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


Lothar Hex
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I hope the irony of an embarrassingly amateur man shouting an embarrassingly scripted playground polemic whilst standing on a set that would shame Crossroads, using production values that make the average BTEC Media showreel come across as the work of Orson Welles, telling someone their work is shit, isn't lost on anyone.

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On 3/19/2016 at 08:17, Wickedkitten said:

 

 

Can't believe I missed this earlier in the year. It's incredible. I love the bit where the DH guy compares the game where you beat up women with Sterling showing a giant dildo in his next video. I mean.....what? :lol: 

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Been following this with interest as I knew nothing about it before. Whilst its pretty hilarious and the devs are complete twonks, it's highlighted other issues with Steam and its policing. If you go to their website now: http://www.digitalhomicide.ninja/ they highlight some of the abuse they've been getting. Whilst I don't defend their behaviour in any way and it's undoubtedly fair for them to be booted off Steam, its still sad to see that mass abuse and targeting of people is continuing unchecked on Steam. Yes they probably deserve a lot of the crap flung their way but it sets a poor precident for how users are allowed to conduct themselves on the platform launching mass bullying campaigns. I believe in justice but incidents like this cause other idiots to band together and do some pretty nasty things in a mob-like way, echoes of gamergate's nastiness are still around. Anyway, its good to see that the devs aren't getting away with it and the main question is, will Steam do more now to police their greenlight games and crack down on fake reviews?

 

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They must be in an absolute blind panic, Valve has pretty much shut down their business and in the interview above the guy does say it's how he supports his family. Doesn't make it right to produce bad games but a sudden loss of main income will have them scrabbling to do anything. They do deserve for it to go against them, could you imagine the panic to reporting as a whole if the court ruled against Sterling? No one could right anything about anybody without fear of massive fines, it'd be a shit show.

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That "interview" on soundcloud was an absolute train wreck, the sort of thing that shows why marketing and PR are important. But the thing that struck me as interesting was the veiw that crtics in the game industry should somehow act as unpaid consultants, rather than giving consumers the heads up on something they should avoid there's this odd idea that a good critic should instead submit a bug report to the developer. You don't see that sort of thing too much nowadays as the media is sort of pretty tame but I remember back in the early days of Zzap, Crash and C&VG this was a pretty common complaint from some devs.

 

Also loved the line of logic that Jim Sterling should have praised the Slaughtering Grounds for it's good gun sound effects sourced from a professional music/sound effects house. I mean the paint Leonardo Da Vinci used to paint the Mona Lisa is obviously pretty damn good (stood the test of time for 400 years.) Doesn't mean anything painted using those materials is autoatically a masterpiece.

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10 minutes ago, Unofficial Who said:

That "interview" on soundcloud was an absolute train wreck, the sort of thing that shows why marketing and PR are important. But the thing that struck me as interesting was the veiw that crtics in the game industry should somehow act as unpaid consultants, rather than giving consumers the heads up on something they should avoid there's this odd idea that a good critic should instead submit a bug report to the developer. You don't see that sort of thing too much nowadays as the media is sort of pretty tame but I remember back in the early days of Zzap, Crash and C&VG this was a pretty common complaint from some devs.

 

 

There's an interesting argument here.  Yes, you'd like to think that the journalists would act in a way that benefits the consumers - their public.  But are they "their public"?  Who is actually paying the journalist?

 

At least in the days of printed magazines, consumers were at least paying part of the writers' wages.  Now it's all paid by the game publishers via advertising.

 

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But back in the day the magazines were part funded by the adverts. If the adverts dried up either pagecount had to go down or price had to go up. I don't think it is a critics job to do the beta testing. If a company can't afford to do it in house there's a number of ways to get people to do it for free.

 

The weird thing is, if I were Digital Homicide I would have totally doubled down on the crapness. Turned it into a weird positive like that "Don't Buy This" budget compilation. Turn it into some sort of weird outsider art piece.

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3 hours ago, Unofficial Who said:

But back in the day the magazines were part funded by the adverts. If the adverts dried up either pagecount had to go down or price had to go up. I don't think it is a critics job to do the beta testing. If a company can't afford to do it in house there's a number of ways to get people to do it for free.

.

 

That's why I said "at least paying part".

 

3 hours ago, RubberJohnny said:

Jim Sterling is paid via Patreon, so that is directly funded through the audience at least.

 

His Youtube videos aren't monetised, which serves him well because he can't be accused of drumming up controversy on issues like this.

 

Good to know, and makes my point a little less relevant!

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On 18 September 2016 at 08:56, womblingfree said:

I hope the irony of an embarrassingly amateur man shouting an embarrassingly scripted playground polemic whilst standing on a set that would shame Crossroads, using production values that make the average BTEC Media showreel come across as the work of Orson Welles, telling someone their work is shit, isn't lost on anyone.

 

Well I hope the irony of an amateur forum poster pointing out the irony of an embarrassingly amateur man shouting an embarrassingly scripted playground polemic whilst standing on a set that would shame Crossroads, using production values that make the average BTEC Media showreel come across as the work of Orson Welles, telling someone their work is shit, isn't lost on anyone.

