The Jimquisition: When Jim Sterling Was Sued For $10 Million By Digital Homicide

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I am the videogame critic they tried to sue for $10 million.

I’ve kept relatively quiet for almost a year while a spurious and disgusting libel lawsuit was spuriously filed in an attempt to disrupt my life.

Now I get to talk.

Thomas Vincent Szaban
Guest
Thomas Vincent Szaban

I was kind of disapointed that Jim never onced called James Romino a cun-SKELETON WARRIORS! during this video. If anyone deserves that title, it is him.

RedWolf
Guest
RedWolf

I’d have to agree, but I do sympaphise with Jim not wanting to make a big joke out of the whole situation.

At the end of the day, the spurious lawsuit was and is disgusting, and there’s really nothing funny about any of it. It would be easy to make jokes about it, but I can’t help but feel it would be in poor taste right now.

MJC
Guest
MJC

I was actually pretty satisfied with that lovely “MAXIMUM SASS” at the end.

PIERS
Guest

A thought just occurred to me. During the video, Jim said he’s never been in direct contact with James Romine, only James’ brother, Robert.

Robert admitted during the interview that he’s 35 and with three kids.

What if…James is one of those three kids? And it’s why Jim never heard directly from him?

PIERS
Guest

Heh, and I just realized what I typed, by claiming the “brother” is his son.

It’s been a long day.

ImaLemming
Guest
ImaLemming

Tread carefully my friend, they may sue you for defamation of implying something incestuous.

Naz
Guest
Naz

Too late. Here’s your subpoena, PIERS.

Christopher Allen
Guest
Christopher Allen

I think it’s more likely multiple “brothers” exist in one deranged, trodden-upon, derelict brain.

drownedsummer
Guest
drownedsummer

It seems unlikely or potentially makes a Robert a father who is taking spoiling his kids to very extreme lengths.

‘Sure son we’ll let you sue the nasty journalist who criticized your perfect games for 15 million dollars’

I would imagine that you’re unable to legally represent yourself if you are a minor.

Caven
Guest
Caven

You don’t have to be a minor to be someone’s child. If James is 18, he could sue without needing parental consent.

drownedsummer
Guest
drownedsummer

You don’t but Robert’s around mid 30s so that puts him as having a child around the age we’re assuming James to be. It could be the case but I’m suspecting that James’ is not Robert’s son.

Caven
Guest
Caven

With a company name like Digital Homicide, the “quality” of the products made, and the demonstrated reaction to criticism, I could easily see 18 as a reasonable age estimate. It’s definitely consistent with what one might expect from an unruly teenager. That being said, the assumptions seem to be wrong in the other direction. Based on a cursory search, it looks like James may actually be the older brother at age 46.

drownedsummer
Guest
drownedsummer

Definitely I don’t disagree with the idea with that his actions come across as the actions of an emotionally immature teenager, which as it rather appears that he isn’t makes things far worse.

MJC
Guest
MJC

If James and Robert weren’t brothers, they surely would have brought that up as another count of slander/libel/defamation/whatever the fuck they were calling it. They already had claimed that calling them the “Brothers Romine” was an attempt by Jim to make them sound like a crime family, so if they weren’t actually brothers, they would have been all over that shit too.

Will113
Guest
Will113

I sure hope it’s over forever, and that Digital Homicide doesn’t try anything incredibly stupid and desperate.

Darkzentai
Guest
Darkzentai
Total wrong response on DH part what they should of done was ignored Jim or taken the criticism and learned from it but some do feel the need to defend themselves to the bitter end if they feel attacked . The bit I found interesting was they destroyed themselves which makes me think was all Jims coverage of every bad green light game a waste of time as these people destroy themselves with lack of sales or being dumb like DH if you leave them alone the attention from YouTube only helps them as no ones is stupid enough to… Read more »
diamond
Guest
diamond

I say he is completely innocent, he did cover Yolo Army last year, but they will soon be irrelevant thanks to Greenlight ending, also you seem to have forgotten that Jim did not talk about DH at all last year.

Anyone who thinks Jim is a bully is a complete fucking moron

Chris
Guest
Chris
I think the difference is throwing out a one off insult or threat (yolo army) and someone who personally attacked Jim consistently (digi hom). As much as people say Jim bullies them, all he did was a video being critical of a a game (and trust me, he has said worse things about other games, indie and AAA). That’s when DigiHom made an insult video with Jim as the subject, then another when Jim laughed at it, then the DMCA. That’s when the gloves came off… but even then he only ever covered digi hom games (sometimes without realising it… Read more »
MJC
Guest
MJC

Let’s not forget the time Jim purposely did NOT cover Temper Tantrum 2 just to watch and see how DH fared without him covering them.

