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Developer seeking Steam users' identities for lawsuit withdraws case, saying his studio 'is destroyed'

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Litigious Arizona studio Digital Homicide throws in the towel

The two-man studio that sought to subpoena Valve for the personal information of 100 Steam users is withdrawing all of its legal actions, saying recent events and bad publicity surrounding them have wiped out their business and their ability to pursue a lawsuit.

Last week, Digital Homicide asked for and was granted a motion for dismissal of its $18 million lawsuit against the Steam users, whom the studio alleged had committed harassment with scathing reviews, comments and criticisms of Digital Homicide's games and co-founders, James Romine and his brother, Robert.

When James Romine submitted a motion in mid-September to subpoena Valve Corporation for the identifying information of 100 users, Valve responded by removing all of Digital Homicide's offerings from the Steam marketplace. Romine's subpoena request never was granted.

A Valve spokesperson then said the company severed its relationship with Digital Homicide because of the studio's ongoing hostility toward Steam customers.

James Romine told TechRaptor that "the case dismissal was only due to financial reasons caused by the removal of our games." A similar case the Romines brought against the video game critic and YouTube personality Jim Sterling, seeking $10.7 million, "waits for dismissal decision," he said, but would not comment further.

"As far as Digital Homicide? It's destroyed," he told TechRaptor. "It's been stomped into the ground from a thousand directions and use is discontinued."

Romine said he is "going back into the workforce and watching what's really going on." He blamed video games media for painting him and his studio "in a negative customer light," then claimed that "we've been fighting for lower prices and a more open market."

Digital Homicide's offerings were widely criticized as amateurish, rushed and cobbled together from recycled assets. (One of them, The Slaughtering Grounds, is pictured above). Up to the day Steam removed them, Digital Homicide had about a dozen games listed for sale on that storefront. In its response to their Steam de-listing, Digital Homicide made an open solicitation for legal representation in an action against Valve.