A Statement Regarding Romine v. Stanton’s Dismissal With Prejudice

After a year of lingering and a cavalcade of increasingly exasperating amendments, it is a distinct personal pleasure to finally be able to say that the lawsuit “James Romine v. James Stanton” has been dismissed with prejudice following discussions between my lawyer Bradley Hartman and the plaintiff James Romine.

In 2016, Romine sued yours truly – better (and preferably) known as Jim Sterling – for over $10million, a sum that would rise to over $15million during the course of the year. The original charges were assault, libel, and slander. Romine alleged that my coverage of his game studio Digital Homicide inflicted not only severe emotional damage but irreparably harmed his company.

Included in his complaint was an attempt to charge me for the time and money he’d spent learning just enough law to file the suit in the first place.

I will not go over the entirety of the lawsuit or its associated ordeal in this statement. There are a lot of things to talk about but right now I want to take a moment to simply respond to the immediate news.

First of all, I’m obviously pleased with the result. We filed for dismissal, because this whole thing was an instant waste of time and money that could never be recuperated. Even if this went to court and we counterclaimed, what would we get out of it? A dismissal with prejudice is even better than the simple dismissal I’d originally aimed for – this effectively means these ludicrous charges aren’t coming back.

Although he filed pro se and couldn’t seem to find legal help (his funding page for a lawyer remained starkly arid for the duration of this situation), Romine was nevertheless a drain on resources both material and emotional and his increasingly erratic filings continued to confuse and exasperate throughout the months.

For those curious about this resolution, I was not a direct part of the communication between Romine and my lawyer, but as I understand it, the agreement to drop the suit with prejudice was the result of Hartman’s enviable reasoning ability. The plaintiff agreed to drop his case after my lawyer explained exactly what would happen if this went to court and how we would respond.

That it got as far as it did, went on for as long as it did, is atrocious – especially when this is a case that amounts to a game developer wanting to silence a game critic.

I personally viewed, and still view, the lawsuit as an attempted attack on my freedom to do my legally protected job. I personally perceive it as an attack launched by a man who is unable to deal with criticism in a reasonable fashion and has sought to blame me, continuously, for his failures.

Even Digital Homicide’s removal from Steam following an attempt to sue 100 anonymous community members was falsely linked to me, Romine’s final amendment adding claims of conspiracy between myself and Valve Corporation.

Romine and his brother Robert have consistently laid the blame for their many failures at my feet, and at some point they are going to have to accept that if they’d stop continuing and escalating the animosity between themselves and the rest of the world, they’d stand a chance of improving themselves and their lot in life. A little reflection would do them both good, and I sincerely hope they emotionally steel themselves enough to partake of it one day.

There is no conspiracy. There is no orchestrated terror campaign. There is simply what there has always been – one random critic in  a sea of them having a stupid fight with a pair of brothers who don’t make a lot of sense and whose claims have a strained relationship with reality.

Many will have come here expecting humor or laughter, but I want to make it quite clear that I do not find this lawsuit funny in the slightest. Even getting the result I wanted is bittersweet, as it’s the result to a situation that should never have occurred – a distasteful situation that fills me with surrogate embarrassment for the man who filed it.

I find this lawsuit disgusting. It was and it is and it shall forever be disgusting.

While the accusations found within the lawsuit are farcical and definitively veer into comedy territory – as we’ll find out when I go through it in detail at a later date – the existence of it is simply grotesque. That you can be made to spend that much money and effort defending yourself from spurious claims should be a worrying prospect for anybody whose job involves saying things that some people aren’t going to like.

During the course of this whole ordeal, the subject of harassment has come up, with Romine alleging serious criminal acts committed against him. On a very serious note indeed, I would like to remind everybody that harassment is not a valid response to any argument, and that anything of the sort done in my name is something I quite vehemently oppose. We are better than that.

I’d like to thank everybody for their kind words and support over a trying year. I’d like to thank my wife and close friends who kept me spirited and laughing. I’d also like to thank my Patreon patrons, without whom I’d have a much harder time defending myself from this sort of awfulness.

There is more to be said, perhaps in a lighter tone, but right now I am tired and reflective, and should probably just play some videogames for a minute.

Thank you all once again for your continued support. I dread to think how facing this alone would have been.

Yours sexily,
James Fucking Stanton Son.

P.S. I did not enjoy playing The Slaughtering Grounds very much.

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688 Comments on "A Statement Regarding Romine v. Stanton’s Dismissal With Prejudice"

avatar
Goldwalker
Guest

I’m honestly surprised you didn’t try to clean them out simply from pure spite.

Chris Topher
Member
Good but I’d personally go after the legal fees as this only let’s them off with a spank when they needed to be effectively ruined to prevent them from future bs. I personally contacted digital homicide on my own behalf as a fan of Jim who had followed every aspect of the case. I genuinely at that time after hearing their interview with Jim, felt sympathy for their total inability to understand that part of being a creator runs at the very real risk of being criticised as much as applauded for your work. But I found them to be… Read more »
Viggo
Guest

“There is more to be said, perhaps in a lighter tone, but…”
“P.S. I did not enjoy playing The Slaughtering Grounds very much.”
😂😂😂

José Pérez
Guest

Jim Sterling is my god and I am humbled to be his 666th comenter on this thread

Jay Symon
Guest

Way to take the high road, and thank gawd for you, sir.

Death's Head
Guest

Thank fuck that’s over with, yes?

Have Nintendo filed a suit yet?

Anne-Marie A.-D.
Guest

Congrats Jim and thank god for you! I am so glad this is all over. What a ridiculous situation.

Taylor Hildebrand
Guest

Hi, Jim. I’m glad this is finally over. I can only imagine how much stress the whole thing put on you. It would be exhausting. I hope you can have a good rest after this and get back to putting your time and energy into the things you love. Keep being awesome!! <3

Thomas Walsh
Guest

Congrats Jim. I’m glad your nightmare is officially over. Keep up the good work.

crowmanhunter
Guest

Thank god for James Fucking Stanton

Skias
Guest

Jim, I love your material and I’m a long time listener to your podcast. My girlfriend and I enjoyed watching your let’s plays. I’m really glad your ordeal with Homocide came to an end in your favor. I know it must have been pretty garbage dealing with that mess.

Thanks for all the entertainment!

xjpmanx
Guest

glad it all worked out in the end. Thank God for Jim Fucking Sterling Son!

GiganticTager21
Guest

Bravo Jim! It’s great that this can now be put behind you! On the bright side, you got an amazing nickname out of the ordeal! All hail Jim Fucking Sterling Son!

Beverly Shitposter
Guest

Maybe…Just maybe, they’ll learn that if they want to make legit money, they should try learning programming, not recycling & stealing assets, & not trying to play victims & cash in on a critic who rightfully exposed their theft, ineptitude, & laziness.

Xel Unknown
Guest

*claps* I may not be a big fan of your work, but what little I’ve seen was enjoyable. And I’m happy to hear that this was the result of the madness you’d gone though. I do agree it’s a disgusting event to have gone though regardless and tis bittersweet to have gotten the best of endings. Given the prolongated hell you had been though.

StoneBasilisk
Guest

I find it interesting that the Romine brothers were able to raise even that paltry $450 on that GoFundMe page. Assuming it wasn’t just some troll trying to stoke the fire for a laugh, this means that //someone// out there actually believed the Romines’ ridiculous lawsuit was worth supporting.

Frebu
Guest

Often people have relatives or friends “seed” a GoFundMe to make it appear that others agree with the goal(or believe that it is real) so it is possibly the case here.

Stephen Moyer
Guest

So what are these two blithering imbeciles saying now that they’ve lost their suit? Surely they’ve blogged their feelings somewhere.

cerpin
Guest
A drop hands offer was a seriously classy move Jim. As a claimant lawyer who has from time to time faced the no-win situation of either filing a discontinuance and facing a hefty adverse costs bill, or chancing it at trial and facing a hefty adverse costs order I can attest to just how strong that offer was. Sometimes that lifeline allowing you to walk away before shit really hits the fan is all you need. Jim didn’t have to do it, he could have let the man hang himself and sought his costs, but he gave romine and way… Read more »
Anthony D.
Guest

Congrats, Jim. Your continued perseverance and strength in the face of these outrageous allegations is a model for the industry.

Thank God for you.

Sam Geuvenen
Guest

Wait, I thought it was Robert that had the problem in the first place, but James was the one suing? Are we absolutely certain that there actually are two Romine brothers, and not just one guy with a Gollum complex?

drownedsummer
Guest

Yes there are two people involved in terms of the other party during the interview Jim did with them. Robert was being consistently handed information by another person who wasn’t talking.

Sam Geuvenen
Guest

Are you sure that was another person? Could it just be Robert trying to get himself information and pretending that another person was handing it to him?

drownedsummer
Guest

Yes. Not really sure why there’s this idea of there being only one of them when Jim has clearly referenced interacting with two individuals.

