Towards the end of October last year, indie developer Mike Maulbeck tweeted that he was “going to kill Gabe Newell”. This tweet was made out of anger because his indie game, Paranautical Activity, had been incorrectly listed as an Early Access title by Steam. The game, which indie team Code Avarice had actually finished and put up for full release, was unceremoniously removed from Steam. It turned out that Steam doesn’t take death threats against its benevolent overlord Gaben very lightly. The removal of the game prompted Maulbeck to resign from Code Avarice out of, we assume, embarrassment and some sort of desire for atonement. Too bad he rejoined the team a few weeks later. Throughout all of this, however, Paranautical Activity remained off Steam.
Except now it’s back on Steam.
The game is back on Steam because Code Avarice and Mike Maulbeck officially have nothing more to do with the title. The IP and everything associated with it is now owned by publisher Digerati Distribution. Yes, Code Avarice sold all their hard work; Digerati “paid an upfront fee for the rights” which means that Code Avarice won’t see a single further cent of royalties from sales of the game.
Apparently Valve was “really responsive” to having the game return to Steam. According to Digerati the whole thing took about four weeks to finalise between themselves and the folks at Valve.
So there you go: if you’ve been holding out for roguelike Paranautical Activity’s possible return to Steam, you’re good to go. Just look for it under its new name: Paranautical Activity: Deluxe Atonement Edition. Oh hilarious. I might buy it just because of that new title.