How many times did they take it down and re-submit it to Greenlight before Jim finally did his video? 2? 3?

astra
Guest
astra

You don’t understand

If we leave pests alone they multiply

Thats why steams the way it is because valve couldn’t be bothered and we have people like this

Darkzentai
Guest
Darkzentai
Im not a jim Sterling fan boy and Im not saying anyone else is but I do understand I just don’t take everything at face value as if you don’t question a thing you don’t learn anything. And the one thing I question is the settlement it’s odd DH would not of requested Jim drop the issue no more videos for Jim to just let it die . The judge was odd as well to giving DH a second chance to change the lawsuit the judge must if seen something actionable as he would not of wanted to of wasted… Read more »
MJC
Guest
MJC

Even if DH had requested that, I highly doubt Jim would have agreed to it.

Darkzentai
Guest
Darkzentai
The settlement does not make sense to me one bit if Jims lawyer had talked DH down it would of happened a year ago and to quote Judge Judy if it does make sense it not true. I believe Jim settled out of court for a cash settlement and a video to end to the lawsuit . Not for what Jim did but what his craziest fans did and its scary stuff what they did to HD . I’m not saying this he responsible or sending any to do anything but this was the only I think it was going… Read more »
Austin_sj
Guest
Austin_sj

No, we know the case was settled in court by a stipulation. Any Agreement for damages would have been listed as a settlement stipulation or it wouldn’t be valid.

Darkzentai
Guest
Darkzentai
No Jim never said it was settled in court as you can do it out of Court by drafting a contract and without seeing that document will never know the truth for sure . This lawsuit was costing DH nothing to keep up but costing Jim a lot and even if Jim won he was never going to get his costs back . This was revenge and I don’t believe for one second DH was talked out of it . It makes more sense that Jim offered a cash settlement with terms to end it . The way Jim say… Read more »
Austin_sj
Guest
Austin_sj

Go to pacer monitor and there is a signed agreement, you cannot have 2. If it was a secret agreement the court deals with the case in a different manner. Check out the documents from when Glenn Beck settled his libel out of court.
If romine settles out of court he needs to be able to resume his orinigal suit, as otherwise he can only claim for a private breach of contract.

Darkzentai
Guest
Darkzentai

What ever happened I do not believe Jims story .
I believe what ever happened if we were to find out it would ruin Jims reputation as I think he paid DH off but Jim could never admit that as he would become a laughing stock .

Daniel Jensen
Guest
Daniel Jensen

They DID try to get Jim to agree to stop making videos about them. *Before the lawsuit even started.*

Jim explained pretty clearly that they tried to make him sign an agreement not to talk about them during the first phone call they made threatening the litigation. And that trying to silence was the entire point: he couldn’t talk during the duration of the suit, even better if they somehow won and he couldn’t talk AFTER the suit.

Darkzentai
Guest
Darkzentai

Total biscuit did a really good video about the subject.

Cyberwulf
Guest
Cyberwulf
DH got a year of coverage because they were up to fuckery and also were dumb enough to get into a fight with a critic on the internet. All they had to do was not respond and not engage in fuckery. Critiquing or even mocking someone’s creative work isn’t bullying. If you put something out there, especially if you expect money for it, you accept that people will talk shit about it behind your back if you’re lucky and to your face (or your inbox) if you aren’t. If you can’t handle that then you have no business making your… Read more »
MJC
Guest
MJC
Jim is a critic. Repeated coverage of games Digital Homicide was trying to sell, at very high prices originally I might add (Slaughtering Grounds was $10 when Jim did his original video, and other DH games were $15 and even $20), to warn people away from buying utter shite? Yeah, that’s called a critic. If any “developer” feels bullied by someone repeatedly calling their crappy games crappy, that’s their own damn problem. Critics exist first and foremost to benefit consumers. And yes, DH got a lot of coverage because DH was releasing a lot of crappy, expensive games and getting… Read more »
Darkzentai
Guest
Darkzentai

Don’t celebrate to soon we don’t know the full details of the new steam system.

