Crypto Store Copycat Duplicates Itch.io, Gets Slapped By Founder

The creator of indie game storefront Itch.io has called out a website that appears to have taken the site’s code for itself and started selling the creators’ games without permission. Dubbed “W3itch.io,” the creator of the copycat site responded to a tweet from Itch.io founder Leaf Corcoran, who promptly urged them not to “scam” Itch.io again. W3itch.io even described itself as a “free-as-freedom open marketplace for indie game creators inspired by Itch and Gitcoin.” Not the most sensible of ideas for engaging with the person whose work you’re replicating, W3itch.io.

Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak is out today, and Liam is loving it.

The crypto promotion copycat has since apologized for taking Itch.io’s CSS files for its own site, claiming it lacked designers. Corcoran accused them of theft and pointed out that most of the projects on the W3itch.io site come from RPGMaker.net. You can read for yourself the full and bizarre exchange between Corcoran and w3itch.io here.

A response from Twitter also highlighted the extent of W3itch.io’s copying of Itch.io:

Now, Itch.io isn’t a fan of crypto shenanigans, including NFTs, to begin with, as Alice O. reported in February. I’m not the most knowledgeable person on Decentralized Autonomous Organizations, Web3, or any of this Emperor General’s new cryptobro stuff, but if someone voices a very strong opinion against your tech project, it’s probably best to leave alone. Don’t put a witch hat on their outfit, pretend it’s yours and parade it in front of them. To each his own, I guess.

Corcoran then reported W3itch.io on Github for stolen intellectual property, saying:

You stole the itch.io UI, blatantly ripping it off, in addition to using our name directly in your project. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a scam to trick people into using @itchio’s established brand on an unrelated project for your own profit.

I request that you immediately remove any likeness, including our name, from your project.

Also, browsing the content of your platform, it seems that you have stolen many games (see rpgmaker.net) to reupload them without the consent of the creators of the games. Out of respect for the creators and their work, I ask that you remove stolen content from your platform.

W3itch.io replied to the accusation of theft, promising to remove any hijacked software if the owner contacted them first. “If you find that your content has been stolen, please leave a comment under this tweet or give me a DM and we will contact its uploader to coordinate with them to remove this content,” they said. “I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the community for the offense we have caused.” What a weird, weird situation.