive anything because he will not be able to sell anymore. And worse, he is blamming “game development” and Gabe/Steam for this instead of his own stupidity and pretentiousness.
    You just don’t piss on the plate you are eating…

  • Well “murder” IS right there in his twitter name so….

    All jokes aside that was a catastrophically stupid thing to do.

  • Echo

    Agreed. I think incidents like this are good though, it reminds people that social media has real life consequences, and that the things you say can bite you back.

  • 33

    He is half right. Gabe is going to die.

  • Chris Leudard

    Idiots being idiots receiving punishment for being idiots. Checking the game HUB it seems Mike quit the company. I feel bad for his ex-coworkers, being left to handle his shit after he just ups and leaves after screwing everything for everyone.

  • Guest

    Why aren’t Gaben’s death threats being publicized by the MSM?

  • Jambo

    Well put. Catastrophically stupid is right. I am actually in disbelief that someone would do this to Gaben of all people. Why would you go out of your way to antagonize someone who can really hurt your career? Was this guy a games journo in a past life?

  • Jambo

    Twitter doesn’t “do it to people”. Twitter just brings out what’s there already.

  • guests

    Sad thing is, if he waited 5 minutes, it would’ve showed up as not early access, as it did for most people.
    Wasn’t even a mistake on valves side, it was still updating.