Miles Saintborough
Guest

Who knows? Maybe James and Robert Romine are the same people.

gibbyo
Guest

“It doesn’t matter who I am. I’m here for you, James. See? I’m real.” – Robert Romine

Nathan Stapleton
Guest

So, was that also said rather suggestively through some prison bars in some weird underground maybe-self-created-regret-prison-thing?

InfamousDS
Guest
Too little too late, as Jim has likely moved on from this comment section, but Extra Credits released an explanation this week as to why there are so many stupid, suicidal devs on Steam and the App Stores. Not their words, obviously, as the show is written and voiced by people trying to catch flies with honey instead of vinegar. In short, these games aren’t meant for the general public. They release them into the wild in hopes they succeed (like Flappy Bird), but otherwise have no financial goals in mind. Their low investment in money but high investment in… Read more »
Lloyd
Guest
That certainly can explain some of the games on Greenlight and similar sites. However there are countless games obviously shoved out as cynical money makers or to be trolls or simply because they could. Regardless where they fall, when you put a game out into the public you need to be prepared for it to be torn to shreds, even if unfairly. You are going to have to deal with that fact one way or another. As many have said countless times, at any point if Digital Homicide could have just let it go they would have been so much… Read more »
drownedsummer
Guest
There are definitely two different groups. One is the group making abyssmal games which they personally consider to be art and unable to perceive the flaws with it and defend it. The other is the people who clearly trying to grift for the purposes of making a profit. Amusingly two of the games which were released recently on the PS4 are two examples of both. Life of Black Tiger is a very good example of the latter with Gachduinne being a good example of the first. While certainly perspectives on DH are biased by their later actions.With their output I… Read more »
InfamousDS
Guest

He cited a history of writing textbooks in the suit. He seems like a person who knew IT/programming and would make a genuine effort. Until those genuine efforts were crapped on, an easier alternative to profit became obvious, and the name was ruined by grossly over-reacting to criticism.

drownedsummer
Guest

The problem is though the game that brought them to everyone’s attention they clearly didn’t make a genuine effort and has many of the hallmarks of their other games.

InfamousDS
Guest

That wasn’t their first game on Steam, though. Their first game wasn’t quite as blatantly terrible. Still bad, but not horrifically bad, and a far cry from the just plain lazy which came to define their careers.

drownedsummer
Guest

That’s the bias point mentioned. It’s tricky to look back at their earlier stuff and think was their point when they weren’t just making stuff to try and make money?

Koalaman412
Guest
I saw the books that James Romine wrote and those were books about MUD, which is Multi-User Dungeon/Dimension (or something like that). It was written by both him and someone named Rawn Shah. Although, I’m not sure how much James was actually involved in writing these books since it might’ve been mainly Rawn Shah that did most of the work, but that’s just my opinion. In terms of programming, he doesn’t have have any experience at all for that. Back when he had his LinkedIn public, plus before the whole redesign of the website, a lot of his past work… Read more »
Bpdelia
Guest

But see here’s the thing. I’ve been a musician (often professional) for 31 years.

At the start, when I stunk, I would NEVER have attempted to sell my work.

If you’re giving it away then it should be treated kindly.

The moment you charge somebody for an album or a ticket you are a professional and are now responsible to deliver value and quality and if you don’t to hear people angry that you sold them something crappy.

When you sell something you’re open top criticism.

If you play a house party for free banging out Descendents covers then it’s a whole different animal.

CaitSeith
Guest

Unfortunately that wasn’t the case of DH. Slaughtering Grounds was priced at $10, and they already had one or two other games on Steam before it. They were making games for profit. And after that, they kept making game after game after game.

InfamousDS
Guest
I know that became their goal in the end once they discovered the great trading card scam, but $10 was a pretty standard Steam price at the time. Many mobile titles were being ported for that price on the cheap, and it was rare to see something for less than that if it wasn’t entirely free-to-play or during the once-great “Steam Sales”. Never forget they also released “Forsaken Uprising” (somewhat earlier than the Slaughtering Grounds), a lower-quality bog-standard survival crafting game that was set in a somewhat unique world where the store-bought assets weren’t quite as blatant and the bugs… Read more »
RT
Member

Good to hear that this shit has finally been dealt with.
And as always, thank God for Jim Fucking Sterling, son.

Stuart_Tudor
Member

The monster screams one final howl and falls to the floor, exploding. The Chosen undead Jim Stering gives a bow as respect to the camra as the words Victory Achieved at the top of the screen. Steam can rest easier now that the DH is dead.

smiggypig
Guest

Good I’m glad. I wonder what these two will do next? I am genuinely interested to see what they do with their lives now.

HomerNarr
Guest

Respect sexy Stanton-Son Sir!

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