Booted From Steam, Digital Homicide Looks To Sue Valve As Well

Image: Supplied

After having all of its games removed from Steam following their decision to file a lawsuit against 100 anonymous Steam users, Digital Homicide has escalated matters by announcing that it is looking for "legal representation" for a lawsuit against Steam, and Valve, itself.

If you're not up to date with the latest ongoings with Digital Homicide, they are as follows. James Romine, the co-founder of Digital Homicide, last week filed a suit against 100 anonymous Jane/John Does on Steam that, in their eyes, were allegedly responsible for criminal impersonation, conspiracy to commit cyber bulling, continual criminal property damage for over a year, tortious interference, stalking, harassment, conspiracy to vandalise and destroy personal property, and more.

The court filing, which you can read here, also subpoenaed Valve for the information of the 100 users involved. That subpoena was granted, incidentally,

Understandably, Valve refused to put up with that. They told Kotaku that the company "has stopped doing business with Digital Homicide for being hostile to Steam customers", and subsequently removed all of the company's games from Steam.

And if you're already suing a critic for $US15 million and 100 random gamers on Steam, you might as well sue Steam itself. In a page established by Digital Homicide, the company says the lawsuit was "solely in regards to individuals where no resolution was ablet o be obtained from Steam to provide a safe environment for us to conduct business" and that the assertion that the lawsuit was hostile to Steam users was "incorrect".

Image: digitalhomicide.ninja

"When someone bothers you on say a platform like Facebook and you find the need to ban them, the Facebook response after you ban is "Sorry you had this experience" and then that person is removed from being able to post on your page," Digital Homicide argues. "Steam's stance is what just happened to us. By removing us they have taken the stance that users have the right to harass me, tell me I should kill myself, and insult my family."

It goes on to say that Digital Homicide refused to seek action against Steam earlier out of concern for "losing my family's income", something which has now happened with Digital Homicide's games being pulled from Steam.

I've contacted Valve for comment, although the company was yet to respond at the time of writing and it's unusual for companies in any case to comment on litigation, ongoing or otherwise. I'll update this post, however, should either party issue a statement.


Comments

    https://i.imgur.com/GDNyuPn.gif

      Not the exact one I expected, but still exactly what I expected :P

    Ah, Valve. Sometimes the name is quite apt.

    How the heck does a small company churn out 50+ games? The screenie shows them offering a 50 game bundle... Unless you're EA you can't do that and make them with any sort of quality (some could say EA doesn't make them with quality, but that's a different argument).

    While I disagree with people making threats on the internet pretty much any comment on the quality of a game should be allowable as long as it's honest. If you think a game is rubbish and you're getting ripped off then you should be allowed to say as much.

    Hope Valve and the users win this one.

      I'll probably get this wrong in a few details, but as I understand it, they recycle generic assets and basically do a paint by numbers process to churn out games with relatively little effort. Not that I've looked for myself, from what I've read their games arent the type that interest me personally.

      I've casually watched Jim Sterling's coverage of them. Basically as mentioned in the previous comment, they buy/use free stock assets from the Unity engine store, and then smoosh them together into a vague attempt at a "game". So the zombie game will just have some build by someone else buildings around and some built by someone else zombies shambling towards you etc. Every time they get called out on their nonsense they get massively offended and threaten the reviewer, delete user complaints etc.

        The massive offense is something I really don't understand. How can someone be so naive that they genuinely don't see how terrible their game is? It amazes me, because as a professional all I could see in my completed games were the flaws. I assumed that everything I did was terrible. These guys just have absolutely no concept of the quality of their work.

        I love the hissy fit they had with the weird interview they did with Sterling, where they started arguing that their graphics and sound were high-quality because they'd bought professional assets.

        How can they not understand that even if they did buy the same stock sound effect as was used in a AAA game, no professional uses a stock sound as-is? They get edited and mixed and generally worked on until they fit the game being created. They don't just get blasted out the speaker in all their raw glory.

          I call it the Trump effect, just ignore the truth and keep telling everyone you're the greatest.

          I don't believe that they think their games are good. I think they get offended by criticism because they see that as lost money. If you churn out that many games in that amount of time, you're most likely only in the industry for the money.

            Nailed it. It's not about quality. It's about quantity. Any criticism is impacts sales. For them it's a quick, cheap income.

      The threats are terrible. It would be nice if the Internet could stop making everything so bloody personal and just say "I dislike this product".

      "Fair enough", say all the level-headed developers, "I'm sorry you had a negative experience, thank you for your custom."

      Neither party did that in this particular case.

      As for how they can churn these out:
      1) Download Unity
      2) Purchase and download assets, including complete levels.
      3) Use as many default Unity behaviours as possible. Do the bare minimum programming to cobble everything together into what is, technically, a game.
      4) Put it on Steam.
      5) Goto 2.

        It's not quite that easy. You've still got to know what you're doing. Mostly ....

        But yeah, you've got the idea.

    Where do these guys get the money to do this?

      They tried to run a gofundme to hire a lawyer lmao. They basically churn out shovelware in the hope of each new game selling units, but I don't think that's been working out thanks to Steam refunds and user reviews.

