9.20.2016

Valve Bans Developer from Steam for Suing Customers Over Bad Reviews

Has Digital Homicide Committed Digital Suicide?


Developer Digital Homicide recently filed a lawsuit against 100 Steam users seeking $18 million in damages. A subpoena was requested in an Arizona court which, if granted, will allow Digital Homicide’s James Romine to demand the real identities of the John/Jane Does, and bring a personal injury claim against them.

The lawsuit lists counts of “harassment”, “stalking”, and cyber-bullying”. The specific comments contained allegations about the studio’s games and their development, including accusations that many of their products were re-skins of the same game, among other things (death threats, most notably).

Valve’s marketing Director, Doug Lombardi, sent an email to Vice’s Motherboard last week stating that "Valve has stopped doing business with Digital Homicide for being hostile to Steam customers." Since then, Valve has removed all of Digital Homicide’s games from the Steam Store.

"Valve has stopped doing business with Digital Homicide for being hostile to Steam customers."

Over the weekend, Romine struck back, accusing Valve of not providing a safe environment by not dealing with a high number of abusive comments from Steam users and "a reckless disregard for for the wellbeing of their community for profits."

Romine stated, “We submitted numerous reports and sent multiple emails in regards to individuals making personal attacks, harassment, and more on not only us but on other Steam customers who were actually interested in our products.” Romine also provided examples of the alleged conduct.


As one might expect, Steam users haven’t taken kindly to the lawsuit. Numerous comments can be found on the developer’s pages, and some suspect the lawsuit may expand beyond the original 100 users if this keeps up.

Digital Homicide is familiar with controversy. Earlier this year, Digital Homicide pursued a separate, ongoing lawsuit against game critic Jim Sterling (known for The Jimquisition Series) demanding $10 million in damages in a series of videos going back to 2014. Romine’s GoFundMe account, which hopes to fund the suit, has made only $425 of its $75,000 goal. Romine has claimed he "received a pile of feces in the mail" and received messages like "Your wife is a whore," and "I hope you die in a fiery car crash."

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