A disturbing video game simulating a school shooting with SWAT teams and a gunman has been pulled ahead of its scheduled release date next week after intense backlash, according to a statement from the digital gaming platform, Valve Corporation.
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Update: 9:30 p.m. EDT May 29, 2018: The new game "Active Shooter," developed by Revived Games and published by ACID, was set for release on June 6 on Valve's online gaming store, Steam.
The company issued a statement Tuesday to KIRO7-TV that said the same developer and publisher had been removed from the platform before.
“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,” Valve said in the statement.
Valve officials also said they are reviewing Steam’s content policies, too.
Those protesting the video game included survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre in Feb. in Florida and lawmakers, among other people and organizations.
A video game that gives the player the choice to be an elite SWAT team member or take the role of an active shooter during a mass casualty event is drawing national and international backlash.
"Active Shooter," developed by Revived Games and offered through the Steam video game platform, is a point-of-view simulation game that allows the player to lead a team to extract civilians and neutralize the shooter, or play as the mass shooter, according to its description.
"I have been stormed with accusations and heavy (criticism) from people across the globe," the video game publisher, Acid, wrote. "First of all, this game does not promote any sort of violence, especially any sort of a mass shooting. Originally when this game started its course of the development, I (had) planned on having SWAT only based game-play. Then I thought about adding more gameplay to it by adding additional roles: of the shooter and the civilian. 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. After receiving such high amount of critics and hate, I will more likely remove the shooters role in this game by the release, unless if it can be kept as it is right now."
In addition to commenters on the video game storefront on Steam disgusted with it, a petition on change.org trying to stop its release has garnered more than 5,350 signatures.
Infer Trust, a United Kingdom charity, asked Valve, the company behind the Steam game store, to drop the title ahead of its June 6 release.
"It's in very bad taste," an Infer Trust spokeswoman told the BBC. "There have been 22 school shootings in the U.S. since the beginning of this year. It is horrendous. Why would anybody think it's a good idea to market something violent like that, and be completely insensitive to the deaths of so many children? We're appalled that the game is being marketed."
The video game developer also has made other titles including "Tyde Pod Challenge" and "White Power: Pure Voltage." Neither game has anything to do with laundry detergent fads or racism.