In March, you may remember a story we did about the indie developer Digital Homicide suing Jim Sterling over his remarks about their albeit poorly received games. They sought to receive over $10 million in damages from the internet critic, an obscene amount over what could be considered an honest review. That lawsuit is still pending. This time, they’ve targeted over 100 random Steam users who have posted reviews and comments about their games for an outrageous $18 million, claiming that they have formed a “hate and harassment group.”
Two weeks ago, Digital Homicide co-founder James Romine filed a lawsuit in Arizona to seek out the identity of the users through a subpoena of Valve, and receive their payment for the laundry list of allegations. In their court documents, they claim that anonymous users repeatedly posted harassment from anywhere from 10 to 2000 times per defendant, for a truly staggering 20,000 postings on Reddit, YouTube, and ask.fm. I remind you, this is all because anonymous users were not playing nice with a game studio.
Also in the lawsuit is Romine pointing out a Steam group that’s sole purpose was to track Digital Homicide’s products and viciously mock them, turning away potential buyers in the process. The direct quote from the lawsuit is as follows:
Plaintiff is informed and believes and thereon alleges that, at all times herein mentioned, each of the defendants sued herein was during listed events and/or currently is a member of an organized hate and harassment group or assisted said hate and harassment group that specifically formed on [Steam] to financially destroy and harass The Plaintiff and other targeted developers…This hate and harassment group, Digital Homicides Poop Games, was created from the name of The Plaintiff’s company Digital Homicide Studios LLC.
A company is suing anonymous users from a group called “Poop Games” for millions of dollars. Life is truly amazing sometimes.
If you would like to read the whole thing, you can do so here. Most of the interesting bits are buried under pages and pages of mundane lawyer speak. Since the lawsuit and following media storm, Valve has pulled all of Digital Homicide’s game off of the steam page, citing that the company’s open hostility towards their customers was out of line. This surprises all of no one.
More on this story as it develops.