An independent game developer has subpoenaed Valve to learn the identities of 100 members of the Steam community, with the intention of suing them for personal injury to the tune of $18 million.
Digital Homicide is no stranger to controversy. In March 2016, the game developer and publisher filed a $10-million lawsuit against British video game critic Jim Sterling for libel, slander and assault, after Sterling called out their work for being little more than asset flips, taking existing content created within the Unity engine, and placing it in their own games with only minor modifications.
Until recently they had dozens of small games mostly available for a a few bucks each. However, after receiving the subpoena, Valve decided to pull Digital Homicide's content from the platform “for being hostile to Steam customers,” according to marketing VP Doug Lombardi.
Digital Homicide boss James Romine defended the move in a blog post and accused Valve of failing to provide a safe environment for developers and showing "a reckless disregard for for the wellbeing of their community for profits." He also illustrates some of the personal attacks his team has received for up to 21 months on Steam, YouTube, Reddit and more.
The company is nos seeking legal representation against Valve too.
“By removing us they have taken the stance that users have the right to harass me, tell me I should kill myself, and insult my family . If I try to defend myself against said actions then I lose my family's income. If it wasn't for 2 years of experience of dealing with Steam on a regular basis, this disgusting stance would seem shocking to me. The only thing that prevented me seeking legal counsel for a long list of breach of contracts, interference with business, and anti-trust issues was the fear of losing my family's income. Since that has been taken away I am seeking legal representation.”