IGN finds itself in trouble as the day starts to serious accusations. On August 6, YouTuber Boomstick Gaming — a small channel with around 24,000 subscribers at the time of this story's publication — posted a video titled "IGN Copied my Dead Cells Review: What do I do?", in which he accuses IGN's in-house Nintendo editor Filip Miucin of plagiarizing his review of Dead Cells. As evidence, he plays his and IGN's video reviews side by side for comparison.
While at first it seems as though a series of coincidences happened as the two reviewers talk about the same game, it doesn't take long until IGN's video rips Boomstick Gaming's writing, at times word by word. In response to the quick backlash, the website took the video down. Check the comparison below:
Miucin, the editor at IGN, claims to have edited the video himself. IGN responded to the concerning accusation by promptly taking the video down and releasing a short statement on their website where the review used to be.
"As a group of writers and creators who value our own work and that of others in our field, the editorial staff of IGN takes plagiarism very seriously," the statement reads. "In light of concerns that have been raised about our Dead Cells review, we’ve removed it for the time being and are investigating."
Considering how big companies operate and how they value brand integrity over individuals, things don't look so hot for Miucin, who as of the writing of this piece hasn't come forward with a statement.
As a freelance writer myself, it baffles me that anyone in 2018 would think that copying someone else's work as if their job was a school project wouldn't be noticed by anyone. We live in the era of social media and digital connectivity, where a sneeze is permanently registered and often used against the sick person. It's a shame that there are so many talented writers out there fighting with tooth and nail for an article published at an outlet as big as IGN while their own editor doesn't think twice before pressing a smaller YouTuber's review against a sheet of carbon and calling it their own.
It's no news that such creative lapses happen within gaming journalism, criticism, or any form of gaming media we have available nowadays. However, such occurrences are usually contained within a spectrum of much smaller websites famed for poor writing and clickbaiting. That this would happen in a well-regarded outlet (although their overall integrity and morality is subjective aside from this misfortune) is concerning at best. This isn't the kind of publicity anyone needs, including Dead Cells developer Motion Twin, who probably provided a review code in hopes they would get fair criticism in return in addition to promoting their debut title.
Hopefully, this opens the eyes of some gamers who look up to websites such as IGN, Polygon, and Kotaku for the latest news and reviews as though they're immaculate and their words are final. Sadly, smaller critics, whether they mainly write, produce videos, or share their thoughts on podcasts, don't get the same sort of treatment. They are often ignored when not being berated for saying one potentially bad word about someone's new favorite video game. And hopefully, this unfortunate situation opens doors for Boomstick Gaming, who certainly deserves recognition for writing such a good review for a major website. If only they had offered him that opportunity in the first place.