The Paranautical Activity Incident

The Paranautical Activity Incident

If you are an indie game developer who just released your first game on Steam you don’t threaten to kill Lord GabeN! No! Bad Mike Murderbeck!

Now I understand that on the biggest day of the life of a 20 year old, the day he releases his first game on Steam, one would be vastly upset if it was mislabeled in a way that could potentially cost sales. That makes sense. But saying things on the internet as a representative of a company carries some weight along with it!

It all starts with this:

And then finally, at the peak of rage:

Paranautical Activity

Which results in this:

A Valve employee stated: “”Yes, we have removed the game’s sales page and ceased relations with the developer after he threatened to kill one of our employees,””

But the drama and situation did not end there.

Mike Muderbeck continued to rant on twitter about the events while his partner Travis tweeted about his disbelief.

Eventually, to much surprise, Mike officially quit the company and sold his shares to a partner. Ludicrous situation indeed.

By Mike

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 harbor 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’ll 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.

And of course came in the apologies from the rest of the team.

 

I want to issue a formal apology from Code Avarice to all of you, and the teams at Valve. Especially to Gabe Newell.

I am the other Dev of Paranautical Activity and co owner of the Code Avarice studio. Most don’t know that I exist. I have been recently affected by my now (ex) partners lack of civil control and inability to understand that words have consequences. I do not condone what he said. I do not believe he was in anyway justified or entitled to represent our company in this way. I extend my hand to all of you in hopes that you can understand, that to err is human. We have all done it, at one time or another. This is not to say that what Mike said is acceptable. It most certainly is not.

Since this has happened, I have been forced to realize how fragile my love for this business has become. With success comes hate in my experience, and I have never succumbed to such behavior. This was a real threat to my livelihood and ability to take care of my family. It makes me realize that because of what he said, many of you might hold this against me as I was his partner and now am the sole owner of Code Avarice. I should probably dissolve this company and re invent myself in some other guise. I am not going to do that. I am a strong individual and admit my short comings. This will not be treated any differently than anything I have ever been a part of.

I ask for support from those who really knew us as people. To stick with us if you really like the games we make. In the future. There will be a Code Avarice twitter account and no longer will game related things be dealt with on a personal account. Nor will we be part of any drama and negative trolling on any of these accounts. I need positive in my life now. Although I do enjoy a good trolling.

Regardless of all that has happened. Regardless that I am not the individual who misrepresented my beliefs and my business practices, and the views of my company. I am asking for legitimate forgiveness for me and my own. I ask you have empathy for two people who should have just stayed out of the spot light. Who should have known that saying things like this has very real life consequences.

In closing, I want to thank those who do support us. I want to thank Valve for the original opportunity to be a legitimate force in gaming. I also can not stress to Gabe how sorry I am for this situation. This is not how I do business. Hopefully Valve and Gabe will except our apology. This is not a ruse to get back on the platform. This is a serious apology for poor behavior.

Be safe out there my friends, the internet is watching you. Much Love and Peace to you and yours.

Travis of Code Avarice

 

Now, after reading these statement, I decided to dig into the comments. What I found was even more ludicrous!

 

John: I had the “pleasure” of being acquainted with Mike and Travis during a Groupees bundle we shared last year in May. They were harassing customers in chat and I stepped in to tell them to stop. After Mike and Travis retargeted their harassment at me, Mike and I proceeded to chat in private messages. I told him “you need to learn to act a bit more professional” after a short discussion about how he can’t treat his customers that way. He said “You can’t teach a lesson to God.”

After a little bit of talk like this (I remained civil and he kept saying things like this. I have the entire transcript saved btw.), Mike proceeded to get his followers and famous YouTubers to go and attack our Desura page, putting in 1/10’s for reviews over and over. He also got people to talk shit on Twitter about our game, despite them not playing it at all. It was petty and pointless and all because I defended customers he was harassing.

I’ve followed his progress closely and silently ever since then. I documented several of his outbursts and waited for him to implode. That day finally came.

Mike is not a good person. He got what he deserved and anyone feeling sorry for him really shouldn’t. Maybe one day he’ll become a halfway decent human being, but it won’t be in the game industry. He’s done here, as seen from this terrible apology. “Shitty corporations” really?! You haven’t learned ANYTHING Mike.

