Digital Homicide might have committed digital suicide after going to war with Valve.
The studio has already taken legal action against video personality Jim Sterling after the Brit heavily criticised many of its titles in his Jimquisition series. Now it has alleged that an organised group formed on the back of this criticism to orchestrate strategic negative reviews in an effort to damage it.
It also alleges that this organised harassment took other forms, such as mass emailing.
Digital Homicide has actually subpoenaed Valve in an effort to obtain the personal details of the users in question – and Valve has reacted by pulling its games entirely, telling Polygon: "Valve has stopped doing business with Digital Homicide for being hostile to Steam."
It is not yet known whether Valve will contest the subpoena.
Digital Homicide has responded in typically outspoken fashion.
What has actually transpired was a lack of resolution from Steam in regards to moderation of their platform which might sound like a tough job to do, but coming from a company that brags its profitability per employee is higher than Google, it just shows a reckless disregard for the well being of their community for profits,” it said.
We submitted numerous reports and sent multiple emails in regards to individuals making personal attacks, harassment, and more on not only us but on other Steam customers who were actually interested in our products. The lawsuit that was submitted in regards to a handful of Steam users has been labeled by the media and now by Doug Lombardi's (a Valve representative) statement as "being hostile to Steam users" in general which is incorrect.
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.”
It's worth pointing out that Sterling is far from the studio's only critic, with virtually all of its titles having been exceptionally poorly received. Here's Sterling's take: