In what can only be described as one of the craziest lawsuits ever, development studio Digital Homicide are suing video game critic Jim Sterling to the tune of $10 million, accusing him of “assault, libel and slander”.
Co-founder of Digital Homicide James Romine filed the lawsuit on March 16 in Arizona District Court on behalf of the studio claiming 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.”
As a result, Digital Homicide are seeking over $10 million in damages. Of that amount, $2,261,000 is for “direct product damage”, $4,300,000 for “emotional, reputational and financial distress” with a further $5,000,000 being claimed for “punitive damages”.
Digital Homicide have several titles on Steam, most of which have very negative reviews. They were responsible for Forsaken Uprising which is probably the worst video game I have ever had the misfortune of purchasing and playing. In addition to that, they are behind other games such as Temper Tantrum and The Slaughtering Grounds, all of which have been poorly received, with claims being made that they use assets purchased on the Unity Store. The studio also has 18 games currently on Steam Greenlight.
There has long been a feud between Jim Sterling and Digital Homicide following Sterling’s criticism of the studio on his YouTube channel after playing several of their games. The most notable video was on The Slaughtering Grounds which prompted the studio to attempt to take down the video on YouTube by exploiting YouTube’s copyright infringement policy. Their attempt was unsuccessful and what followed was a publicized dispute between Sterling and Digital Homicide. You can watch this episode below where Sterling goes into detail about what has happened between himself and the studio following his video on The Slaughtering Grounds.
That was over a year ago and it is believed that Digital Homicide have been preparing their lawsuit for the past four months. However the studio is representing themselves in court and have even gone as far as to seek donations from the public to help fund their case against Jim Sterling. As you would have expected, that hasn’t gone down too well with the gaming community who have now forced Digital Homicide to take down their crowdfunding page and seek other avenues to receive donations.
“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”, said Digital Homicide to Kotaku.
Digital Homicide? More like Digital Suicide.
Sorry. I just had to…