A video games developer by the name of Digital Homicide has landed itself in an awkward situation again, by their own command. This time their contention is with one of the biggest and most respected companies in the entire industry – Valve.
The Valve corporations users – over a hundred of them according to a leaked Google doc – have been subjected to a lawsuit by a developer by the name of James Romine who apparently works for Digital Homicide.
It’s not the first bid of bad press that the publisher has found itself trying to manage. They have also tried to sue game critic Jim Sterling for posting unfavourable reviews of their games. They attempted to sue Sterling for a whopping, if not ridiculous, $10 million.
However, the amount that the publisher is now demanding far exceeds that figure. Romine and the publisher is reportedly suing over a hundred users of Steam for $18 million for, again, leaving negative or generally bad reviews of their games. The publisher have cited this as “repeated anonymous harrasment.” But, it doesn’t exactly seem to be a practice that will earn than any more admirers.
A subpoena officially granted by a judge – Eileen Wilett – in Arizona puts forth the terms of the publisher. It states that James Romine is permitted to demand the personal data of the anonymous users on Steam that they are essentially prosecuting. This actually being set forth in a court of law is a odd fact indeed – scary even. It poses the question of whether it is really the right of Romine or Digital Homicide to get anywhere near the confidential details of the Steam users.
Valve have recently hit back at the publisher. They have removed all Digital Homicide games from their library including: Wyatt Derp, Temper Tantrum, Forsaken Uprising, Starship Nova Strike and The Slaughtering Grounds. All evidence of the game including their respective community pages, reviews etc are no longer to be found.
The VP of marketing for Valve, Doug Lombardi offered himself for comment regarding Digital Homicide’s removal. Lombardi noted that:
Valve has stopped doing business with Digital Homicide for being hostile to Steam customers.
He did not, however, directly refer to the legal action that has been taken against Valve and the Steam users.
Digital Homicide have stated on a blog post on their site that Steam users have subjected the company to:
“A long list of breach of contracts, interference with business, and anti-trust issues. The case will benefit from a long list of organized documentation of events that have happened over the past 2 years including dates, screenshots, emails, and more on over 100 infractions in need of litigation.”
The court filing against the Steam users can be found and read here.
*Featured image of teen affulenza lawsuit recipient Ethan Couch because he just looks exactly like the type of angry kid that would get sued for something like this.