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Developer who sent death threat to Gabe Newell rejoins studio

Mike Maulbeck, the independent developer who threatened to kill Valve founder Gabe Newell over a listing error for his studio's game, has rejoined that studio, according to a statement.

Maulbeck, the co-founder of Code Avarice, left the studio over the embarrassment of his Oct. 20 outburst, in which Code Avarice's Paranautical Activity (pictured) was mistakenly listed as still being an Early Access title. Maulbeck apologized to Valve and Newell, and his departure was a further gesture of remorse, but Steam already pulled Paranautical Activity and severed its relationship with Code Avarice.

"Mike couldn't commit to his decision to leave Code Avarice," the studio said in a blog post. He'd planned to sell his half of the studio to co-founder Travis Pfenning, but had never discussed that plan or his intention to leave before posting his intention to do so on the studio's website.

"Looking for a new source of income was extremely overwhelming and when it finally came time to put pen to paper, Mike and Travis agreed the best thing to do would be to have Mike return to Code Avarice," the statement said. "In retrospect we should have waited until everything was finalized before making the announcement, but Mike was extremely eager to just get out and never look back."

Code Avarice is also taking steps to professionalize its online interactions, the statement said. Official posts will no longer carry a personal tone and will be co-written by both developers. Code Avarice also has created an official Twitter account, rather than communicate studio news through the developers' personal accounts. All of those tweets will be co-written by the developers, too.

Maulbeck told Eurogamer he has not heard from Valve since the incident. While there is a fan-started petition to get Paranautical Activity re-listed on Steam, "I don't think it will make any tangible difference to Steam," he told Eurogamer."I'd be shocked if Steam put the game back up."

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