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YoHoHo Asks GitHub to Take ‘Pirated’ Pirate-Themed Games Offline

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Popular multiplayer game Yohoho.io is available in app stores and on the web. The goal of the pirate-themed 'battle royale' is to kill and plunder opponents, to become the last pirate standing. Apparently, the game itself is also subject to plundering scoundrels, as the makers have asked GitHub to take down various ad-free 'copies'.

In 2015, Brazilian developer Matheus Valadares shared a new game called Agar.io on 4chan, which soon became a smash hit.

The game also popularized the IO extension for games, a reference to the input/output computing term, not the Indian Ocean territory from where it originally derived its initials.

These IO games are often quite basic but addictive and entertaining nonetheless. They’re typically available in app stores and also on the web, where they can be played in the browser. Belgium-based game website CrazyGames has more than 150 IO games listed, for example, but there are many more.

YoHoHo

YoHoHo.io is a popular ‘battle royale’ IO release. The pirate-themed kill-and-plunder game has many thousands of active players, through apps and via the website. Similar to other games of its type, it’s free to play, with the occasional advertisement.

The availability of YoHoHo is not limited to official sites and apps, though. There are various hobbyist game portals that offer the game as well, without permission from the rightsholders and typically minus the ads.

Several of these game sites are hosted though GitHub pages. While many players might appreciate the advertising-free gaming experience, not everyone fancies this unauthorized use

Github Takedown Notice

Earlier this week, GitHub received a takedown notice from an unnamed sender, asking the developer platform to remove several ‘pirated’ versions of the pirate-themed game.

The takedown notice references an anti-circumvention claim, suggesting that the pirated versions disabled the JavaScript sitelock. This preventive measure typically prevents third-parties from loading the game though external sites.

The allegedly infringing games are part of larger game portals that are hosted through GitHub pages. While GitHub didn’t greenlight the anti-circumvention claim, it took the YoHoHo games offline based on other copyright claims.

“While GitHub did not find sufficient information to determine a valid anti-circumvention claim, we determined that this takedown notice contains other valid copyright claim(s),” GitHub writes.

This appears to be a fairly straightforward takedown, but the sender of the notice remains a mystery. TorrentFreak reached out to YoHoHo.io publisher Crazy Games, who informed us that they are not behind it.

Other potential claimants do seem to exist. ExodragonGames, for example, appears to be the creator of YoHoHo.io and several other IO games. The company didn’t immediately respond to our request for comment.

Shiver me Timbers!

It appears that several of the developers who shared the game on their own portals didn’t mean any harm. In response to the takedown, some websites disappeared completely and while others still offer games, they don’t intend to relaunch YoHoHo.

“I have removed anything remaining and related to YoHoHo.io on my site. I very much respect the author’s property rights and I apologize for this incident!” one developer told us.

A brief look at one of the remaining portals suggests that YoHoHo.io is indeed no longer featured, but many other games remain.
 
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