First-person tactical shooter Ready Or Not disappeared from Steam on June 16th, prompting a flurry of rumours as to why. Now it’s back and the developers say that the removal was because a “takedown request was issued via Steam concerning a suggested trademark infringement in our recent Night Club map.”
Let’s start at the beginning. In an update released on June 12th, New Zealand-based developers Void Interactive added a finished version of a night club map to Ready Or Not, among other changes. Then on June 16th, both the game and its store pages disappeared, meaning owners couldn’t continue playing it.
Void Interactive announced that the game was offline that same day, but did not explain the reason for the removal, saying only that they were “looking into” it. Rumours quickly spread on social media which suggested that the removal was due to the finished night club map being added to the game on the anniversary of the Pulse night club shooting in Orlando, Florida in 2016. That seemed unlikely, given both that Valve are happy to have all kinds of heinous shit on Steam, and that the club map had been present in the game in whitebox form for months.
The rumour spread quickly enough that Void Interactive released a statement explaining the removal on Twitter:
— VOID Interactive (@VOIDInteractive) June 18, 2022
“We’d like to address the rumors surrounding the takedown of Ready Or Not and its associated pages on Steam that occurred on Thursday, June 16th,” begins the statement.
“A takedown request was issued via Steam concerning a suggested trademark infringement in our recent Night Club map that was shared as part of our most recent Steam update. We take IP concerns very seriously, and in a show of good faith, we have decided to remove the subject materials and any reference to them from Ready Or Not and from any of our social media or other publications.”
The statement doesn’t say who made the claim of infringement, but comments from players on Twitter suggest that the in-game night club used a name similar to that of a real night club chain in the UK.
Now that Ready Or Not is back on Steam, the infringing content has presumably been removed, although developer videos of the update remain offline until they can be edited. You can still find details of the update’s other new additions in the Steam patch notes post from the 12th.