Valve has removed all of indie developer Digital Homicide's games from Steam. The reason? Digital Homicide was deemed hostile to Steam customers by the company.
"Valve has stopped doing business with Digital Homicide for being hostile to Steam customers," Valve VP of marketing Doug Lombardi told Vice.
This blanket removal stems from Digital Homicide founder James Romine filing for a subpeona that demands the personal information of 100 Valve users. Digital Homicide is known for a large number of quickly-produced titles on Steam, many of which have been accused of using paid development assets or being developed with the bare minimum of effort. Reviews have reflected such accusations and the 100 Valve users mentioned above are a part of a "consumer advocacy group" called Digital Homicides that points out the developer's many Steam Greenlight submissions.
Romine has filed a $18 million personal injury claim against these users, aimed at their comments and reviews of Digital Homicide products. The legal documents in this case were posted on Google Docs by YouTuber SidAlpha.
Romine responded with a lengthy statement on the Digital Homicide official site, stating that the issue at hand was Valve's moderation of the Steam platform.
"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 for the well being of their community for profits," wrote Romine. "We submitted numerous reports and sent multiple emails in regards to individuals making persnal attacks, harassment, and more on not only us but on other Steam customers who were actually interested in our products."
"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."
This is not the first time Romine and Digital Homicide have gotten litigious. Last year, the company filed a lawsuit against YouTuber Jim Sterling seeking $10 million in damages for libel and slander. That case has yet to be resolved.