Wellsy487
Guest
Wellsy487

Good work Jim. That pair just seem delusional beyond belief.

HelixShade
Guest
HelixShade
And so a chapter comes to a close. With that said, this 40 Minute epic of a Jimquisition was definitely…worth the weight. But seriously, if there are Greenlight Dev’s queuing up to sue you and kill you with stress, let them come. I’m certain this court case would simply be an instant dismissal. If not, then I’m sure the plethora of evidence for their dirty deeds is a lot larger and more admissible as proof than the stuff they can try to stick to you. I do however feel bad for Romine’s Wife and Kids. Between this and the 100… Read more »
Wolfie
Guest
Wolfie
And let this be a lesson to people like myself who hope to either become developers or own a development studio ourselves. One. Effort matters. It may suck, but as long as effort was put into something, genuine effort, people will at least respond in some way that can be useful, and you take those criticisms and complaints, and you learn from them. The internet is not a nice place. It’s not hand-holding and loving praise. It’s a vicious beast that will tear even the things it loves the most to shreds. Yet that does not mean it’s not stupid.… Read more »
RedWolf
Guest
RedWolf

In other words, be Klei Entertainment, not Digital Homicide.

Wolfie
Guest
Wolfie

Exactly!

Just Some Guy
Guest
Just Some Guy
$2 261 000 +$4 300 000 +$5 000 000 —————- $11 561 000 Except in DH mathematics, where it’s $10 761 000. Aside from that, James reminds me of this one man-child I had the displeasure of dealing with when I went back to school as an adult student to pick-up some extra marketable skills. I was stuck in a group for one class to do an assignment worth 70% of the total class mark, both he, and I were in our mid thirties. The guy often didn’t show up because he “forgot,” even though the meeting time was solely… Read more »
Salador
Guest
Salador

That’s why group assignments are awful. Because your grade is dependent on someone else.

ImaLemming
Guest
ImaLemming

20-80 rule: 20% of the group does 80% of the work.

Daniel Jensen
Guest
Daniel Jensen

Isn’t it a reasonable claim to say “I spent time and money trying to do this lawsuit, I want recompense?”

I mean, assuming the entire fucking thing wasn’t frivolous from the very start.

Anyway, Jim, you lived up to the hype. A well deserved gloaty little vid. And I hope those idiots who are trying to threaten you on Youtube fuck right off back to the cesspit they came from.

Wolfie
Guest
Wolfie

But the thing is, his lawsuit was such bullshit, not in terms of it being frivolous, but that it was trash. It was like he watched a thousand hours of court drama on television rather than getting a proper education of law.

And should that really be compensated? Doing even less than the bare minimum? Because that is basically what it was – he couldn’t even work under proper procedures or anything.

Daniel Jensen
Guest
Daniel Jensen
I’m only playing Devil’s Advocate with the assumption that the case wasn’t horseshit and that Romine had any idea of what he was doing. I’m not arguing that he wasn’t hopelessly incompetent, but you can’t deny he put a lot of effort and time into the case. Again, just to be clear, I agree that the Judge should have told him to piss right off after the multitude of times he couldn’t follow procedure and basically wasted the court’s time (doubtless the Judge was a strong believer in letting everyone have their day in court). I’m just saying that, *in… Read more »
Salador
Guest
Salador

The Romines have nothing for Jim to take. That’s why Jim went for dismissal – because if you aren’t going to get anything, it’s all a waste of time and money.

Daniel Jensen
Guest
Daniel Jensen

That’s the opposite of my point.

I was talking about the ROMINES demanding money from Jim because “we spent money on this instead of making games or hugging our kids” or whatever. Jim seemed to think it was hilarious that you could demand costs for a suit that you initiated, but I’m not so sure about that.

Again, I’m not saying the suit isn’t complete and utter horseshit for the most part, I’m just not sure if a (real) lawyer would agree that start a suit and then adding costs for the suit in the damages would be so outlandish.

