Code Avarice have had a heck of tough a time since their old-school roguelike shooter Paranautical Activity was successfully Kickstarted in 2013. Just like other crowdfunders, they brought their game to Steam Greenlight in hopes of getting onto Steam – the most envied platform for digital distribution. Then Adult Swim Games expressed interest in publishing the game instead. Valve thought this would paint Greenlight in a bad light (if you can simply skip the process entirely) and eventually forced Paranautical Activity to self-publish. It came to Steam as an Early Access title and stuck around for about a year while gaining new fans. Of course, backers were provided keys.
Monday was supposed to be its official launch out of Early Access. However, as Steam is wont to do, it provided an erroneous banner ad for the game. To all who saw the front page it appeared that Paranautical Activity was still an Early Access game. Say what you will about gamers wanting immediate access to titles, but many have developed an aversion to Early Access on principle. Aware of this bias, developer Mike Maulbeck lashed out on Twitter. After all, a game he helped develop was getting its five minutes of fame on the Steam homepage but in a way that would turn away some prospective customers. Unfortunately for Code Avarice, Valve took these Tweets seriously, in particular a death threat against Gabe Newell, the Managing Director of Valve.
Paranautical Activity is now no longer available for purchase on Steam. Maulbeck is also no longer a part of Code Avarice, and those remaining at Code Avarice are asking fans for help getting the game back on Steam. If you had the game previously or receive a Steam code from the Humble Store then it will still work. You can now buy Paranautical Activity via Desura, GamersGate, IndieGameStand, or itch.io.