Steam Pulls Game After Dev Goes On Transphobic Rant Against Keffals
Well, well, well. If it isn’t the consequences of an asshole’s own actions. On August 31, the developer behind the gladiator game Domina posted patch notes that included a transphobic screed attacking trans streamer Clara “Keffals” Sorrenti. Yesterday evening, some Twitter users discovered that Domina had been removed from Steam, with a notice indicating this action had been taken “at the request of the publisher.” However, the developer confirmed that Valve chose to delist the developer from its platform.
Keffals is a popular trans streamer who was swatted on August 5 by members of Kiwi Farms, an alt-right forum that cultivates hate speech and brutal attacks on trans people (some victims of Kiwi Farms’ harassment campaigns have committed suicide). She was forced to flee Canada for her own safety, and started campaigning for the website security company Cloudflare to stop providing services to Kiwi Farms. #DropKiwifarms started trending on Twitter as trans community members shared their experiences of being harassed, doxxed, and swatted by the site’s users.
In the last patch notes for Domina, the developer posted a rant against Keffals and the trans community. Most of the message had nothing to do with game patches, and features transphobic slurs. While the overall reviews for the game are “mostly positive,” the most recent reviews trend “mostly negative.” Many of the reviews specifically call out the developer for his transphobic beliefs.
Domina’s Steam page is still accessible if you go to the direct link, but users can no longer purchase the game or find it via the search bar function. The studio Dolphin Barn Incorporated also no longer has a developer profile. On the right-wing social media platform Gab (content warning for transphobic and homophobic slurs), Domina developer Nicholas J. Leonhard Gorissen clarified that Steam had “canceled” Dolphin Barn Incorporated. “Gabe Newell doesn’t seem to care that I brought millions of revenue to the table while his moderation team and VP’s will end up costing him millions in payroll.” he posted. Kotaku reached out to Dolphin Barn Incorporated, but did not receive a response by the time of publication.
Gorissen also included a screenshot of his developer account. At the top of Domina’s discussion page, there was an official message from Steam Support. “A recent announcement posted to the Domina community hub includes insults targeting another person,” Valve said in the ban note, while noting that the developer was warned in the past for rule infractions. “We are ending our business relationship with ‘Dolphin Barn Incorporated’ and removing all associated products from sale.” Kotaku reached out to Valve, but did not receive a response by the time of publication.
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