Sega’s anti-piracy software “sometimes makes mistakes,” like killing SteamDB’s Yakuza page

SteamDB, a site that doesn't distribute games, gets hit with a DMCA for distributing games

March 31, 2021 SteamDB’s Yakuza: Like a Dragon page is back up, and Sega attributes the kerfuffle to an issue with its anti-piracy software.

SteamDB is a site that tracks various bits of public information provided by Steam itself, from player counts to regional pricing. It is not a platform that sells or distributes games, but SteamDB recently came under fire from Sega because of the mistaken belief that it’s illegally provided access to Yakuza: Like a Dragon – an issue Sega attributes to anti-piracy software that sometimes “makes mistakes”.

“Earlier this week, one of our games was incorrectly flagged on SteamDB,” a Sega rep tells us. “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.” The same statement is now on the newly-restored Yakuza SteamDB page.

Yesterday, SteamDB creator Pavel Djundik said that Sega’s “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.” Djundik said that SteamDB gets DMCA takedown requests with some regularity, but those issues tend to be “quickly” resolved. “Sega on the other hand just ignored any replies.”

If you head over to the SteamDB page for Yakuza: Like a Dragon, it now simply says “this page was taken down because Sega is claiming we distribute their game here (we don’t).” It’s a bizarrely specific target for Sega, as other Yakuza games, including ports released more recently than Like a Dragon, are unaffected, as are all other titles that Sega has published on Steam.

Bit of a bumble for Metacritic’s publisher of the year, but hey, putting together some of the greatest RPG games we’ve seen in ages doesn’t necessarily mean your lawyers automatically understand the internet.