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Maker of terrible steam games sues Youtube game reviewer Jim Sterling for $10 million


Lothar Hex
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http://www.destructoid.com/indie-developer-digital-homicide-sues-jim-sterling-349283.phtml

 

 On March 4, 2016, James Romine (one-half of Digital Homicide, along with his brother Robert) filed a civil suit against our old friend Jim Sterling, seeking $10,761,000 in damages; $2,261,000 in "direct product damage," $4,300,000 in "emotional, reputational, and financial distress," and $5,000,000 in "punitive damages." Add up those three numbers and you get $11,561,000 -- I do not know where the missing $800,000 went and I've read every publicly available court document.

According to court documents filed by Romine, the lawsuit centers around ten specific counts of libel. The complaint states that "The Defendant (Jim Sterling) falsely accused The Plaintiff (Romine) and caused damage to reputation, damage to product, loss of product, and causing severe emotional distress to The Plaintiff, The Plaintiff has right to receive restitution for these damages."

The feud between the Romine brothers and Jim Sterling can be traced to a video where Sterling played a game called The Slaughtering Grounds, released under Digital Homicide's previous nom de plume ImminentUprising. If you've seen one video where a snarky gamer plays bad Steam games, you've seen them all -- Sterling's is no different. Since the video's release, Sterling and Digital Homicide have engaged in a near-litigious back-and-forth, culminating in this month's lawsuit.

 

The alleged damages include a claim from Sterling that Digital Homicide impersonated Polish game company ECC Games, harassment from Sterling's fanbase, and the fact that Sterling compared them to the Wet Bandits from Home Alone. This is not a joke. 

More concrete is the claim that Digital Homicide spoke with Valve representatives Connor Malone and Tom Giardino, where they allegedly told Romine they would be disabling the company's developer account. Romine claims that he was able to convince Malone and Giardino to leave the account in exchange for de-listing the rest of Digital Homicide's then-current Steam Greenlight projects. We've reached out to Giardino for comment, since Malone's contact information does not currently appear onValve's 'People' page.

Sterling is not currently commenting on the lawsuit, but he addressed the matter on his ask.fm page. "I have nothing yet to say about any legal situations. In unrelated news I am in a very confident mood today." In a comment sent to Gameranx and later to Destructoid, Sterling said he was "dealing with the situation" and re-emphasizing his confidence. Sterling has previously criticized Digital Homicide for pushing multiple games of low quality through the Steam storefront, most of which he claims are built exclusively using pre-purchased Unity assets.

In the course of his investigation into Digital Homicide, Sterling claims the company published multiple games under different banners, including "Micro Strategic Game Designs" and "ECC Games." Sterling also claims to have gotten in touch with previously existing company ECC Games Poland, where he quotes producer Dorota Muzynska as saying "We probably fell victim to a people previously known as Digital Homicide. We have already taken legal actions aimed at ceasing infringement of ECC Games rights." We have also reached out to ECC Games for comment regarding this claim.

When asked for comment, Robert Romine instead forwarded Destructoid his entire conversation with another gaming outlet. When pressed for comment on the questions we actually sent, Romine said they were not disclosing the names of the attorneys involved in the case. He also framed the case as a fight against online harassment. "We hope this case and documentation will show others they don't have to take it, what to do when it happens, and that those who do it will be punished."

Romine also told us that "re-printing defamatory materials in your own words would result in liability on your part," which sounds an awful lot like a threat to me.

 

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This is most recent video on these utter cunts. 

 

They are probably the most wretched scum of the whole 'scumbags, conmen and rip off merchants' cottage industry Valve has inculcated on Steam.

 

Insanely they are taking crowd funding money for their lawsuit, which is some incredible chutzpah. Hopefully this will bankrupt them if it goes to court. Also, for the love of God Valve needs to reimplement some controls over the river of shite they let onto their platform.

 

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It is kinda weird, Sterling can be entertaining but he can also grate, essentially feeling like Yahtzee without the charm. That said Digital Homicide feels like they're trying to just make news or cash. Also they must be looney to think Sterling has  $10 mill for them to take. He may make more than they do, but still.

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6 minutes ago, Lothar Hex said:

It is kinda weird, Sterling can be entertaining but he can also grate, essentially feeling like Yahtzee without the charm. That said Digital Homicide feels like they're trying to just make news or cash. Also they must be looney to think Sterling has  $10 mill for them to take. He may make more than they do, but still.

 

Nah, I love Jim 'Fucking' Sterling Son! The interview he did with them, wasn't showing his best side, but he nails issues quite well most of the time and this battle with Digital Homicide is going to be the stuff of legend. 

