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IGN Pulls Review After Plagiarism Accusations

Screenshot: Dead Cells

The gaming site IGN has removed a review for the game Dead Cells after allegations surfaced yesterday that the review’s writer had plagiarized from a small YouTube channel.

“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,” reads a note now in place of the review, which was written by IGN Nintendo editor Filip Miucin. “In light of concerns that have been raised about our Dead Cells review, we’ve removed it for the time being and are investigating.”

Last night, a YouTube channel called Boomstick Gaming posted a video titled “IGN Copied my Dead Cells Review: What do I do?” In it, the video’s maker plays a sequence of clips from his own review of the roguelike action platformer and compares them to IGN’s video review, revealing a number of phrases that are strikingly similar.

“This combat system is fast, fluid, responsive, and one of the most rewarding representations of 2D combat of the entire genre,” reads Boomstick Gaming’s video, which was published on July 24.

“Fights are fast, fluid, responsive, and hands down one of the most gratifying representations of video game combat I’ve ever experienced,” reads Miucin in IGN’s video, which was published on August 6. The written review includes the same text.

Some other examples:

Boomstick Gaming: In most games of this genre, your coolest skills and spells are often set to strictly long recharge timers or a limited mana system, but in Dead Cells, your abilities have incredibly quick recharges and allow you to seamlessly integrate these gadgets in normal encounters and it doesn’t make you feel penalized for using your cool stuff.

Filip Miucin: Most games limit your most useful skills with long cool-down timers or a limited mana system, but Dead Cells encourages you to use your deadliest gadgets with a fast recharge timer. It never punishes you for using your best tactics.

Boomstick: Dead Cells only falters slightly with some repetition setting in, especially on the early areas and during longer play sessions.

Miucin: Dead Cells does falter slightly with some repetition but it’s only felt in its earlier areas and during extended play sessions.

Boomstick: Dead Cells figures out an intriguing way to have your rogue-like and Metroidvania experience all in one by focusing on your failures and encouraging you to try something new the next time.

Miucin: Dead Cells strikes a perfect and engaging balance between the Metroidvania and rogue-like experiences by focusing on your failures and urging you to experiment every time you do fail.

Boomstick Gaming’s video went viral last night, skyrocketing to the top of Reddit and other forums. The similarities between the two reviews were too numerous to be coincidental, and many observers saw the incident as a massive outlet taking advantage of a smaller one. (Before this, Boomstick Gaming had around 11,000 subscribers on YouTube. IGN has over 10 million.)

“No hate man but I wish I was cited, collaborated with, and or compensated in some way for the healthy views your site saw on your Dead Cells review,” Boomstick Gaming wrote to Miucin on Twitter this morning.

Miucin has not yet commented publicly, and did not immediately respond to Kotaku’s request for comment. IGN also did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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