Indie Dev Resigns After Saying He'd Kill Gabe Newell

Indie Dev Resigns After Saying He'd Kill Gabe Newell

Yesterday, Valve took the indie game Paranautical Activity off Steam following a tweet in which the game's developer Mike Maulbeck said he would "kill Gabe Newell". Today, Maulbeck has resigned.

The tweet, which Maulbeck said was written in jest, followed a string of complaints about the game being incorrectly labelled as "Early Access" on Steam. His conclusion, which has since been deleted: "I am going to kill gabe newell. He is going to die."

In a blog post published this afternoon, Maulbeck said he had stepped down from Code Avarice, the studio behind Paranautical Activity, and sold his half of the company to his co-founder.

"I feel is it my responsibility to step down from Code Avarice completely so that Steam has no reason to harbour any more ill will towards the company," Maulbeck wrote, "and maybe even if we can't see Paranautical Activity restored, at least future Code Avarice games may be allowed onto the platform."

Maulbeck went on to apologise and lament his "tendency to use twitter to vent".

"I don't have the willpower necessary to be the 'face' of a company," he said. "If I do continue to work in games it will be as an anonymous 1 of 1000 at some shitty corporation."

Here's the full blog post:

Yesterday, Paranautical Activity released out of steam Early Access, and following some confusion about the state of the game I became frustrated with Steam, and tweeted a series of angry tweets that ended in me sarcastically saying I was going to kill Gabe Newell. A statement I obviously didn't mean but was regardless completely unacceptable.

As a result of my actions, Paranautical Activity, a game made by 4 or 5 people depending on who you count as team members, was removed from steam. I feel is it my responsibility to step down from Code Avarice completely so that Steam has no reason to harbour any more ill will towards the company, and maybe even if we can't see Paranautical Activity restored, at least future Code Avarice games may be allowed onto the platform.

I'm really, deeply sorry that my short sighted, hot tempered actions resulted in not only my own dreams and aspirations being destroyed, but those of the entire team I worked with. I'm sorry that my statements made Valve and/or Gabe uncomfortable and upset (rightfully so).

My temper and tendency to use twitter to vent has been a consistent problem since I entered the games industry, and I just can't do it. I don't have the willpower necessary to be the "face" of a company. If I do continue to work in games it will be as an anonymous 1 of 1000 at some shitty corporation, not the most public figure of a single digit sized team.

I've sold my half of Code Avarice to Travis. Given up all my rights to CA as a company, and all it's intellectual properties. I won't receive any money from the sale of Paranautical Activity or any future games CA develops, I won't be consulted on business decisions, and I won't have any hand in development.

I'm out.


Comments

    You dont say "I am going to kill gabe newell. He is going to die." in jest.
    What a load of bollocks.

    Reminds me of Phil Fish and his constant ranting and ravings on Twitter.

    Some people just shouldnt be allowed on social media

      You've never sarcastically said 'I'm going to kill him'?

      Dealing with customers is frustrating as hell. I delete more emails than I send, and I've developed the habit of removing the address while I'm writing so I have to think a little before whatever I write flies away out of my hands.

      It seems entirely plausible to me that it was a frustrated joke. Not a funny one, not a smart one, but a joke none the less.

        It was obviously a frustrated vent/rant and not serious.
        However it was particularly stupid, people need to stop venting on a public forum, especially if it is your business.
        People do seem to have also overlooked that Steam basically was about to potentially destroy an entire company through incompetence. To have a team that worked on a title for so long and put so much in and have it repeatedly fucked up by your publisher would drive you to despair.

        Now going out to twitter with a vent is not the right way to do it, but apart from the debate that Maulbeck is a douche in the way he handled this, can we get the story about what actually happened with their title along the way with Steam?

          Steam basically was about to potentially destroy an entire company through incompetence.

          That's a bit of an exaggeration. They had front page exposure of the game, but they still had the Early Acess tag by mistake, something a quick email or phone call would have fixed.

          Instead, mindless ranting and threats.

            It was another mistake on the back of some other problems from what I understand. Which is my point really, I would like to know exactly what happened with Steam along the way, if this was an explosion after being repeatedly dudded by Steam, and not getting a response going with the 'correct' channels, or if it was just a childish outburst.

              They previously got Adult Swim to agree to be a publisher as a way to get around Steams Greenlight program. They refused to sell the game because they didn't want indy devs to think they had to get a publisher (and split the earnings) to get out of Greenlight.

              Obviously they weren't happy with that.

              Last edited 22/10/14 12:20 pm

              Even if Steam screwed up repeatedly it was a Childish outburst.

        You've never sarcastically said 'I'm going to kill him'? Have you? In an incredibly public forum? While in a professional role? The other thing to keep in mind here is that it was not written as a joke, it was written as an expression of frustration and anger. The same reasons one might also actually make an honest threat against someone's life.

          I know that if I behave that way while acting as the public face of the business I work for, I'd get fired.

          Well, no, you're right. I've never been dumb enough to do it in my professional life. Not even in the aforementioned deleted emails, they are mostly just written in a frustrated tone, deleted, then re-written with a clearer head.

        Perhaps, but taking into consideration what he said leading up to it (which where all serious in tone), it would be hard to believe it was said in jest.

