Gaming and pop culture website IGN has released their verdict on the Dead Cells review debacle, and announcing their decision to professionally terminate staff member Filip Miucin. While the outlet did not name the writer in their statement, the review in question came under heavy fire upon its publication, with allegations expressed by YouTuber Boomstick Gaming that Miucin had plagiarized his own video review, which was originally posted on July 24.
Dead Cells is a combination roguelike-metroidvania game, which launched its early access version on Steam back in May 2017. Garnering thousands of reviews and positive impressions, the game underwent a series of updates and boasted almost 750,000 installs, despite its unfinished state on the road to release. The full Steam release of the game finally emerged on August 7, simultaneously making its debut on the Nintendo Switch eShop for purchase.
In accordance with the game’s full-version release, IGN published a Dead Cells video review on August 6, written and edited by staff member Filip Miucin. On that same day, YouTube channel Boomstick Gaming posted a comparison video accusing IGN of plagiarizing his review of the game, originally uploaded on July 24. “IGN Copied my Dead Cells Review: What do I do?” went viral, garnering hundreds of thousands of views, prompting the outlet to retract Miucin’s content while they investigated. IGN emerged with a public statement that it has “parted ways with the writer involved in the review,” apologizing to its readers, and to Boomstick Gaming in specific. Take a look:
IGN’s announcement makes the point to clarify that Miucin was familiar with the game, but grants due diligence in their assessment of Boomstick Gaming’s detailed complaints. While an editor’s note briefly replaced an official retraction of Miucin’s review for a period of time, the outlet did not comment on the developments surrounding the accusation while a determination was underway.
Boomstick Gaming took pains in his commentary to compare both of the reviews, noting topics and specific word choices side by side in a structured cited analysis. At the time, his YouTube channel had approximately 14,000 subscribers, but the resultant fiasco seems to have bumped his numbers; as of this writing, his subscriber base sits at over 43,000. Overall, the matter looks to have been dealt with promptly, though content theft in a game review is a drastic turn of events for a reputable and well-trafficked outlet. As IGN announces that they will be re-reviewing Dead Cells, it’s safe to say that the internet will be scrutinizing any upcoming coverage from this point forward.