IGN has removed its review of rogue-like Metroidvania game Dead Cells after YouTube channel Boomstick Gaming noticed some major similarities between its review and that put out by IGN's Nintendo editor Filip Miucin. At the moment, the company is apparently investigating this alleged plagiarism.
Dead Cells itself is a game with heavy rogue-like leanings, as the player adventures around a constantly changing castle. With no checkpoints and a nod to the Dark Souls series of games in terms of learning through failure, the game has had an extremely good reception from critics so far. However, this controversy could heavily overshadow the release of the game overall.
Boomstick Gaming, who also goes by the name of Deadite, released his review of Dead Cells in July but recently noticed some serious similarities in IGN's own review of the title. Over the run of the two reviews, the notion that it could all be a coincidence potentially goes out of the window and is instead replaced by some serious allegations of plagiarism. Those looking for a side-by-side analysis can find one below, courtesy of Boomstick Gaming.
Off the back of this allegation of plagiarism, IGN itself has begun to investigate. Both the written and video review of Dead Cells have been removed, with the written review instead replaced with 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," reads the note. "In light of concerns that have been raised about our Dead Cells review, we’ve removed it for the time being and are investigating."
Should IGN find that its review did plagiarize the work of Boomstick Gaming, then it shows a serious betrayal of trust from the company, particularly since Boomstick Gaming is a relatively small channel with 14,000 followers as of the time of writing. The fact that the review came from one of the site's editors makes it a much bigger headache for IGN than if it was from a contributor as well.
It's not the only time that review quality and integrity has been called into question, with cases such as the paid-for positive Warner Bros. reviews scandal hitting such big names as PewDiePie, and similar happening with EA and Battlefield 4. There's no excuse for ethical failures from reviewers or trusted personalities in gaming, whether with reviews such as this or the gambling controversy that hit Counter-Strike over CSGO Lotto. After all, gaming is big business, and one look at some of the payouts found in video game-related lawsuits proves that ignorance is not an excuse.