Valve, owners of the Steam gaming service and digital store, have been having some serious issues with one of their developers recently. The company, Digital Homicide, became known for filing a lawsuit against YouTube reviewer Jim Sterling, after the latter made some critical reviews of their products.
Afterwards, Digital Homicide apparently tried to obtain the personal details of a hundred Steam users, trying to sue them as well. The incident became highly publicized, and now Valve have responded by completely severing their ties with the developer, including the removal of all of their products from the Steam store.
Digital Homicide have posted a response on their official website, claiming that they have been treated unfairly, and expressing their apparent disappointment in Valve. The developer claims to have been harassed by Steam users who have been completely untouched by Valve, but it’s arguable just how much the publisher should have done in this particular situation.
It also looks like Digital Homicide are considering legal action against Valve themselves, as they have vaguely described filing a lawsuit against the company, but lacking the resources to do so. To that end, they are apparently seeking assistance in their legal representation, but we are not sure how many people would offer their services or finances in a lawsuit against one of the biggest corporations on Earth.
People have been wondering about the nature of this whole situation, with some being convinced that the people behind Digital Homicide are nothing but Internet trolls. But that doesn’t seem to be the case, as some brief research by reddit users seems to point towards regular people with families.
At the same time, the lawsuits they are constantly filing seem a bit unusual, so some have been questioning whether the company could have some more interesting motivations. Publicity definitely doesn’t seem to be the culprit here though, as this whole debacle has been a disaster for Digital Homicide and their reputation on the market.
Meanwhile, Jim Sterling has been quiet on his own front, but that’s normal, considering that he’s currently involved in an actual lawsuit. It’s typical for people to remain quiet in these cases, as it can be harmful to their position in the court battle if they share any details.
We do expect that Sterling will address the situation once it’s all over though, and he might actually have quite a lot to say. In the meantime, hopefully things will work out in a sensible way, as it seems like there is a lot to learn from this case.
According to some, it might lead to Valve tightening their grip on Steam and controlling the games released on it more tightly. This would lead to a situation similar to the one before Greenlight was introduced, which some claim might actually be an improvement compared to what we have right now.
On the other hand, some are worried about the possibility of Digital Homicide obtaining the personal details of some of Steam’s users, as that would undermine Valve’s reputation quite a lot.
So far, a judge has reportedly granted the developer a subpoena for the identities of the users, but Valve are apparently going to fight it in court. If the company wins, then their users will be able to remain anonymous and won’t have to face any legal action from Digital Homicide. Otherwise, it’s not clear how things are going to move forward.