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39 minutes ago, Xevious said:

 

That's why I said "at least paying part".

 

 

Good to know, and makes my point a little less relevant!

I think his gameplay videos ARE monetised, not the Jimquisition stuff though. And he doesn't have ads on his website.

 

It's worth noting to that end that Sterling doesn't actually have anywhere near as many viewers as you would think. He's well-known and influential within the audience of people who go on forums like here and neogaf and Giantbomb, but is a miniscule player compared to the big name youtubers - 400k followers vs the absurd 48m of Pewdiepie. He isn't making megabucks or getting himself famous.

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3 hours ago, Broker said:

 

Well I hope the irony of an amateur forum poster pointing out the irony of an embarrassingly amateur man shouting an embarrassingly scripted playground polemic whilst standing on a set that would shame Crossroads, using production values that make the average BTEC Media showreel come across as the work of Orson Welles, telling someone their work is shit, isn't lost on anyone.

As opposed to a professional forum poster?

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:lol:

 

My point was more that if my his own standards critics can only criticise works in entirely separate fields to their own if they meet some arbitrary quality standards then he should make sure whatever he does is absolutely awesome. In this case he's using the medium of a forum post, a medium I would argue he is more proficient than most in, but worse at than Jim Sterling is at YouTube.

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I think Jim Sterling's a decent journalist based on a couple of things he's written in the past but this spiralling situation with DH doesn't make anyone look good.

 

Sure, DH appear to be amateur developers of terrible software but they seemed to take personal offence to Jim and what they see as a one-man crusade to put them out of business.

 

It's not as if DH are in the arms trade or do business with apartheid or oppressive regimes. They make shit games for an open platform. I don't really see the initial crime or the need for anything to have escalated.

 

And as much as I support Jim's consumer and anti-corporate focus in principle, I think his persona might overdo it a bit sometimes and feed into stoking internet mob hysteria. Not that Jim Sterling should be held accountable for what some of his followers do but I'd imagine that being on the receiving end of a load of online abuse or threats might adversely impact my decision making process.

 

Is all of this worth destroying a business over - even if the business seems happy to be doing the job itself or doesn't or cannot focus on meeting arbitrary quality standards?

 

Is it worth Jim coming across initially as a bully in this case by virtue of focusing his energies on a particularly ill-equipped and amateurish target?

 

I can't side with Jim Sterling or DH because the whole thing came across as a sad, unnecessary pride-ridden debacle even before any talk of millions in damages.

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Jim Sterling is overly harsh on indie devs - but this really isn't one of those cases. DH are a studio that are just out to trick the consumer; make bad, unfinished games, buy their way through Greenlight, change their dev name (or set up dummy corperations), re-releasing software under different titles, deleting bad reviews... They've done every manipulative thing they can to shovel so many shit games on Steam. And now they're litigating.

 

It's a disgusting business practice. And like I said before; often I think Jim can be a bit of prick - but not in this case.

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They're not just an innocent and honest bad game developer. Steam is riddled with those and it is damaging the service. These guys are on another level. They just throw stock unity assets together into shovelware, then take personal offence when called out on it. They've been exploiting and cheating the steam greenlight system by offering free games for votes, exploiting the youtube copyright system to silence criticism of them, are trying to exploit the legal system to do the same, they essentially doxxed Sterling in a weird and creepy way...

 

Fuck them.

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Jim didn't really escalate anything, DH did - the timeline is he put out his video which mocked the game (he mocks a lot of Steam shovelware), then DH put out a video attacking him personally and he hit back. They asked him for an interview where they ambushed him and revealed his real name and address presumably to target him for harassment, and then he got sued, and then they also attempted to sue any steam user who gave them a bad review, and then they got thrown off Steam.

 

There's not really a "both sides" equivalence here, DH seem to be a bit fucking mental and also absolutely taking advantage on the business side.

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1 hour ago, RubberJohnny said:

Jim didn't really escalate anything, DH did - the timeline is he put out his video which mocked the game (he mocks a lot of Steam shovelware), then DH put out a video attacking him personally and he hit back. They asked him for an interview where they ambushed him and revealed his real name and address presumably to target him for harassment, and then he got sued, and then they also attempted to sue any steam user who gave them a bad review, and then they got thrown off Steam.

 

There's not really a "both sides" equivalence here, DH seem to be a bit fucking mental and also absolutely taking advantage on the business side.

Exactly this. I really don't understand why anyone would think "well, I don't like his videos so I'm siding against Sterling on this one". 

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5 hours ago, sir shrew said:

 

And find yourself in the position of producing better content than Jim Sterling with a fraction of the views, or worse, discover you're not as good at it as Jim Sterling.

Neither reality bears thinking about.

 

Jim Sterling is incredibly talented, which is why he's getting attention. You can think it's shit, but there's a 99% chance you'd be much worse than him. Maybe just stick him on your list with Zoe?

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