Sega mistakenly believed SteamDB is illegally distributing copies of Yakuza: Like a Dragon on PC.
Update: Sega has today clarified that the DMCA sent to Steam Database's hosting service was made in error. In a statement issued to VG247 today, Sega said that it is no longer perusing the game's removal off SteamDB.
"Earlier this week, one of our games was incorrectly flagged on SteamDB. We utilize anti-piracy software to protect our games at a large scale, but sometimes it makes mistakes. Sega will continue to fine-tune these systems to avoid this in the future and we appreciate SteamDB cooperating with us to resolve the issue quickly," reads Sega's statement.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon's SteamDB page has now returned.
You can read the original story below.
Original story: Sega has pulled off a particularly strange move. The Japanese publisher sent a DMCA notice to SteamDB's hosting service, which resulted in Yakuza: Like a Dragon no longer appearing on the site.
SteamDB is the project of Pavel Djundik and Martin Benjamins. The site tracks much of what happens to games and apps on Steam, be it updates, player activity, .exe modification - pretty much anything a developer does to a game behind-the-scenes. It's a great resource into the world of releasing and updating games on Steam, as well as the usual leaks.
Sega, however, appears to have gotten its wires crossed, because the publisher somehow thinks SteamDB is illegally selling PC copies of Yakuza: Like a Dragon. This is obviously not true, and the site doesn't even have links to any other store but Steam - not even key sellers.
Co-founder Pavel Djundik took to Twitter to explain the situation and ask for a little bit of help. As it stands, the Yakuza: Like a Dragon SteamDB page remains offline, bearing a message that reads, "This page was taken down because SEGA is claiming we distribute their game here (we don't)."
"I took the page down because they did not reply to the first abuse report and sent a new one to our hoster," Djundik explained on Twitter. "SteamDB does not support piracy, it does not provide downloads, it does not sell keys, it does not link to any websites that do any of these activities."
As bizarre as this may seem, Djundik actually revealed that this isn't the first time SteamDB received this kind of request.
"SteamDB gets at least one DMCA per year, but we were always able to quickly resolve it. Sega on the other hand just ignored any replies," he added.
Djundik later told PC Gamer that the publisher simply ignored their attempts to clarify, and that SteamDB may not be able to do anything about it.
"Aside from trying to get in contact with someone at Sega, we're not in a position to do anything. We're a hobby project run by 2 people in their spare time and don't have any resources/energy/time to fight or even argue about this," he explained.
The good news is that all the fuss has at least made someone at Sega of America notice, and promise to look into the incident.
We've got in touch with someone at SEGA of America and it is being looked into.
Thanks for your support everyonee, it is truly amazing to see that my hobby (!) project is useful to so many people ♥
— Pavel Djundik (@thexpaw) March 30, 2021