It is not uncommon for indie studios or developers to communicate with their fans, or each other, on social media. This open, off the cuff nature of updates, and insights from developers can bring people together, or expose the true nature of some individuals. In October, 2014, developer Mike Mulbeck, creator of “Paranautical Activity” decided to take to twitter, due to issues with the full launch of his game on steam. Citing issues of labeling, pricing, and other problems, Mulbeck ranted on twitter, and ended up posting a tweet saying he was going to kill Valve CEO, Gabe Newell. This action was deleted from twitter, however it had done it’s damage, and because of that tweet, valve pulled Paranautical Activity from steam all together.
Seldom does a game removed from steam, especially for the reasons sated above, get back into the online game retailer’s store. Paranautical Activity, however, is now available to be purchased on steam once again, under the name “Paranautical Activity: Deluxe Atonement Edition” this time by a publisher “Digerati Distribution” an investment company who acquired the rights, and pretty much everything else it seems, to Mulbeck’s game.
There are many questions that have arisen from this acquisition, all being answered by “Nick” who appears to be the sole owner of Digerati. Although a lot of answers are being withheld by a non disclosure agreement, Nick has been diligent in communicating with the community behind Paranautical Activity. Some things Nick has cleared up is that there is no buy back option for Mulbeck’s company, “Code Avarice”, and Nick has full control of the IP. He has also stated that he will be working to update the game, and has already brought more content to those who already have it, like the “Pro Guide”.
Indie Game Riot has reached out to Nick and Digerati, but have not heard anything back and are awaiting more information. The good news is that a game that many players and curators on steam enjoyed is able to be purchased again. There are still many questions to be answered, but the level of transparency of Digerati has been reassuring.