Digital Homicide, a developer that made headlines earlier this year for suing game critic Jim Sterling, has filed a lawsuit against 100 Steam users after they left harsh reviews of the developer’s games. Yesterday, Valve removed around a dozen of Digital Homicide’s games from its digital store, stating that it “stopped doing business with Digital Homicide for being hostile to Steam customers.”
After being granted a subpoena by a federal judge in Arizona, James Romine of Digital Homicide seeks the true identities of the 100 Steam users that left negative reviews. He is requesting $18 million for personal injury because of their criticisms of the developer’s products, including The Slaughtering Grounds (pictured above).
Earlier this year, Jim Sterling was also sued by Digital Homicide after he criticized one of the developer’s games in a video. The developer sued Sterling for $10.7 million, accusing him of “assault, libel, and slander” for his comments.
While it’s unclear how else Valve is planning to move forward with this situation, it can contest the subpoena in court. Documents related to the case can be found here.
Being a creator means that you will always receive some sort of criticism. Though, anonymity on the Internet means some folks can be unfoundedly cruel, but suing commenters seems over the top and unprecedented. I don’t know how unruly these comments towards Digital Homicide’s games were, but a lawsuit like this comes across just as hostile. Not to mention Digital Homicide isn’t targeting a single person, but instead a group of a hundred, which sounds equally as ludicrous. I can’t imagine that this would go far in court. As for Valve, its response seems reasonable considering the circumstances.
the author Elise Favis