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Itch.io Accuses Crypto Copycat Site Of Stealing Its Code

Back in February, Itch.io came out pretty definitively against NFTs and cryptocurrencies. "NFTs are a scam," said the indie game retailer on its official Twitter. "If you think they are legitimately useful for anything other than the exploitation of creators, financial scams, and the destruction of the planet the we ask that [you] please reevaluate your life choices."

Itch.io banned NFT games and only accepts fiat currency as payment for any games sold on its platforms, something it has in common with Steam. However, a new online games retailer has popped up that not only accepts crypto payments, it features a design that looks suspiciously similar to Itch.io's storefront.

Besides having two thirds the same name, W3itch.io also seems to have mostly the same site design as Itch.io, to the point where Itch.io creator Leaf Corcoran accused the copycat site of being a "rip off" on Twitter (thanks GamesIndustry.biz).

"You have stolen the UI of itch.io, blatantly ripping it off, in addition to using our name directly in your project," wrote Corcoran on the W3itch.io's Github page. "As far as I'm concerned, this is scam to trick people by 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."

Corcoran also said that most of the games being sold on W3itch.io are "stolen" from rpgmaker.net "without the consent of the creators of the games." W3itch.io didn't reply to this accusation, but it did admit to using Itch.io's CSS files on its own site. A developer has since promised to discuss these issues in a meeting, but the project manager was in a different timezone.

NFT sales volume is down to its lowest in almost a year thanks to the cryptocurrency crash and almost daily reports of scams, hacks, and outright theft in various NFT games. That’s in addition to NFTs being widely seen as bad for the environment. But with crypto miners going bust, real gamers can finally afford to upgrade their video cards. A win for the environment and a win for gaming.

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