Apparently Mike Maulbeck couldn’t commit to his resignation and has rejoined his studio, Code Avarice. Maulbeck originally left the studio he co-founded after having his game removed from Steam following a Twitter outburst that resulted in him claiming he was going to kill Gabe Newell.
“This is probably not hugely surprising to some of you, but Mike couldn’t commit to his decision to leave Code Avarice. Co-founder Travis Pfenning publicly denounced his departure, and in the weeks following his official stepping down Mike had second thoughts”, a post on the developer’s website reads.
“Looking for a new source of income was extremely overwhelming and when it finally came time to put pen to paper, Mike and Travis agreed the best thing to do would be to have Mike return to Code Avarice.”
For those of you who don’t remember, Maulbeck’s game, Paranautical Activity, was wrongly listed as in early access on the Steam store despite being completed. After that, Maulbeck went on a little rant on Twitter, which resulted in him stating that he wanted to kill Gabe Newell, albeit, sarcastically. Paranautical Activity was removed from Steam following the outburst and has not yet returned to the store.
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KitGuru Says: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:
It is unlikely that Maulbeck was actually going to kill Gabe Newell. However that ddoesn’texcuse the threat, sarcasm can be hard to to portray through social media and words definitely matter, even if the threat is empty. That said, these sorts of things haven’t been taken so seriously in the past. For example, on Indie Game: The Movie, Phil Fish stated that he was going to “fucking murder that guy” when referring to his former business partner, whom he was having a legal dispute with. You can watch Phil Fish make his ‘threat’ 1 hour and 4 minutes in to the movie.
If sarcastic threats weren’t accepted in society on some level, then situations like this wouldn’t come up very often and people wouldn’t be so casual about making empty threats. Nobody called out Phil Fish when he ‘threatened’ his former business partner on a documentary. I’m not saying it’s right, I’m just saying, this seems to be a bit of a double standard, if we are to condemn death threats, then we can’t let some people off the hook and theoretically force others out of their jobs for effectively doing the same thing.