Digital Homicide, developer of The Slaughtering Grounds, Temper Tantrum and more, is looking for legal representation in a case it wishes to make against Valve after all of its games were removed from Steam earlier this week.
In an update posted to Digital Homicide’s website, the developer shared screenshots of harassment it has received on the Steam Community forums. It shouldn’t need to be said, but harassment is always wrong, and the screenshots shared show some potentially upsetting stuff.
Following on from this, it asks for legal counsel and representation for its accusations of “breach of contracts, interference with business, and anti-trust issues” against Valve. Digital Homicide claims that Valve removing all of Digital Homicide’s games from Steam has cut off the developer’s family income, which was the main concern holding them back from reporting these issues over the past two years:
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. The case will benefit from a long list of organized documentation of events that have happened over the past 2 years including dates, screenshots, emails, and more on over 100 infractions in need of litigation.
The update posted on Digital Homicide’s website argues that Valve’s statement that it was ceasing business with the developer due to “being hostile to Steam customers” is incorrect, and that it was simply taking the matter of handling harassment into its own hands by targeting repeat offenders.
This is the third (or 102nd, depending on how you look at it) legal case Digital Homicide has either threatened or been part of. Earlier this year it sued games critic Jim Sterling for $15 million, after he repeatedly covered its games (which have an overall negative reception), and recently it has attempted to subpoena Valve for the personal information of 100 negative reviewers on the Steam platform.
This also isn’t the first time the developer has tried to crowd-source legal assistance. The lawsuit against Sterling was originally to be crowdfunded, however this was cancelled after numerous low-amount and charged back donations cost Digital Homicide itself money.
Either way, this isn’t a legal case yet, and it is not clear as to whether it ever will be. It is currently Digital Homicide merely seeking representation, however it does represent itself in the lawsuit against Jim Sterling, which suggests nobody wanting to represent them won’t really stop them.