Jess A. Cliffe, the co-creator of first-person shooter Counter-Strike and a developer on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, was arrested early Thursday by Seattle police for investigation of sexual exploitation of a child, according to King County jail records. He is being held without bail and has not been formerly charged. Seattle’s KIRO-7, which broke the story, says he is expected to have a bail hearing Friday afternoon. In a statement to press, Valve says Cliffe’s employment is currently suspended.
KIRO reporters say that the King County Prosecutor’s Office told them that in general a booking over such a charge would typically indicate the creation of child porn. A reporter also spoke with Cliffe’s girlfriend at Cliffe’s home, but she declined to comment after asking about the charges. Cliffe co-created Counter-Strike with Minh Le as a modification of Valve’s Half-Life. He is also the voice of Counter-Strike’s radio commands. In 2012, Valve released Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, the fourth iteration of the terrorists versus counter-terrorists shooter.
Cliffe has worked at Valve since 2003, focusing mostly on Valve’s incredibly popular Counter-Strike franchise. CS:GO is both a popular esports game and one of the most played titles on Valve’s Steam.
what’s Valve thinking of?
The last update of CS:GO turned to be very controversial and stirred up the gaming community. As of now, skins obtained from trade operations are banned for further trading for seven days. The official position of Valve about the restriction is stated in this blog post. The corporation explains everything as attempts to stop scam and fraud in the skins industry. Players will be unable to manage skins in their inventories at will – for example, transferring them to other gamers at any time.
The community of gamers greeted the news without enthusiasm. The market reacted as markets usually do in such situations – skins prices decreased significantly, and the process continues. For us, such a scenario seems rather far-fetched, because the industry is too big to be controlled by one participant, and Valve is not interested in monopolization of skins trading. The recent release of new crates shows support of the skins phenomenon from Valve. Cash, we see the seven day ban as a controversial step in the right direction.
We should absolutely do something to protect gamers from scammers, but we can’t limit their rights to control CS:GO skins and make them wait seven days to trade. Cash doesn’t support any kind of panic in the market and will continue to buy skins as usual.