Digital Homicide Studios
Digital Homicide was an independent game studio run by brothers James and Robert Romino. They were notorious for using sockpuppetry (such as establishing fake companies and websites), abusing every known loop-hole on Steam's system, making countless low-quality games such as The Slaughtering Grounds, Temper Tantrum, Forsaken Uprising, Medieval Mercs, and Galactic Hitman and for attacking and insulting its critics, such as Jim Sterling, to the point of suing him.
Thankfully, the company ultimately dropped the lawsuits against both Sterling and Steam users because they couldn't afford them and closed down in October 2016.
Why They Sucked
- Perfect example of the "Quantity over Quality" problem. They released over 20 games in a year and at one point had 24 games on Steam Greenlight at once.
- They frequently reskinned their games to essentially post the same game to Greenlight over and over. One of their games, "Krog Wars" a mediocre Space-Invaders clone, was reskinned OVER 30 TIMES! In one case, Wyatt Derp, they didn't even bother to reskin the game and all they did was rotate the camera and call it a "sequel".
- The only reason their games were bought is because they include trade cards. Buyers can sale those and make a profit while Digital Homicide gets a cut of the profit. Many speculate that this was the real reason they put so many games at once, to make quick money through trading cards by spamming tons of games for cheap and having all of them with trading cards.
- They were the living image of people who can't tolerate criticism. They believed that reviews should only ever be positive and critics talking about their games negatively were "leeches saying defamation lies to harass them".
- The first time a well known game reviewer, Jim Sterling, criticised of one of their games, Digital Homicide's immediate response was personally attacking Jim in a video full of bitter text, profanity, and constantly blaming Jim for not reviewing the game properly despite the fact that Jim's video WAS NOT A REVIEW but a first impression.
- They had a podcast with James Stanton (Jim Sterling's real name) claiming they wanted to solve their differences. Instead all they did was attack James, attempt to doxx him, use fake evidence to try to put a scandal on Sterling, and threaten to sue him.
- Hypocrisy. Digital Homicide repeatedly claimed Jim was harrasing them, when in fact they were the ones harrasing Jim in the first place with the "Review the review" videos and in the podcast.
- They used pretty much every single trick to get around Steam Greenlight. Bribing with Steam Keys for other games, vote buying, fake accounts, using bots to get votes, etc.
- Extremely buggy and glitchy games to the point of occasionally crashing.
- Many of their games were obviously unfinished.
- None of their games take more than an hour to complete.
- Once they released a game, they never bothered to improve it no matter how many bugs it has.
- Most of their games are built almost 100% out of premade assets bought from the Unity Store with little to no original work. This is known as "Asset Flipping". They tried to defend this practice by claiming they were "supporting the indie game community".
- Whatever assets aren't pre-made they plagiarised them from other websites and companies, including DeviantART pictures.
- Terrible graphics.
- Ear-bleedingly bad sound design with annoying looping music.
- Poor controls sometimes even unresponsive.
- They constantly delete criticisms and use lawsuits to threaten critics.
- Whenever their games fail to get into Steam they simply put it there again with a different name.
- They used fake names to put more games on Steam. In one case they accidentally used another company's name.
- They sued 100 Steam users and Jim Sterling simply for not liking their games and giving negative reviews. They even tried to sue valve for taking them down from Steam. All of the lawsuits had a combined demand of 33 Million Dolars! It was later discovered that the real goal of the lawsuit was to get a subpoena and use it to attack the users that critiziced them then scare other critics into not touching them again.
- They started a GoFundme to hire their lawyer. They wanted 75000$ yet only got 425$.
- They sold steam keys for unreleased Steam games in hopes of getting votes to Greenlight those games.
- Somehow they actually believed they were innocent, their products were good and their shady practices were a good thing, none of their problems was their fault, they've never done anything bad, and that all their negative reputation unwarranted. Even after closing down they still said their lawsuits were rightful and that all the "harrasment" against them was done by unknown competitors that wanted them out of business.
- They tried to defend their actions by saying they were "fighting for open markets and lower prices".
- Their actions went so far that Valve banned them from Steam. Then they responded by trying to sue Valve.
- Digital Homcide's actions caused people begin discussing issues like Steam's mediocre quality control, shovelware, and attempts to silence criticism.