Digital Homicide Studios
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Digital Homicide Studios LLC., commonly known as Digital Homicide, is a small, independent game developer studio founded in 2014 and owned by James and Robert Romine. The studio has published games to Steam via Steam Greenlight such as Slaughtering Grounds and Temper Tantrum. The studio has gained a notorious reputation due to shady business practices, low quality of their games and the infamous tension between the company and Jim Sterling.
The studio was founded in 2014 by Robert and James Romine and they are the only developers of the studio. The first game they published was The Slaughtering Grounds, a first-person shooter horror game under the alias Imminent Uprising on Nov 1st 2014 to Steam. They have since published many games via the Steam Greenlight platform.
The studio had gained a negative reputation in the gaming community, especially Steam, for publishing low quality games, censoring criticism and taking down negative reviews of their games, uploading many games to the Greenlight platform under different aliases and company names, committing the act of "asset-flipping", or using pre-made assets left unchanged, in their games, and being caught giving away free keys to Steam users in exchange for upvotes for their Steam Greenlight submissions. The most infamous of all is the tension between Jim Sterling, a Youtube personality and independent video game journalist for his gameplay video on The Slaughtering Grounds and Jim's frequent effort uncovering their shady business practices.
Slaughtering Grounds: The Steam Meltdown Saga
On November 27th 2014, Jim Sterling uploaded a first impressions video (shown below, left) of him playing The Slaughtering Grounds while noting the game's technical problems, calling it an "absolute failure" in the end. The studio would then uploaded a reaction video as part of a so-called series called "Review the Reviewer" which uses Jim's gameplay video with overlaid text to respond to his criticisms in a bitter manner, the most notable of which involved calling him "Jim Fucking Sterling, Son". Sterling would then upload a response to the Review the Reviewer video where he laughs at the response made towards his review and calling it a meltdown on the developer's behalf (shown below, right).
Digital Homicide would then upload a second response to Jim Sterling's response to their original reaction to Sterling's review, consisting of text overlaid audio of Jim's response to their original review (shown below, left). Eventually, the company would file a false DMCA takedown claim on Jim's original review on The Slaughtering Grounds. Digital Homicide would later attempt to justify the claim through a blog post. On December 1st, 2014, Jim uploaded a Jimquisition video about the issue, calling out their shady practices such as censoring criticisms and used a desktop wallpaper as their game's "official" artwork without owner's permission nor credited. Eventually, Jim adopted the name "Jim Fucking Sterling, Son" as his new nickname or persona. As of March 21st, 2016, the video has 1,700,000 views and 26,000 upvotes.
Interview with Jim Sterling
On July 2nd, 2015, Jim Sterling uploaded a podcast a.k.a. Podquisition of him interviewing one of the developers, Robert Romine. The interview consists of Robert complaining and spiting Jim in an impolite manner.
On October 12th, 2015, Jim Sterling uploaded a Jimquisition video exposing Digital Homicide's shady business practices such as using dummy company names, for example Every Click Counts Games (ECC Games), as a cover up, bribing to gain upvotes for their games on Steam and publishing dozens of games with no quality assurance. As of March 12th, 2016, the video has 400,000 views and 17,000 upvotes.
Court Lawsuit Against Jim Sterling
On Digital Homicide's website, Robert Romine decided to file a lawsuit against Jim Sterling for the supposed harassment by both Jim and the fanbase. Later, Jim responded to it via Twitter (shown below). On March 17th, the Destructoid website published an article about the lawsuit.
I have nothing yet to say about any legal situations. In unrelated news I am in a very confident mood today.
— Jim Sterling (@JimSterling) 16 March 2016
On September 16th, 2016, Jim tweeted out that the lawsuit that was filed by Digital Homicide against him was now raised from the original $10 million to $15 million.
Correction for media mentioning my thing I don't talk about – they bumped it up to $15mil by my last count, it's not $10mil anymore.
— Jim Sterling (@JimSterling) September 16, 2016
In late Feburary 2017, Jim Sterling announced that the lawsuit between him and James Romine has been dropped with prejudice, meaning that the case could not be filed again. This was accompanied with an explanation of Jim's view of the events from the start of the lawsuit to the end. (shown below)
Court Lawsuit Against 100 Steam Users
On September 16th, 2016, it was reported that Digital Homicide was taking legal action against 100 Steam users for negative reviews and feedback of their games. The users were sued for $18 million for "personal injury" damages against the company and subpoenaed Valve for the disclosure of their personal information. Youtube user SidAlpha would upload a video discussing the situation along with a link to a Google Drive folder containing the legal documents for the case.
Meanwhile, Valve took down all of Digital Homicide's games from the Steam catalogue (shown below). Valve employee Doug Lombardi responded to an inquiry by TechRaptor about the situation, confirming that the games were taken down and that they "stopped doing business with Digital Homicide for being hostile to Steam customers." In response to the takedown by Steam of their games, Digital Homicide published a blog post showing various negative comments and death threats sent to the developers and stated that they are now seeking legal representation.
 Website – Digital Homicide Studios
 Steam Store – Slaughtering Grounds
 Destructoid – Indie Developer Digital Homicide Sues Jim Sterling
 Popehat – 'Digital Homicide Studio' Abuses DMCA To Lash Out At Reviewer Jim Sterling, Gets Fair Use Wrong
 Techraptor – [Updated] Digital Homicide’s Games Removed From Steam
 VG247 – Digital Homicide suing Steam users and subpoenaes Valve for their personal details
 Digital Homicide Studios – Seeking Legal Representation
Sep 18, 2016 at 10:36AM EDT
Sep 17, 2016 at 12:42PM EDT
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