A video game which lets players’ 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 be released on June 6 was being plugged as a police-response simulator, allowing players to move through a school as either a SWAT officer or a gunman terrorizing civilians and police.
That all changed after the gamed sparked backlash on social media and an online petition against the game initiated on Change.org which has so far collected more than 228,736 signatures.
The families of two students killed in February’s high school attack in Parkland, Florida which killed 17 people in February, had described the game as being “despicable” and “horrific”.
In a statement released by game’s parent company Valve, the company said the decision had less to do with the game’s offensive premise but more with the history of the person who made the game.
“This developer and publisher is, in fact, a person calling himself Ata Berdiyev, who had previously been removed last fall when he was operating as ‘[bc]Interactive’ and ‘Elusive Team,’” the company said in a statement. “Ata is a troll, with a history of customer abuse, publishing copyrighted material, and user review manipulation. 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.”