Gabe Newell Steps in to Reinstate Controversial Shooter on Steam
Valve boss admits mistake after Hatred was pulled from voting platform.
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Hatred, the controversial massacre simulator that was pulled from Steam Greenlight late on Monday, has been reinstated a little more than a day later, following an intervention by Valve managing director Gabe Newell.
In an email sent from Newell to the game's Poland-based developer, Destructive Creations, Newell explains that Valve internally reviewed its decision to pull the game from Steam, which he quickly decided was a mistake.
Writing to Destructive Creations chief executive Jaroslaw Zielinski, Newell wrote:
"Hi Jaroslaw. Yesterday I heard that we were taking Hatred down from Greenlight. Since I wasn't up to speed, I asked around internally to find out why we had done that.
"It turns out that it wasn't a good decision, and we'll be putting Hatred back up. My apologies to you and your team."
There is no exact explanation from Newell regarding his decision to overturn the game's exclusion, though he writes that "Steam is about creating tools for content creators and customers"--a suggestion, perhaps, that he does not see Valve as an authority on taste.
Newell ends his note with, "good luck with your game.”
Valve previously confirmed that it had deleted Hatred from Greenlight after it had rapidly accrued thousands of votes.
"Based on what we've seen on Greenlight we would not publish Hatred on Steam,” Valve spokesperson Doug Lombardi said on Tuesday. “As such we'll be taking it down.”
Hatred was revealed to the public in October with a trailer that immediately drew controversy. The video, above, features a lone gunman preparing for a massacre in his home, before setting himself upon the surrounding neighbourhood.
The video depicts stabbings, mall massacres, and shotgun executions. The nameless character, dressed in a leather trench coat, is at one point seen jamming a pistol into a fallen woman's mouth, before pulling the trigger.
Valve's initial decision to not support the game followed a similar distancing from the game's engine creator, Epic Games, after its logo appeared on the game's trailer. At the time, Epic Games said it "isn't involved in this project. Unreal Engine 4 is available to the general public for use 'for any lawful purpose,' and we explicitly don't exert any sort of creative control or censorship over projects. However, the video is using the trademarked Unreal Engine 4 logo without permission from Epic, and we've asked for the removal of our logo from all marketing associated with this product."
Destructive Creations initially responded to Valve's removal of the game by saying it respects the corporation's decision, adding that it was overjoyed with the response from supporters of the project.
In a message to fans, the company wrote: "Even though games like Manhunt or Postal are still available on Steam we of course fully respect Valve’s decision, as they have right to do so. In the same time we want to assure you that this won’t in any way impact the game development, game’s vision or gameplay features we’re aiming for. The game is still to be released in Q2 2015 as planned.
"Moreover we don’t treat this as a failure because yet again this showed us a huge community support we’re totally overwhelmed with. After only a couple of hours Greenlight campaign being live, Hatred gathered 13,148 up votes and ended up on a #7 on top 100 list.
"This is the best proof for us that there are diehard Hatred fans out there waiting for this game to be released. And that we need to keep going to deliver them a game that offers exciting and challenging gameplay. The whole situation only pushes us forward to go against any adversity and not to give up. It also makes us want to provide our fans Hatred pre-orders sooner, as many of you have asked for them."
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