YoYo Games

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YoYo Games Ltd.
Industry Software
Games Development
Genre Game Engine IDE
Desktop, Mobile and Web
Founded 2007 (2007)
Headquarters Dundee, Scotland
Key people Sandy Duncan
Mike Dailly
Russell Kay
Products GameMaker
Cross-platform Game development technology
Employees 25–50
Website http://yoyogames.com

YoYo Games is a software and game publishing company based in Dundee, Scotland. It is best known for developing the proprietary, game development IDE, GameMaker for Windows which can compile cross-platform, originally created by Mark Overmars.


On 26 January 2007, Mark Overmars announced his partnership with a company based in Dundee, Scotland called YoYo Games.[1] The company, headed by CEO Sandy Duncan (ex Vice President of Xbox Europe),[2] was founded to support the future development of GameMaker and to build a community for developers and casual gamers who could upload their games to the website.

The company established its European office in Dundee in May 2010 by opening an office within Abertay University with two team members.[3] The company currently employs more than 25 employees.[4] YoYo Games has announced plans to create an additional 25 positions, over the next 18 months, in systems development, software engineering, sales and customer service.[5] The employees will be hired to help the company keep pace with the rapid evolution of the global games market and demand for Game Maker: Studio.[6] To accommodate this expansion, in June 2013, YoYo Games moved from its old location within Abertay University[6] into new office space on Dundee’s Waterfront redevelopment.[4]


Many games published by the company use internal functions and features which are not available to customers.[7]


iOS decompiler[edit]

A decompiler was written for Game Maker that could reverse engineer games and make them exportable to iOS before the company revealed officials plans. A lawsuit arising from a cease and desist order was the end result, though the decompiler continued to be developed.[8]

Forum exploit[edit]

The company filed a lawsuit claiming damages to their primary server and other hardware and software they were hosting most of the main website and forums from in 2009 by a GMC user.[9]


Digital rights management[edit]

Game Maker 7 (Mac) DRM
Screenshot showing the DRM misfiring on a paid customer.

On 5 January 2011, YoYo Games posted their interpretation of a formal cease and desist letter to their blog. The post scolded the creators of a decompilation software which would allow users to bypass YoYo Games and independently publish their iOS apps, posing as a financial threat.[10]

In late 2012/early 2013, YoYo Games released a version of their new Studio IDE for cross-platform development that would import games and destroy all of the image type resources for some legitimate purchasers of the software by inserting a symbol of a pirate on top of the image.[11][12] This was due to a fault in their Digital Rights Management software implementation which they use as a method of combating pirated copies of the software.[13][14] The issue was addressed and fixed a few weeks later by removing the DRM.[citation needed] There has also been controversy regarding the Steam method of DRM in which several consumers have not been able to get the program working.[citation needed] The DRM misfire was originally introduced by Mike Dailly as a pun on the movie Pirates of silicon valley[citation needed].

2013 April Fools' Day joke[edit]

On 30 March 2013, Mike Dailly announced that YoYo Games was being purchased by the Valve Corporation, the developers of Steam.[15] The joke drew much criticism from the community and lead to widespread arguments within the community and a large removal of several users from the Game Maker Community.[16] YoYo Games Chief Executive Officer, Sandy Duncan, later learned of the prank and promptly had it removed from the site, however several moderators continued reposting the topic. An apology was later given.[17]

Hacking scandals[edit]

It was discovered later[when?] that the Game Maker Community forum by YoYo Games had been hacked unknowningly for unknown period of time, allowing the hacker to steal members accounts and password information.[18][19] A person claiming to be the hacker contacted a moderator of the forum, True Valhalla, and requested an interview with himself about it to be uploaded to the Game Maker Blog. There the person claimed that he stole over 221,000 unencrypted passwords and sold them to email hackers and RuneScape users.[20] Trollsplatter was the administrator who was hacked through the GameMakerBlog, allowing the hacking possible. True Valhalla was removed from his moderating positions after the incident, which was only one of reasons behind the decision.[21] However, an apology or formal statement from YoYo Games has not been issued.

On May 9, 2013 it was revealed the same person was hacking the GMC again.[22] The hack involved a zero-day attack involving a Twitter feed an IRC chat link.[23] A formal apology was released by the company this time.[24]

Logo controversy[edit]

The controversial logo.

