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Counter-Strike co-creator Jess Cliffe arrested, suspended by Valve

Cliffe was arrested for ‘sexual exploitation of a child’

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Counter-Strike co-creator Jess Cliffe was arrested this week for “sexual exploitation of a child,” according to a report from local Seattle news channel, KIRO 7. Cliffe has not been charged with a crime, according to the report, and is expected to have a bail hearing today, Friday, Feb. 2.

Cliffe was booked early Thursday morning into the King County Correctional Facility in Seattle, according to arrest records.

A statement from Valve obtained by Kotaku said that Cliffe has been suspended from the developer while the company investigates.

Cliffe, 36, does not have a criminal history, KIRO 7 reported. While it’s not clear what led to Cliffe’s arrest, according to KIRO 7’s televised report, prosecutors say an arrest of this type “typically ... indicates creating child porn.”

Cliffe co-created the original Counter-Strike, a mod for Half-Life, with Minh Le while Cliffe was attending Virginia Tech. Cliffe later joined Valve, where he worked on level design for Half-Life 2, Team Fortress 2, Left 4 Dead 2 and Portal 2. He also worked on the current iteration of the game he co-created, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

Correction: The original version of the story noted that Minh Le attended Virginia Tech with Cliffe. Le attended Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia.