In what's arguably the weirdest piece of gaming news to pop up over the last couple of days, SEGA's lawyers are reportedly threatening the wrong website for pirating one of their games. Specifically, Yakuza: Like a Dragon.
SteamDB Removes Yakuza: Like a Dragon Amidst SEGA Pressure
SEGA is one of the largest and most successful multinational video game corporations in the world. It's collectively responsible for bringing gamers some of the most iconic franchises and consoles of all time. Most recently, they've worked on titles such as the Yakuza series, which is essentially Grand Theft Auto but in Japan, and PERSONA.
With that said, it's understandable that they're concerned about unscrupulous individuals trying to pirate their games. However, going as far as to threaten a website without double-checking first seems unbecoming of a company as big as SEGA.
For those that do not know, SteamDB is a website maintained and created by Pavel Djundik. It is solely devoted to recording and providing useful statistics to interested individuals based on the Steam digital distribution platform. This means that it is, in no way, involved in anything illegal. This is also a point that Djundik made in his most recent Twitter post.
Can anyone help getting in touch with SEGA?
Their lawyers are trying to take down Yakuza: Like a Dragon's SteamDB page claiming that we distribute the game.
I took the page down because they did not reply to the first abuse report and sent a new one to our hoster.
— Pavel Djundik (@thexpaw) March 29, 2021
As a result of the pressure and threats from SEGA, Djundik had no choice but to remove Yakuza: Like a Dragon from its pages. Apparently, SEGA claims that SteamDB is illegally distributing the game via its pages.
According to Djundik, this isn't the first time that this has happened. The site's creator claims that SteamDB gets "at least one DMC per year". However, he added that he is almost always able to resolve such issues quickly. He claims that most DMCAs are usually the result of broken internet searches. He also has reason to believe that this is also the case for the recent mishap with SEGA.
Unfortunately, it seems that SEGA isn't keen on replying. Whereas other companies usually reply immediately, Djundik claims that SEGA has ignored his attempts to reach out so far.
The good news here is that the Yakuza: Like a Dragon takedown is an isolated incident. This means that we should expect SEGA to relent and rescind their takedown request soon enough. But, until then, anyone interested in looking at the SteamDB page for Yakuza: Like a Dragon will have to wait for a while for it to go back up.
In other news, SEGA received Metacritic's award as the top-ranked publisher of 2020 over dozens of others. Yakuza: Like a Dragon was one of the titles cited as the reason for SEGA winning the said award. Other SEGA games that also received rave reviews from critics and audiences alike include Persona 4 Golden and Football Manager 2021, among others.