Another user named Qwyn replied:

Qwyn: I’m kind of interested in seeing these transcripts. I understand why you wouldn’t release them.

John responds:

John: It was more for my personal reasons that I saved them. So I could quote him when necessary. I would probably only ever release them if Mike attacked me again. Otherwise it’s not worth it. He’s destroyed himself plenty.

Another commented who claims to have been involved really opens the box, however.

David: We all knew this day would come. Besides the things other people already said. You are also forgetting that he can’t even acknowledge his 5th team member. But this is not an issue only with Mike, but Travis as well. I feel sorry for the other three, though.

Qwyn here some info if you want to read:

1. What happened in Groupees chat with Travis and Mike.
http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showpost.php?p=34410638&postcount=9979

2. Devs stating they never received the money from that bundle.
https://indiegamestand.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=852

3. One of his many infamous tweets:

John: Looks like you found the chat log. That was before I stepped in (not counting my little intro at the top). I have the rest of that particular log saved as well.

Needless to say, after learning more about the past issues this entire team has had with harassing customers and fellow developers, it’s hard to feel sorry for them.

 

Source stuff:

Original Kotaku article: http://kotaku.com/indie-dev-threatens-gabe-newell-has-game-removed-from-1648678869?utm_campaign=Socialflow_Kotaku_Facebook&utm_source=Kotaku_Facebook&utm_medium=Socialflow

Top post on /r/steam about incident: http://www.reddit.com/r/Steam/comments/2jtzl4/this_is_why_paranautical_activity_was_pulled_off/

Discussion about total biscuits opinion: http://www.reddit.com/r/Steam/comments/2jvqg8/totalbiscuits_response_to_paranautical_activity/

Travis’s twitter: https://twitter.com/Vallisca3x3x3

Mikes twitter: https://twitter.com/SpooderW

Blog post from Mike resigning and selling shares of company: http://codeavarice.com/post/100592709238/mike-is-leaving-code-avarice

Comment about Mike and Travis always being dicks: http://codeavarice.com/post/100592709238/mike-is-leaving-code-avarice#comment-1646691406 

Another comment with sources of Mike being a dick: http://codeavarice.com/post/100592709238/mike-is-leaving-code-avarice#comment-1646882953

Travis apology: http://codeavarice.com/post/100614593088/formal-apology-from-code-avarice (Formal Apology from Code Avarice

 

Entrepreneur, music lover, player of video games, and futurist.

9 Comments

  1. “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.”

    What a little fucking baby! Suck it up and take responsibility!

    Reply
  2. Sadly i know plenty similar dickbags who still “made it” in the industry.

    Reply
    • I work in the music industry and come across the same problem every day. It’s a damn shame. However, the more successful you are the easier it is to cope with it.

      Reply
  3. Sounds like they deserved it.

    Reply
  4. Article was informative and well-written! Good job!

    Reply
    • Thank you! I had a lot of fun writing it (I don’t write articles very often at all).

      Reply
  5. Nice and concise and comprehensive round-up.

    Reply
    • Thank you very much.

      Reply
  6. If this is true it really puts things in perspective:

    “John: I had the “pleasure” of being acquainted with Mike and Travis during a Groupees bundle we shared last year in May. They were harassing customers in chat and I stepped in to tell them to stop. After Mike and Travis retargeted their harassment at me, Mike and I proceeded to chat in private messages. I told him “you need to learn to act a bit more professional” after a short discussion about how he can’t treat his customers that way. He said “You can’t teach a lesson to God.”

    After a little bit of talk like this (I remained civil and he kept saying things like this. I have the entire transcript saved btw.), Mike proceeded to get his followers and famous YouTubers to go and attack our Desura page, putting in 1/10’s for reviews over and over. He also got people to talk shit on Twitter about our game, despite them not playing it at all. It was petty and pointless and all because I defended customers he was harassing.

    I’ve followed his progress closely and silently ever since then. I documented several of his outbursts and waited for him to implode. That day finally came.

    Mike is not a good person. He got what he deserved and anyone feeling sorry for him really shouldn’t. Maybe one day he’ll become a halfway decent human being, but it won’t be in the game industry. He’s done here, as seen from this terrible apology. “Shitty corporations” really?! You haven’t learned ANYTHING Mike.”

    Reply

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