A video game that allowed players to assume the role of a school shooter is being pulled following harsh criticism from families of victims and survivors of mass shootings.
Active Shooter was set to debut on June 6, until public outcry and an online petition forced the video-game developer Valve Corp. to remove the game from its Steam online store, Deadline reports. Active Shooter reportedly enabled players to move through a school as a SWAT officer or gunman and simulate killing police and civilians with an assault rifle.
Valve Corp. has also removed the game’s publisher, ACID, and its developer, Revived Games, the company said in a statement to Deadline. The statement said the publisher, who returned to the platform under a new name, “is a troll, with a history of customer abuse, publishing copyrighted material, and user review manipulation.”
“We are not going to do business with people who act like this towards our customers or Valve,” the statement said.
The decision followed outrage on social media, including from family members of victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Fla., which killed 17 people in February.
“It’s disgusting that Valve Corp. is trying to profit from the glamorization of tragedies affecting our schools across the country,” Ryan Petty, the father of a 14-year-old girl killed in the shooting, said on Facebook. “Keeping our kids safe is a real issue affecting our communities and is in no way a ‘game.’”
“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,” wrote Fred Guttenberg, whose 14-year-old daughter, Jaime, was also killed in the Parkland shooting.
An online petition against the game initiated on Change.org collected more than 168,000 signatures.