Valve is now getting flak for allowing “Active Shooter” to be released on Steam. The first-person shooter apparently lets players assume the role of a school shooter.

“Active Shooter” is already live on Steam and it is due for release on June 6. Its indie developer describes it as “a dynamic S.W.A.T. simulator,” but many thinks it only encourages  violence. In the game, players are sent to deal with a shooter at a school. But there is also an option for players to assume the role of the shooter, as per Eurogamer.

The timing of the appearance of the game on Valve’s digital distribution platform has also made it controversial. It comes a week after the Santa Fe High School shooting in Texas that killed 10 people and wounded 13 others.

Although Valve isn’t the creator of “Active Shooter,” it is providing the platform for gamers to access it, which does not sit well with many people. A concerned citizen, Stephanie Robinett, has created a petition on change.org, seeking for the game to be removed from Steam.

“It’s not okay to do it in a school and any reasonable company should know that,” Robinett told Fox19 Now. She then added that she only has one goal in starting the petition: “I want them to pull the game. Simple, just pull it.” As of press time, the petition has garnered more than 6,000 signatures, which is pretty close to its 7,500 goal.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Infer Trust — an anti-gun violence charity — told the BBC: “It's in very bad taste. There have been 22 school shootings in the US since the beginning of this year. It is horrendous. Why would anybody think it's a good idea to market something violent like that, and be completely insensitive to the deaths of so many children? We're appalled that the game is being marketed."

The publisher of the game, Acid, has since defended “Active Shooter” through a statement published on the game’s Steam page. “Since this games storefront has been live, I have been stormed with accusations and heavy critics from people across the globe. While I see everyone's points of view and where are they coming from - I wanted to clarify a few things: First of all, this game does not promote any sort of violence, especially any soft [sic] of a mass shooting,” Acid wrote.

“Originally when this game started its course of the development, I have planned on having SWAT only based game-play [sic]. Then I thought about adding more gameplay to it by adding additional roles: of the shooter and the civilian. While I can see people's anger and why this might be a bad idea for the game, I still feel like this topic should be left alone.”

“As I mentioned on steam discussion forums, there are games like ‘Hatred,’ ‘Postal,’ ‘Carmageddon’ and etc., which are even worst compared to ‘Active Shooter’ and literally focuses on mass shootings/killings of people,” Acid stated before noting that it could remove the shooters role in the final game because of the high amount of hate it is getting.

School Shooter Steam’s “Active Shooter” video game lets players assume the role of a school shooter. Photo: Reuters/Eduardo Munoz