      Steam Trading Cards! There are two ways they make money from Steam Trading Cards:
      1. Lots of fake user accounts farming/idling for cards, which they convert to gems and subsequently to booster packs for more valuable cards that they can sell.
      2. The developer gets a minimum of $0.01 from every Trading Card sale on the Steam Community Market.

    Suing Valve. Seems like a smart move.

    When the dust settles, someone needs to make a mockumentary about those drongos.

    So let's create a short play out of the events.

    DIGITAL HOMICIDE is feverishly churning out games using recycled assets and low originality to make as many sales as possible, as quickly and cheaply as possible. These games are objectively terrible.

    [Entering] A USER: Forsooth, Digital Homicide, why for art thou games such excrement? Let me count the ways...

    DIGITAL HOMOCIDE [baselessly]: Fucketh thou, customer, you may take thine falsehood criticisms and insert them where no sun doth shine. Indeed, these comments are without merit, and warrant ye none but a suck of mine shaft, you scoundrels!

    A USER [Aghast]: I speak nothing but the truth! [Exit, stage left]

    DIGITAL HOMICIDE [Litigously]: The truth burns is a mean vileness that causes our manhood to shrivel in our pantaloons. We have no recourse but to demand recompense, so that we may return to proudly displaying our tumescence.

    DIGITAL HOMICIDE issues a writ.

    [Entering, stage right] A MAGISTRATE: Vile meanness? How horrid. Valve, we demand that you assist us in bringing these perpetrators forward to answer for their crimes! [Exits]

    [VALVE, from offstage]: Fuck off.

    DIGITAL HOMOCIDE [impotently]: We shall have our day in court!

    AUDIENCE [reading cue cards]: u wot m8? u 'avin' a giggle? I'll bash yer 'ead in I sware on me mum.

      "Spellbinding" - New York Times
      "A modern day tragedy" - The Guardian
      "2 mny wrds lol 10/10" - IGN

    That has to be on record the fastest ever response from Valve on a legal action ever. They dont ususlky so or do anything for weeks.

      It's a company attacking steam users and demanding their identities. I'd expect them to react fast.

        No, its Valve they take weeks to respond to anything... CSGO littery scandal took them 2 weeks from first court filing. ACCC couldnt even get a response until a subpeona was issued.

        Valve is all about be quiet, no response and formulate a strategy without public input. Its how they manage their games, how they manage game reviews, custimer support and any legal cases.

        Next day response is huge

          This is just a hypothesis, but POSSIBLY they actually LEARNED from the disdainful response to their apathy in regards to the CSGO lottery scandal and resolved to act more quickly in future? Valve aren't the WORST company in the world, after all (that's Konami, of course, #FucKonami).

    To be fair, any reviews containing death threats or insult to the developer's family should have been removed.

    Any sincere reviews calling out games that are steaming piles of shit should (of course) remain.

    I'm sure I'm not the only one cheering Valve.

    I loathe the sort of toxic comments which (allegedly) were made here, but not half as much as I loathe the sort of shotgun lawsuit which Digital Revolver seem to be using.

    Now they need to try to survive without Steam, with nothing to back them up except their sterling reputation. If they spent as much effort on creating good games as they did in persecuting those who call them out on the quality of their software, nobody would be calling them out on the quality of their software.

    I just realised who these guys are, I watched that YouTube video ages ago with Jim Sterling and the guy arguing about the gunshots. Jim was saying they don't suit the game and seem out of place and the other guy was saying they where professional sounds. They where used by Big Studio, do you think Big Studio is crap.

    This really does seem like a studio that can't take Criticism, no matter how legitimate. Also when somebody issues a Internet Death Threat, ignore them. If you complain about it you will be Trolled hard. This is different from being Doxxed, if you are Doxxed pursue it via Law Enforcement.

    This studio went from digging a hole, To digging their own grave, Now they are digging a hole bigger than the grand canyon.

    Either way, These guys are done. The fact they are publicly asking for people to represent them means actual lawyers have refused.

    conspiracy to commit cyber bulling
    Do we really live in a world where this is a thing?

    DH is going out swinging its bony little fists at the iron coffin lid closing over it.

    I'd like to see some more details about this as the article was pretty vague. As bad as their games sound from the commenters here, death threats is simply not an acceptable action under any circumstances, and I hope the malicious users responsible for it get a suitable punushment. But I think suing Valve is counter-intuitive and really isn't going to help the company get the desired result.

    Last edited 20/09/16 10:28 pm

    Wow. This is just sad now. First they sue Jim Sterling for saying their games are garbage (which is true) Second they sue Steam users who keep an eye on steam greenlight and thumbs down all their games and other crappy developer projects, Third they decide they're going to sue Valve which will send them bankrupt. Since i'm sure Valve will counter sue for legal fees and my guess their legal team is expensive as hell. Just give up Digital Homicide you've had your 5 mins of fame by overreacting to Jim's reviews of your games, now you're just getting desperate to get in the news by filing more frivolous lawsuits.

    Ah Digital Homicide. I first found out they existed when Jim Sterling gave me reasons not to buy any of their games. Then they tried to sue him for 10 million dollars. So I had another reason. Now, I just point and laugh. And if Steam picks them up again, I'll ignore all their games and go find a physical marble game to amuse myself with

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