IGN’s Statement on the Dead Cells review investigation: pic.twitter.com/3hh0hpPK0Y
— IGN (@IGN) August 7, 2018
IGN has recently come under fire for allegedly plagiarising content from Boomstick Gaming. The allegations seem to hold a lot of merit and IGN’s response to them seems to have indirectly admitted guilt.
So what happened?
On July 24th, Boomstick Gaming published his Dead Cells review – it’s a clear, concise, and objective review, I’d suggest checking it out. Then, on August 4th IGN published their own Dead Cells review which was written by their in-house Nintendo editor, Filip Miucin. As well as being IGN’s Nintendo editor, Miucin also hosts their Nintendo Voice Chat podcast.
Unfortunately for IGN, Alex, the founder of Boomstick Gaming, just so happens to be one of their regulars. In a recent interview with Forbes, Alex is quoted as saying he “started to slowly notice my sentence structuring as well as my own thoughts” while reading Filip Miucin’s Dead Cells review – a review that has since been taken down.
Upon further investigation, the evidence must have been pretty damning because Boomstick Gaming published a comparison of their review against IGN’s – check it out if you haven’t. After watching that comparison it’s almost impossible to say that that Boomstick’s content wasn’t plagiarised.
Funnily enough, Filip seemed pretty proud of this just a day before the review went live.
Finishing up my Dead Cells review this weekend. It’s the first IGN video review I’ve edited myself, and I can’t wait to share it with you all. If you still haven’t seen Dead Cells in action, check out the first 21 minutes on Nintendo Switch!
Video: https://t.co/xIwXGxKlDv pic.twitter.com/0Ympm06Rx6
— Filip Miucin (@FilipMiucin) August 5, 2018
The first, and with the way things are looking more than likely the last…
Here’s an example that I’ve pulled from Boomstick’s comparison:
Boomstick Gaming: “This combat system is fast, fluid, responsive and one of the most rewarding representations of 2D combat of the entire genre.”
Filip Miucin (IGN): “Fights are fast, fluid, responsive, and hands down one of the most gratifying representations of video game combat I’ve ever experienced.”
And here’s one more:
Boomstick Gaming: “Dead Cells only falters slightly with some repetition setting in, especially on the early areas and during longer play sessions”
Filip Miucin (IGN): “Dead Cells does falter slightly with some repetition, but it’s only felt in its earlier areas and during extended play sessions.”
What was IGN’s response to Boomstick’s (seemingly well-founded) allegations? As of now, they’ve removed both the video and the written Dead Cells reviews while they “investigate”. Where Filip’s Dead Cells review used to sit now contains nothing more than an Editor’s Note:
“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. In light of concerns that have been raised about our Dead Cells review, we’ve removed it for the time being and are investigating.”
Prior to all of this, Boomstick Gaming had been active on Youtube since 2006 and as of yesterday had less than 15,000 subscribers. Today, they’re coming up on 25,000 and growing steadily. At the very least, this bit of drama seems to have worked out in Boomstick’s favor.
In closing, plagiarism is bad. However, if these allegations prove true, I don’t feel the blame lies entirely on the shoulders on IGN. Personally, I feel the blame should lie primarily with the writer, Filip Miucin. It would be unrealistic for us to expect IGN to vet every single review to make sure their writer didn’t plagiarise it; especially one that’s worked there for quite some time.