        I know he didnt REALLY want to kill Gabe, but it certainly didnt come off as a joke.

          Turns out I misunderstood the article. When it said "followed a string of complaints about the game being incorrectly labelled as “Early Access” on Steam" I thought it meant that customers were complaining to him about the early access label, i.e. that they were unhappy with the state of the game.

          I rescind my already weak support of this man.

        Not in a public forum, and not as a representative of a company...

        Twitter and Facebook are not the same as your lounge room. I can't comprehend how people don't understand this.
        Especially when you're using that social media in a professional capacity. We can write whatever we like in our private feeds and instant messages. What you write to the public is a completely different story.

        Something being a joke is no excuse. If you're stupid enough to do something like this (frustrated or not) then you deserve to live with the consequences. Too many people seem to think that what they do online has no consequences.
        It's not like this is the first time someone has been fired or resigned for doing something stupid online....

        I posted this in the other article about this as well, but:

        the thing that I feel made it worse for him is that the death threat tweet reads like a very real, very calm declaration of intent to kill. If he had instead posted "%@@%@%@@ Gabe Newell, I want to kill him" it would be taken a lot less seriously.

    “tendency to use twitter to vent”.

    Well, it's looking like he's at least learnt his lesson...

    “If I do continue to work in games it will be as an anonymous 1 of 1000 at some shitty corporation.”

    Oh for fucks sake. Just staple your lips shut, cut off your fingers and never speak or type again. Ever. Jesus christ you're DOING IT AGAIN MAN!

      Everything he's done since the blow up has dug his hole deeper. He spent most of yesterday retweeting people that were making up dumb excuses for him to make it sound like everyone supported him for his nonsense and Valve was the big bad evil corporation (many of these retweets have been removed now, but some still remain).

      This is not what you do when you fuck up. This is what you do when you don't believe you did fuck up and want to convince everyone that does that they're in the minority. This is how you undermine any and all apologies you made because you just showed that they weren't genuine.

      If this guy had 10 feet, every one of them would be stuffed in his mouth right now and he'd still be trying to find ways to fit more in.

        He's still fucking at it. He just retweeted this: https://twitter.com/Green9090LP/status/524757855476264960

        Mike, holy shit, walk away from the computer. Every fucking thing you're doing is digging yourself deeper.

      It's ok.... no shitty corporation is going to want to hire him anyway. Clearly he's got one hell of an attitude problem.

    Is this guy 12 years old discovering social media for the first time? He's pretty much solidified his unemployment for the next ten years.

    Like I said yesterday, the industry isn't going to miss him. One Google search will now ruin any future job he applies for. Good riddance in my eyes

      The parallels between him and Phil Fish are remarkable. Check this gem out from February: https://twitter.com/SpooderW/status/434762157021229056

        I ignored anything Phil Fish so don't really know who he is or what he said but looking him up, he's an idiot as well

    Action, meet Consequence.

      Actions have Consequences?

      Who knew this? Oh right everyone because it's something our parents should have taught us before we even went to school.

    What an idiot. If you need to vent, vent in private. Over a phone call, face-to-face, etc. and if you won't because saying such things face to face feels wrong, good, then don't bloody plaster them over the Internet for the entire world to see for decades to come.

      Indeed. Because even if you do ruin a business partnership venting during a phone call, the level you need to reach to ruin potential future partnerships is much higher.

      Though given this guys behavior it seems like he would have found that level anyway.

    Holy shit, I assumed yesterday he was a one-man-show...... Didn't consider the [more likely] situation that he was part of a team.....

    Wow, I cannot state how bad I feel for those guys. I don't know what I would have done to him had it been me on that team.... That is some low, low, low shit right there.

    I actually hope Valve re-instate the game on Steam, now that he has handed over all IP rights and left the company. The other members don't deserve to be screwed because of his actions alone...

      Unfortunately that team, will probably not get back on Steam, unless they change their name. And that game will most likely never be on Steam.

      You can't throw temper tantrums on Facebook and Twitter and still play with the adults. And it's worse when you drag down your friends.

    Between this guy and Phil Fish, I actually have a modicum of respect for this guy. At least he was able to admit his own failings and take responsibility for his actions. Phil Fish meanwhile, lashed out at everything and blamed everyone but himself.

    Here's the joke. If he had instead contacted Valve and calmly explained the mistake they made as well as his concerns over potential lost revenue they probably would have gone out of their way to not only fix the problem, but also give him an extra bit of promotion for his game. Now he's finished professionally because of a small mistake that could have worked in his favor if he'd only used his brain.

      Also, the fact that Valve hadn't actually made any mistake..... At that point, the game technically was still in Early Access. They had set the 'Full Release' time for 10am PST or something, and he flew off the handle before this time, before their system had rolled over.

    Looks like he's learned his lesson about trying to not come off as a self-righteous and angry jerk online.

    "If I do continue to work in games it will be as an anonymous 1 of 1000 at some shitty corporation"

    oh ok, never mind. At least he did the right thing and separate himself from the project as much as he could in order to give the rest of his team a chance.

      Actually he's still posting about it, he hasn't just shut up yet.

Join the discussion!