Jim Sterling

All posts tagged Jim Sterling

I fully expected the story of Digital Homicide vs. Jim Sterling to fizzle out a long time ago. While the indie developer did file a lawsuit alleging Sterling of making libelous comments that impacted their bottom line, they also apparently lacked the funds to keep a lawyer appointed and had to resort to starting a GoFundMe to cover the cost of litigation. That campaign only managed to make a dismal $425, and that’s pretty much where all of this should have ended. Instead, litigation against Sterling is ongoing as the Romine brothers have opted to represent themselves in court, which is always a good idea.

The suit against Sterling is now joined by an additional lawsuit, this time filed by James Romine (one half of the dream team that makes up the Romine Brothers, owners of Digital Homicide) against 100 Steam users, seeking restitution to the sum of $15 million for personal injuries sustained by mean comments people left about him and Digital Homicide.
In response to a subpoena requesting the forfeiture of those 100 user’s information, Valve has decided to throw their hands up, say “screw this noise” and blacklist Digital Homicide from Steam. Every game developed by the studio has been excised from Valve’s storefront, although if you previously purchased one of their games, you’re still able to install it.
Valve spokesman Doug Lombardi confirmed this earlier yesterday, saying “Valve has stopped doing business with Digital Homicide for being hostile to Steam customers.” So hey, if you were ever wondering just how far you had to go to get a game removed from Greenlight… there’s your answer.
Digital Homicide is of course trying to turn the tables back on Valve, asserting that their poor community moderation is what lead to the lawsuit. They’ve also gone on to accuse Valve of interfering with business, breach of contract, “anti-trust issues.” You can read Digital Homicide’s statement here.
So there you have it, the latest chapter in Digital Homicide’s excruciatingly slow implosion. And all because some British weirdo in an ill-fitting suit said mean things about a video game. What a time to be alive.

Jim Sterling, once reviews editor for Destructoid turned Youtube superstar, is being taken to court by indie developer Digital Homicide for libel. The suit is seeking up to $10 million in damages from Sterling for comments he’s made over the last year concerning Digital Homicide’s reputation and business practices. The feud between the two started when Sterling played through some of Digital Homicide’s The Slaughtering Ground, which he most certainly did not enjoy. Digital Homicide released a review of his review, and ever since then it’s been one big slap fight.

Over the last year, Sterling has claimed that Digital Homicide has been involved in greenlight vote-rigging, initially accused them of lifting artwork from DeviantArt – later corrected to Shutterstock (which court filings show a receipt for use) – and that Digital Homicide infringed upon ECC Game’s brand name by using it to publish games to Steam Greenlight under. The latter of these accusations came about after Sterling was contacted by the supposed actual ECC Games, who explained that the titles attributed to them on Steam are in fact not games they’ve developed. You can check out Sterling’s article about all of this here.

Also cited in court documents is an instance in which Jim Sterling compared the Romine brothers (sole proprietors and developers at Digital Homicide) to the Wet Bandits, which is then followed by a description on who and what the Wet Bandits are, and that’s maybe my favorite thing about all of this.

Digital Homicide refutes Sterling’s claims in court filings, stating that they were “posted to purposely cause controversy, damage, and portray [Digital Homicide] as having done something illegal,” and that there was “no attempt to impersonate another company.” The developer also feels that they are being targeted unfairly compared to AAA developers. In addition to the sought after $10 million in damages, Digital Homicide wants apologies posted within each of Sterling’s articles and videos concerning the developer for a period of no less than 5 years, and for an apology video to be featured prominently on the front of his youtube channel for 5 years.

In the end, the validity of Jim Sterling’s accusations is something to be determined in court. While he does state in his article about Digital Homicide that he “cannot present everything in this article as verified fact,” his points come off as very stern and accusatory. It’s up to Digital Homicide to prove that the accusations leveled at them by Sterling are false, have impacted their bottom line, and sullied their reputation.

All the information pulled for this article comes from the previously linked articles and videos published by Jim Sterling, and court documentation which has been made available online, which you can read here and here.