Salador
Guest
Salador
Oh right, I get what you mean now. Yeah, if the lawsuit wasn’t completely frivolous, it would be a fair thing to demand. As Jim can attest (and anyone who’s aware of the H3H3 lawsuit, too) these things are incredibly expensive, and if you have to take on that massive cost then you deserve compensation if you are right, regardless of who did the suing and accusing. But this lawsuit is total horseshit (actually, it’s worse than horseshit. At least horseshit has some usefulness). Also, the fact that he had to spend so much time and money looking this up… Read more »
Ces
Guest
Ces
There are a couple of distinctions that make this ridiculous. One is that Romine was asking for payment for the hours he spent LEARNING the law, which he is certainly not entitled to. The easiest way to see why that’s ridiculous is to imagine that Romine had a lawyer. It’s reasonable to ask for costs to pay a lawyer for their time, it’s not reasonable to ask for costs to pay for that lawyer’s Civil Procedures or Torts courses. The other problem is that legal costs include paying for a lawyer and filing costs. It doesn’t include being paid for… Read more »
Daniel Jensen
Guest
Daniel Jensen

You lost me at “Civil Procedures” for a bit there, but I get what you’re saying now.

WELL, if that’s true, then I guess I’m done playing the ignorant Devil’s Advocate. Thanks for your reply.

Asbjørn Sinding
Guest
Asbjørn Sinding
I don’t know Jims mind, but i think you may be misinterpreting what he is laughing about. I’m under the impression that jim isn’t laughing about the fact that James Romine feels that he needs to be compensated for time spent, but more the fact that he’s claiming he used almost 1000 hours on this lawsuit, including reading up on the law that was relevant to the case. 1000 hours, if we say you have a job where you work 8-17, that would be over 3 months of constant work. this case comes across as something a retarded 15 year… Read more »
Daniel Jensen
Guest
Daniel Jensen

>>So forgive Jims incredulity at the claim that it took over 3 months to
come up with this shit. Then again, thats my interpretation.

Honestly he could be thinking either “1000 hours, haha what a lying liar”, or “1000 hours? I believe him, but… He wasted THAT much time on this shit?”

I don’t know which one is worse, honestly XD I wouldn’t be surprised if the Romines WERE telling the truth, though of course I don’t know for sure.

Brendan Christopher Marks
Guest
Brendan Christopher Marks
Open letter to Jim Fucking Sterling Son (trademark) This may sound weird but at the end I wept. Not cried but wept. This has mirrored my own situation with a spurious law suit in everything but the industry it occurred in. How did you manage to keep fighting? Even when you’re right it’s still so hard to keep fighting every day against the bullshit. You’ve given me strength to keep pushing and, if it’s not too much trouble, do you have any advice regarding how you managed to keep yourself sane through all this? I truly admire your personal integrity… Read more »
Kev' Bryant
Guest
Kev' Bryant

The real question: Will DaFoe be playing Jim in the movie version of the case?

Anton
Guest
Anton

You got it backwards. Dafoe is a perfect fit to portray the batshit insanity of the Romines. He won’t actually play James or Robert, but the voice in their heads.

Artemiy
Guest
Artemiy

I’d actually want to see a movie about Scott Cawthon with Scott played by Willem DaFoe.

Fallen Prime
Guest
Fallen Prime

I would watch the shit out of that. My opinion of FNAF has evolved and fluctuated over the years, but I will forever admire Cawthon’s devotion and tenacity. And hell, Dafoe would play the SHIT out of that scene.

Doublep
Guest
Doublep

If Romine had some sense of humor, and no more fucks to give, he would file a DMCA takedown on this very video. Would be hilarious!

Landy Alexander
Guest
Landy Alexander

Yeah, but the final agreement that closed the case had them sign a statement saying they wouldn’t do frivolous take downs. I am not a lawyer, but immediately violating that clause sounds like something that Jim could actually sure for.

Doublep
Guest
Doublep

yeah, the “no more fucks to give” part addressed exactly that issue 😉

drownedsummer
Guest
drownedsummer

Yeah but at that point he would be violating something which he’s legally agreed to and I would assume there be repercussions due to that and not just from Jim.

Adam Bourne
Guest
Adam Bourne

The only way you were losing this was if you were found in contempt for sending the Cornflake Homunculus in your stead. Still long time coming – congrats

Anton
Guest
Anton

I imagine Chip would have fucked it up pretty badly, as well.

CaitSeith
Guest
CaitSeith

Goddamn it Chip! You were supposed to agree to dismiss the whole thing, not to send them to the electric chair!

C. Peter Roberts
Guest
C. Peter Roberts

Well done, Jim. And congratulations once again.

Stormbringer
Guest

This is 30mins too long. Jim’s so transgressive.

Benj
Guest
Benj

This has been 2 and half years too fucking long mate.

Stormbringer
Guest

Amen to that.

