'Counter-Strike' Co-Creator Arrested in Investigation of Child Sexual Exploitation

Counter-Strike co-creator suspended by Valve until it knows more.

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.

"We are still learning details of what actually happened," Valve told Kotaku. "Reports suggest he has been arrested for a felony offense. As such, we have suspended his employment until we know more."

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. Valve later acquired the rights to the game. 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.