Digital Homicide withdraws lawsuit against Steam users, says studio is "destroyed"

Digital Homicide, the maker of games including The Slaughtering Grounds, ET: The Extra-Large Testicle, and Not In My Crapper, recently made the astounding decision to sue 100 anonymous Steam users for $18 million over nasty comments they'd made about the studio's work. In response, Valve removed all of the studio's games from Steam, prompting Digital Homicide to threaten legal action against it as well. But last week it requested that the lawsuit be dismissed, because it can no longer afford to pursue it. 

"Upon filing this case, per advice of the local sheriff who could not help me or my business with a massive ARS-13-2921 criminal harassment problem on an Internet Store front and via email, The Plaintiffs business was destroyed completely financially disabling The Plaintiff, destroying usability of all current work effort, and untold other damages," the filing says. It seeks one of two options: A refund of the court filing fee and dismissal of the case without prejudice, or, if the filing fee is non-refundable, a 90-day extension on the action, presumably to give Digital Homicide time to scrape a few bucks together so it can continue the fight. 

Digital Homicide co-founder James Romine Jr. told Techraptor that he believes the case is "solid," but the removal of the games from Steam crippled the studio financially. In fact, not only is the lawsuit withdrawn (or paused), but Digital Homicide itself is apparently now defunct. 

"[Digital Homicide is] destroyed. It's been stomped into the ground from a thousand directions and use is discontinued," he said. "I’m going back into the workforce and watching what’s really going on. Not gaming media gossip—the real stories are in the legal documents. Not talking about mine." 

Nonetheless, it's possible that the action could be resurrected at some point, in part or in whole: A dismissal without prejudice leaves the door open for Romine to re-file the lawsuit in the future. I've reached out to the studio for more information, including whether the request for a refund/dismissal or extension have been granted, and will update if and when I receive a reply.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.