Benj
Guest
Benj

So is James the real “brain” behind the Digital Homicide thing. What’s Robert’s role in all this.

I am right in thinking that he was the one in the DigiHom interview right?

InfamousDS
Guest
InfamousDS

Yes. And according to the text in the lawsuit James was the programmer and Robert was the businessman who was unfamiliar with tech and IT.

So all of his claims (in the interview) about making the code himself was just James using Robert as a sockpuppet to complain to Jim about Jim.

Benj
Guest
Benj

So, does James actually have children who depend on him or was that just Robert?

This whole thing is ultimately too sad to find funny, I’ve spent too much time speaking to people with mental health problems to find erratic, self-destructive behaviour funny for more than a few minutes at a time.

…but if he has kid’s who’ve had to watch Daddy’s bitterness fueled breakdown along with barely coherent rants about how the whole world is working to crush his dreams then that’s pretty fucking dark.

InfamousDS
Guest
InfamousDS
At some point, it all just becomes as clear as mud. There is no way of knowing if Robert was just on script (he asked if he did okay), or if the hate was shared evenly between the two. This was a life-destroying decision they were hoping they could afford to make and come out better in the end for doing. I think that’s why Robert didn’t want to be involved in the Jimsuit, but was okay with the Steamsuit (edit to add: Because with the Steamsuit there were 100 possible payouts and not just one from someone who was… Read more »
Muddy Scarecrow
Guest
Muddy Scarecrow
Ultimately what Romine and other incredibly amateur devs like him need to realize that verbally and financially attacking the one guy who made a high profile youtube video that said some mean things about your project isn’t going to do shit. I mean…seriously. He’s one guy. It’s not like Jim was the only one giving the Slaughtering Grounds bad reviews. It’s not like people were loving the game before he strolled on in and were now saying “huh…you know what? The fat British guy in the red glasses and unhealthy poglin obsession is right. This game IS an absolute failure!”… Read more »
Andrew Barloq
Guest
Andrew Barloq

Yeah DeviantArt tends to be a real circle-jerk, you might want to diversify or be clear about wanting reasoned critique when you post content if you want to truly improve.

Muddy Scarecrow
Guest
Muddy Scarecrow

Now I should specify not ALL of it is generic compliments. I have gotten some wonderful constructive feed back. But that is the exception rather than the rule. I guess it’s better than getting abusive trolls all the time so maybe I really shouldn’t complain.

PIERS
Guest

Might I suggest checking out the Digital Webbing forums? They have subforums specifically for constructive criticism on art. Specifically comic book related art, though, so I’m not sure if that’s your style.

Benj
Guest
Benj

Fucking hell, they didn’t even do the basic maths right!

Did they write this lawsuit in crayon or their own shit?

Jack Trevor
Guest
Jack Trevor

During this entire video I could just see James’ face contorting in rage not only for losing everything but his “enemy” is sitting pretty and, worst, not gloating about it because Jim is proving to be the better man here. And James gets angrier and angrier as the video goes on because he can’t do anything about it.

Still, the man honestly got exactly what he deserves.

Benj
Guest
Benj

I just saw the 38 minute runtime and now I need a cold shower.

Jack Trevor
Guest
Jack Trevor

You said March 2017 in the video, I assume you meant March 2016

Appretaur
Guest
Appretaur

Notice how the tone and implied backstory completely change between these two identical sentences just by changing nothing more than the name of the person who’s the subject:

“After my joke show, John Doe came up to me to express that he hadn’t laughed so heartily since the time he got sued.”

“After my joke show, Jim Sterling came up to me to express that he hadn’t laughed so heartily since the time he got sued.”

FuTeffla
Guest
FuTeffla

I love ya, Jim. Have a nice cup of tea and a sit down because you’ve earnt it.

Exley97
Guest
Exley97
I’m glad this is over, and that Jim prevailed (an outcome that was fairly obvious based on the facts) but this upsets me because it still cost money, time, energy and stress. As Jim put it, he had to pay for his lawyer, which he would have had to do anyway because Romine doesn’t have any money. That seems wholly unfair to me — that basically one of the Greenlight shit slingers can file a fakakta lawsuit with no real basis in law or fact and forced a critic to not only pay money they may not have on lawyers… Read more »
THT
Guest
THT

And thus, the DigiHom Saga has concluded.

So when’s the novel coming out?

Artemiy
Guest
Artemiy

Digital Homicide: Shit Eyes.