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Dispute over games removed from Steam

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Image caption Millions of people use the Steam gaming service to buy, play and find games

Games made by Digital Homicide have been removed from the Steam game-playing service after the studio was branded "hostile" to customers.

Steam-owner Valve acted after some users claimed the studio was suing them for giving its games bad reviews.

All the games made by Digital Homicide, discussions about them and reviews of its titles have been removed.

Digital Homicide said it was now seeking legal representation to help fight Steam's decision.

"Valve has stopped doing business with Digital Homicide for being hostile to Steam customers," a spokesman for Valve told the Motherboard news site.

In a blog post explaining its actions, Digital Homicide said it had been forced to go to court because Steam had done a poor job of policing the hostile comments. It said the number of comments amounted to a campaign of harassment.

"The lawsuit recently filed is solely in regards to individuals where no resolution was able to be obtained from Steam to provide a safe environment for us to conduct business," said the post which appeared on Digital Homicide's site after its games were taken off Steam.

Legal expertise

Through the lawsuit, it has been granted a subpoena it plans to serve on Valve to reportedly try to uncover the real identities of gamers who posted the reviews and comments.

Digital Homicide said Valve's action granted users "the right to harass".

The message signs off with a plea for anyone with legal expertise to get in touch to help the company pursue its claim.

The removal of content will not affect anyone who already owns a game made by Digital Homicide. Copies of the games they have bought or downloaded will be accessible via their Steam library.

In March this year, Digital Homicide started a lawsuit against reviewer Jim Sterling accusing him of slandering and libelling the firm in reviews of its games. It is seeking more than $10m (£8.2m) in damages.

Mr Sterling and Digital Homicide first clashed in late 2014 after Mr Sterling posted a very critical review of the studio's game Slaughtering Grounds.

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