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I don't know anything about what Steam Greenlight is, so could someone be helpful and explain to me what the scam is that DH are pulling with all their game trailers? Is it some sort of way of trying to get money for games then won't make?

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I'd never heard of Jim Sterling before. Factual anecdote. So a trip to YouTube was in order. I saw that face, heard that voice and it was instant hate.

 

But when I got past that, there wasn't much to find objectionable about his gaming views.

 

 

I don't think the personalities of game critics have changed much, just the size of their audiences. Develop shit, get banged.

 

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Listening to the interview like Biffo suggests I recommend as well. http://www.thejimquisition.com/2015/07/special-podcast-jim-sterling-and-digital-homicide-hash-it-out/

 

The difference of opinion is interesting to say the least, enough to make a discussion out of. I do see the validity of 'first impressions' videos being a bit questionable in judging a product as a whole and if it does any good in it's critique compared to a review. Much as I love Jim, there's no lie that Jim's first impression videos are 'lets laugh at this' a lot of the time, and that does affect the developer/s behind it.

On the flip side it's just as much a argument of what should and should not be put on sale on Steam, Steam DOES require some degree of quality control. Helping indie devs start out does sound cool, but should My First Sonic Clone Program really be available? Are you proud of your work enough that you think it deserves being on Steam for everyone to see?

 

If there was a site that's dedicated to My First App/Learning stuff that was free to everyone but those that liked a particular game can choose to donate to the developer....would Jim still have the right to come in and take the piss of those kinds of games?

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1 hour ago, partious said:

I dislike horrible youtube/internet game critic "personalities" like Sterling who make their money from being constantly angry/upset about something game related far more than I dislike low quality games or the people who make them.

 

But that's not what he is at all. Watch a couple of videos, the bits at the beginning are meant to be a joke unless you think him waving a dildo around on camera is the norm for journalists. He always puts his point across in a very straight forward way arguing the case perfectly. Also admits when he's wrong and one of the better channels going.

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Sterlings an excellent youtuber, Digital Homicide flood steam with crap asset stealing games that barely work, and apparently they have no case (Jim's Lawyers). Theyre even using kickstarter to fund the legal action, they're chancers. 11 million? They won't get apricot one.

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5 minutes ago, Lorfarius said:

 

But that's not what he is at all. Watch a couple of videos, the bits at the beginning are meant to be a joke unless you think him waving a dildo around on camera is the norm for journalists. He always puts his point across in a very straight forward way arguing the case perfectly. Also admits when he's wrong and one of the better channels going.

 

I did like his mid-week Jimquisition last week where he admitted to a mistake by bringing in a guy called Chip and chastising him. 

 

Fuck sake Chip 

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  • 5 months later...

Update. Valve have thrown Digital Homicide off Steam.

 

http://techraptor.net/content/digital-homicides-games-removed-steam

 



Updated] Digital Homicide’s Games Removed From Steam

 

Update: Valve has responded to our question, confirming that they did delist the games. This was what Doug Lombardi of Valve had to say:

 

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

 

Original Story below:

 

We reported earlier today that Digital Homicide is suing 100 Steam users for $18 million. In addition, they filed subpoena against Valve for information about the users in order to be able to pursue the matter. At the time of that report, Valve had taken no action on the matter, but it appears that reprieve has ended.

 

First spotted by Twitter user lashman (@RobotBrush), it appears that all of Digital Homicide’s games have been removed from Steam, and they are not listed as a developer on the storefront. 

 

Users who previously purchased or acquired the games in other methods on Steam are unaffected by this. The games still appear in your library, just like with previously delisted titles. It is possible that the deletion here is related not to the lawsuit, but instead to Valve’s crackdown on reviews and Greenlight votes for keys. While Digital Homicide has not been proven to be involved in that controversy, they have participated in giveaways in groups that did which asked you to go to the Greenlight page to get your code. However, given the timing, that appears unlikely, especially when you consider that previous games that have had that issue have just had the purchase button removed instead of becoming entirely delisted. A prime example of that is most of the output of Rai Studio Games, including Base Squad 49.

 

Additionally, it appears that Steam keys that have already been given to Digital Homicide and are being distributed through different store fronts will still function. We tested this with a code from their Itch.io page and it redeemed without issues. 

 

Another impact of this is that the Greenlight queue has gotten lighter. All their games that were on the Steam Greenlight program have been removed from that at this time. The group Digital Homicide Game Central, which is run by Digital Homicide as a central hub for their games is still functional.

 

In other Digital Homicide news, Youtube Personality and sometime critic Jim Sterling shared on Twitter that the amount Digital Homicide was suing him for had risen to $10 million to $15 million.

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