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Gaming studio Digital Homicide pulls out of $18 million harassment lawsuit

Tue 4 Oct 2016

Litigious games studio Digital Homicide has withdrawn from an $18 million lawsuit against Steam users, who it accused of hate and harassment, announcing that the company has been ‘destroyed’ by the legal battle.

Faced with a motion to subpoena for Steam user identities, allegedly guilty of harassment through biting reviews, creator Valve pulled all Digital Homicide offerings from the Steam marketplace, claiming that the studio is ‘hostile to Steam customers.’ The subpoena request was never granted.

Digital Homicide co-owner James Romine said in a statement to TechRaptor that the financial impact of bad publicity and the ousting from the Steam platform had forced his company to throw in the towel. ‘As far as digital homicide? It’s destroyed. It’s been stomped into the ground from a thousand directions and use is discontinued. I’m going back into the work force,’ he said.

Romine, who runs Digital Homicide with his brother Robert, continued to detail the harassment campaigns from Steam users, describing ‘reoccurring returning attackers for in some cases 20 months… I’m a stationary target as a storefront.’ He added that the legal case was triggered as soon the trolling began to target his customers.

Digital Homicide was heavily accused by the gaming media of rushing to deliver games of amateur quality by plugging together recycled material. Romine blamed the critics for depicting his studio ‘in a negative customer light’, and argued the need to fight for lower prices and a more open marketplace in the sector.

The Arizona-based studio filed for dismissal of the Steam case and a refund of its court fees, citing inability to fund the suit due to financial difficulties. On Friday, the dismissal was approved.

A similar case saw the Romine brothers take legal action against videogame critic and YouTube blogger Jim Sterling. The suit, which was seeking $10.7 million (approx. £8.4 million), still awaits a dismissal decision.

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