When it comes to website creation, developing brand new source code is no small task and can represent a massively complicated feat. However, in some cases, the scale of this challenge can lead fraudulent website developers to take an easier route – something that Itch.io has discovered recently after the launch of a rival platform, W3itch.io.
W3itch.io’s Stolen Content
Indie website, Itch.io, has rapidly grown recently as a marketplace for creators. However, it’s not the only website in this field, and a new rival firm W3itch.io seems to have jumped on the bandwagon. W3itch.io seems to offer the same service roughly as Itch.io, but with the differentiator that it also accepts cryptocurrency payments. Contrastingly, Itch.io has made it abundantly clear that it does not support this move and will not implement this on its own platform.
One of the most apparent first features of the W3itch.io platform is its exceptional similarity to the original. However, this isn’t just a case of similar website designs, it would seem, as W3itch.io seems instead to have actively copied the original CSS code. That means that the website’s style is a direct copy of the original, which W3itch.io has admitted.
Not only had W3itch.io copied CSS code from the original platform, but further research by Itch creator, Leaf Corcoran, would also suggest that the new platform also listed numerous fraudulent games on the site. The games seem to be a direct copy of the games created by rpgmaker.net, but no clear consent has been provided for W3itch.io to use this content.
W3itch.io’s Response to the Accusations
It can seem a little hard to imagine that any website creator would be so lazy as to rip off other creators’ content without even attempting to cover their tracks. However, following Itch.io’s accusations on Twitter, the W3itch.io platform has responded, saying it will be coordinating to remove any stolen content from the website.
As such, it seems likely that Itch.io was correct all along. This revelation begs the question: was this just a shortcut tactic, or was W3itch.io attempting to rip off its users by fraudulently tricking people into thinking it was the original platform all along.