Social media has brought many great things to the gaming community, chief among which being a much closer and more personal connection with the people who make our games. Unfortunately, it has also had the effect of giving faces to the otherwise faceless, a voice to those who for the sake of the company’s public image, perhaps shouldn’t be given an open microphone.
Paranautical Activity has been removed from Steam and Valve has terminated its contract with the developer after Mike Maulbeck posted a profanity-laced rant on Twitter. In his tweets, Maulbeck called Valve “incompetent,” lamented the company’s monopoly, and expressed his hopes that the platform would no longer be a monopoly by the time his next game released. Maulbeck posted another tweet that has since been deleted, stating “I am going to kill gabe newell. He is going to die.”
Whether or not the “threat” was genuine is irrelevant to what transpired. At the end of the day, video games are a business and companies like Valve expect a certain amount of professional conduct from their partners. Business issues should be dealt with professionally via email, not through vitriolic rants on Twitter.