PayPal move blocks sales of school shooting video game

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The developer of a school shooting video game condemned by parents of killed children has lost the ability to sell its products online after being dumped by PayPal.

Acid Software said on Tuesday that purchases of Active Shooter were “temporarily disabled” as its representatives tried to resolve the issues with PayPal.

Acid’s postings on Twitter and an online bulletin board included the hashtags QuitCensoringUs, FreedomOfExpression and WeWillBeBack.

PayPal confirmed it closed the account.

“PayPal has a longstanding, well-defined and consistently enforced Acceptable Use Policy, and regardless of the individual or organisation in question, we work to ensure that our services are not used to accept payments for activities that promote violence,” the company, based in San Jose, California, said in a statement on Wednesday.

Active Shooter is branded as a “Swat simulator” that lets players choose between being an active shooter terrorising a school or the Swat team responding to the shooting.

Players can choose a gun, grenade or knife, and civilian and police death totals are shown on the screen.

Acid was selling an early version of the game online for 20 dollars (£15) and plans to release a new version early next month.

Acid recently set up two websites for Active Shooter after the game was removed from the web pages of video game marketplace Steam and crowdfunding site Indiegogo.

The removals followed complaints and online petitions by anti-gun violence advocates, including parents of children killed in school shootings in Parkland, Florida, where 17 students and staff died in February, and Newtown, Connecticut, where 26 children and staff died in 2012.

A company that hosted the new websites removed them last week after receiving similar complaints.

But Acid got the sites back up and running by switching to Russian servers, said Acid representative Ata Berdyev.

Active Shooter was created by Anton Makarevskiy, a 21-year-old developer from Moscow, and is being marketed by his entity Acid Software.

Berdyev is helping Makarevskiy promote the game.

Berdyev said that the future of the game could now be in doubt.

“Seems like everyone in US trying to censor us, whilst not explaining what exactly we are violating,” Berdyev said in a message to the Associated Press.

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