In 2009, YoYo Games conducted a competition for a new official Game Maker logo, encouraging members of the Game Maker Community to submit their own designs; the winner was Albert Zak. The decision received substantial criticism from the product's userbase, becoming in a sense an internet meme. After the negative response, CEO of YoYo Games Sandy Duncan blogged and posted on his Twitter feed making it clear that he was reconsidering the logo's design.

In response to the criticism, a topic was posted on the Game Maker Community where users could contribute a new logo,[25] and on 9 December, a new logo was chosen.

False advertising[edit]

The company has also been accused of falsely advertising discounts and upgrades. For example, a GameMaker: Studio $9.99 discount was offered for those with Game Maker 8.0 but not 8.1, where users would assume that version 8.1 would fall under major release 8.0.[26] The company was also criticized for the advertisement of GameMaker: Studio v.1.2 where users had assumed that the YYC or YoYoCompiler would be a part of an upgrade, only to later find out it would be an additional $300 available as an export feature.[27]


  1. ^ Public announcement from Mark Overmars, Game Maker Community
  2. ^ YoYo Games on CNNMoney.com
  3. ^ "News Article". Dundee Waterfront. 2013-04-22. Retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  4. ^ a b "Dundee’s YoYo Games looks to next level - News / Business / The Courier". Thecourier.co.uk. 2013-04-23. Retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  5. ^ "YoYo Games to Double its Staff to 50". Interactive Tayside. 2013-04-22. Retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  6. ^ a b by scottishgames (2013-04-23). "YoYo Games Expanding, Recruiting New Staff, Moving To New Office | Scottish Games Network". Scottishgames.net. Retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  7. ^ "Games Showcase". 
  8. ^ "Game Maker iOS File Format Cracked". Game Maker Blog. Retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  9. ^ "YoYo Games Ltd records losses of £180,000". Gamemakergames.com. 2009-10-09. Retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  10. ^ "Game For Android System Made With Game Maker Studio". YouTube. Retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  11. ^ "Skull & Crossbones Vandalize Studio Games". Game Maker Blog. Retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  12. ^ "Game Maker Studio DRM Misfires; Permanently Replaces Created Game Resources With Pirate Symbols". Techdirt. 2012-11-28. Retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  13. ^ Published on 27th November 2012 by David Hing (2012-11-27). "Game Maker accidentally brands customers as pirates | bit-gamer.net". Bit-tech.net. Retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  14. ^ Chapple, Craig (2012-11-29). "Gamemaker anti-piracy bug destroys developer assets | Latest news from the game development industry | Develop". Develop-online.net. Retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  15. ^ "Valve is buying Yoyogames, the makers of Game Maker : gamedev". Reddit.com. 2013-03-31. Retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  16. ^ "Yoyo Are Not Selling Out - April Fools - The Community - Game Maker Community". Gmc.yoyogames.com. Retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  17. ^ "YoYo Games April Fool’s Prank Angers Indie Game Community". Coin Arcade. Retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  18. ^ "Important: Gmc Hacked Please Read! - Announcements - Game Maker Community". Gmc.yoyogames.com. Retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  19. ^ "GameMaker Community Forums Hacked - Passwords Leaked". Game Maker Blog. Retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  20. ^ "Exclusive: Interview With The GameMaker Community Hacker". Game Maker Blog. Retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  21. ^ (read comments by Nocturne)
  22. ^ "GameMaker Forums Hacked Again". Game Maker Blog. Retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  23. ^ "Gmc Hacked Again - Page 3 - The Community - Game Maker Community". Gmc.yoyogames.com. 2013-05-09. Retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  24. ^ "Gmc Hacked Again. - Announcements - Game Maker Community". Gmc.yoyogames.com. Retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  25. ^ New Game Maker Logo Suggestions on GMC
  26. ^ "Gm 7 & 8 Users - Upgrade To Studio For $9.99 - Announcements - Game Maker Community". Gmc.yoyogames.com. Retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  27. ^ http://gmc.yoyogames.com/index.php?showtopic=582623

External links[edit]