Indie action game Dead Cells was finally released yesterday, more than a year after its early access version had been launched. The roguelike-metroidvania hybrid has garnered a lot of positive reviews from video gaming critics since its release, including a 9.7/10 score from IGN. However, the popular gaming website has now pulled its review in both its written and video form, following major plagiarism accusations from a relatively small YouTube channel.
Boomstick Gaming, the channel in question, uploaded a video overview showing a side-by-side comparison of its review for the game that was uploaded on July 24 and IGN's review that only went up yesterday. The video below clearly showcases a suspiciously similar review structure, with almost identical sentences being used throughout.
The person who runs the channel was understandably upset over numerous similarities between both reviews, despite considering it "kind of flattering" that a lot had been copied from his script. On Twitter, he confronted Filip Miucin, IGN's reviewer for Dead Cells, noting that he wished he'd been offered some compensation for the healthy amount of views the popular website had presumably raked in from the allegedly copied review.
Although similarities in both reviewers' initial comments regarding the game are somewhat evident, perhaps what's strikingly similar are their final verdicts on Dead Cells.
The one from Boomstick Gaming says:
"Dead Cells figures out an intriguing way to have your roguelike and metroidvania experience all in one by focusing on your failures, and urging you to try something new the next time."
On the other hand, IGN's verdict goes as follows:
"Dead Cells strikes a perfect and engaging balance between the metroidvania and roguelike experiences by focusing on your failures, and urging you to experiment each time you do fail."
The video has been viewed over 250,000 times on YouTube, despite having been uploaded less than 24 hours ago. Soon after it went viral, IGN pulled its video review for the game from YouTube, as well as the written review on its website. Instead of the written review, a statement from the media company has now been posted that reads as follows:
"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."
Boomstick Gaming also clarified that it attempted to contact IGN, but has not heard back from the entertainment media company as of yet. Neither Miucin, nor IGN have publicly commented on the alleged plagiarism yet as well. However, we'll update you as soon as new information regarding this issue emerges.
Update: IGN has released a statement on the accused Dead Cells review, stating that its review was unjustifiable, and that it has "parted ways with the writer involved". Furthermore, it has apologized to its readers, the developers of the game, and to Boomstick Gaming - the channel which was plagiarized. The company also mentioned that it took its reviewing process quite seriously, and although Miucin had indeed played the game, the "substantial similarities" discovered upon investigation were unacceptable.
It's safe to say that upcoming IGN reviews for any form of media will quite possibly be heavily scrutinized by readers following this episode.
Do you believe that IGN should implement strict measures now so that another incident like this is not allowed to take place? Let us know in the comments below.