Counter-Strike Co-Creator Arrested Over Sexual Exploitation Of A Child

The co-creator of the hugely popular PC shooter was booked late last night.


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Jess Cliffe, the co-creator of Valve's hugely popular Counter-Strike, has been arrested. Seattle police arrested Cliffe, 36, on suspicion of sexual exploitation of a child.

Cliffe has been employed by Valve since 2003. A spokesperson for Valve told Kotaku that Cliffe has been suspended. "We are still learning details of what actually happened," Valve said. "Reports suggest he has been arrested for a felony offence. As such we have suspended his employment until we know more."

An arrest record obtained by Kotaku shows that Cliffe was booked at 1:17 AM PT on Thursday, before being denied bail. According to Seattle news site KIRO 7, Cliffe has not been charged with any crime at this time.

Counter-Strike's other creator was Minh Le. They created Counter-Strike in 1999, and it has gone on to become one of the most popular games on the planet. The newest version of the game, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, is among the most popular games on Steam. It had more than 637,000 peak concurrent players today, according to Valve's public data.

You might not know Cliffe by name, but you may be familiar with his voice. He voiced the very famous voice line, "Counter-Terrorists Win!" in the original Counter-Strike. Cliffe also worked on Half-Life 2, Team Fortress 2, Left 4 Dead 2, and Portal 2, according to KIRO 7.

According to ESPN, the Washington state legislature says sexual exploitation of children "can include elements of commercial sexual abuse of a minor or 'depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit content,' such as creation, distribution or possession of depictions of child pornography."

A bail hearing for Cliffe is reportedly set for Friday afternoon. According to ESPN, Cliffe was arrested in Seattle in 2013 over assault claims but that case was later dismissed.

We will report back with more details on this story as they become available.

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