For video-game developers, harsh criticism is nothing new. In fact, most games are absolutely torn to shreds on release by critics and consumers alike. Typically these developers drown their sorrows in cash, booze, or both.
On March 16, Digital Homicide formally filed a lawsuit in Arizona District Court, accusing Sterling of “assault, libel, and slander” to the tune of $10 million. (The only reason “assault” is listed is because libel is, legally speaking, part of a broader category when filing a lawsuit. Ignore that.) The lawsuit was filed by Digital Homicide co-founder James Romine.
Digital Homicide claims Sterling, whose real name is James Stanton, has “falsely accused [Digital Homicide] and caused damage” to the company. According to court documents, the company is asking for $2.26 million in direct product damage; $4.3 million in emotional, reputational, and financial distress; and $5 million in punitive damage requests. That adds up to $10.76 million, and it’s nothing to scoff at.
Digital Homicide is representing themselves in the lawsuit, and do not have an attorney. They’re currently
crowdfunding support for additional help, saying all donations will be kept anonymous.
Update – 12:25 pm: Digital Homicide has taken down its crowdfunding request “due to harassers donating amounts specifically to cause charges rather than donations and charge backs to cause financial fees…[W]e will be seeking another avenue for donations”
Digital Homicide’s meltdown didn’t stop at a lawsuit, however, as they felt like it was a good idea to put out a now-deleted video that Sterling archived on his YouTube channel where they called him a “f**king idiot,” who was not playing the game correctly. Of course, Sterling and his subscribers had a field day with this, and it only served to make Digital Homicide look even more idiotic.
Now Digital Homicide is back at it again. This time, they are suing 100 users of the gaming community Steam, where the reviews appeared, for $18 million, alleging “personal injury.” They are also demanding that Valve, which owns Steam, identify the users. In the legal documents, the evidence they provide is just a bunch of comments identifying Digital Homicide and calling them out for deceiving consumers.
In a new lawsuit filed in Arizona earlier this week, Digital Homicide co-founder James Romine asks for around $18 million from 100 anonymous Steam users with handles like Demonsword and Nathos. The suit, which also asks the court to subpoena Valve for the identities of these 100 Steam users, lays out a large list of allegations against them: stalking, harassment, criminal impersonation, tortious interference, and so on. Also: being mean.
Romine and his company point to a Steam group that was seemingly created to monitor Digital Homicide’s actions. The group accuses Digital Homicide of spamming Steam Greenlight, among other things. The 100 defendants named in the lawsuit are mostly members of this group.
“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,” the lawsuit says. “This hate and harassment group, Digital Homicides Poop Games, was created from the name of The Plaintiff’s company Digital Homicide Studios LLC.”
Since the failure of Slaughtering Grounds, Digital Homicide has found it difficult to sell its crappy games to unwitting consumers, so they decided to change their name to Every Click Counts.
In the end, this is just another sad story of a developer making absolutely horrible games and doing everything they can to make some money. This lawsuit will most likely be thrown out, and Digital Homicide will once again return to the realm of Internet obscurity.
UPDATE: Digital Homicide then filed a motion to dismiss, saying their business had been “destroyed” and unable to continue the suit. It was approved.